Children aren’t just growing physically during early childhood,they are also developing new cognitive abilities as they mature. Early childhood is not only a period of amazing physical growth; it is also a time of remarkable mental development. Cognitive abilities associated with memory, reasoning, problem-solving and thinking continue to emerge throughout childhood.
Stages of Cognitive Development
The Sensorimotor Stage (0-2 Years):
A period of time between birth and age two during which an infant’s knowledge of the world is limited to his or her sensory perceptions and motor activities. Behaviors are limited to simple motor responses caused by sensory stimuli.
The Preoperational Stage (2-6 Years):
A period between ages two and six during which a child learns to use language. During this stage, children do not yet understand concrete logic, cannot mentally manipulate information and are unable to take the point of view of other people.
The Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 Years):
A period between ages seven and eleven during which children gain a better understanding of mental operations. Children begin thinking logically about concrete events, but have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts.
The Formal Operational Stage (12-18 Years):
A period between ages twelve to adulthood when people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts. Skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning and systematic planning also emerge during this stage.