All about children!

Posts tagged ‘cognitive’

Where is it?

If you have young children, they might start playing peek-a-boo soon (or maybe they already love to play it!). But before they enjoy playing this game, they probably cried if you hid a favorite toy (or your lovely face!). Soon after, they will start looking for the desired object. And all this is possible thanks to object permanence.

Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, heard, or touched. It is acquired by infants between 8 and 12 month of age.

What happens is that a baby goes through some steps in order to aquire object permanence. First, they look at a toy and if it goes away, they don’t care (out sight, out of mind). Then, they look for a toy when it’s partially hidden. They begin to understand that the object still exists, even if they can’t see it completely. Finally, they look for the toy after it’s been hidden, because they know it exists, it’s just hidden or out of sight! So, if you try to play hide-and-seek and your baby starts crying, then he/she definitely has not acquired object permanence!

 The term, object permanence, was given by child development expert and psychologist Jean Piaget. Piaget believed most children reached the object permanence stage when they were about eight or nine months old.

But, why is it important? Imagine you never remember where things were before… you would be forever looking for everything because you’d never remember what you had and where you put it! (hmm so why we still can’t find the keys?).

Here are two videos to show object permanence. The first one shows the out of sight out of mind stage and the second one, shows a baby who has already aquired object permanence.

So, next time your child cries because you left them at daycare or just left the room, be happy, your child has just reached a very important milestone!

What stage is your baby? Out of sight, out of mind? partially hidden, or having fun with hide and seek?


How can I help my child in his/her development? Part 2

Last time (2 weeks ago) I explained briefly 4 main areas of child development. Today I want to share some tips of games/activities parents can do to help their children in each area! I am going to give suggestions that are helpful for children in the first 5 years of age.

Motor Development (gross and fine). Motor development is all about movement. Have fun moving!

  • Make your home safe- Children need to be able to be in a safe environment for them to explore movement with their bodies. Let them crawl, climb, walk and jump as much as possible.
  • Play with balls- Playing with balls helps them with hand-eye coordination skills.             
  • Play with building and stacking toys such as blocks, pegs, and beads – Those toys can really help their fine motor skills.
  • Use writing materials- Another great activity that helps strengthen fine motor skills.

Cognitive Development. This area is all about their ability to think.

  • Play peek a boo/hide and seek- With this game they learn about object permanence (objects exist even when we can’t see them).
  • Let them do things by themselves (so they can figure out how to do it) -This helps with problem-solving skills.
  • Place things out of their immediate reach – They will find a way to reach it. Again problem-solving skills.
  • Let them try things first then help them – I know it’s hard, because you want to help them all the time. But it’s really important that they start to figure out the world by themselves!

Socio-emotional Development. This is where they build their self-confidence and self-esteem.

  • Have play dates – This gives them the opportunity to make friends.
  • Pretend play with a doll or a dog  – This will help them learn about caring for others.
  • Pretend play (eating out) – Helps learning about manners.
  • Play with children different ages- This helps them learn how to relate with different people.
  • Have a feelings cup/box – Write down or have a picture of different feelings, once in a while discuss them. Talk about a situation when you might feel this feeling and you could even role-play that situation. This will help them to cope appropriately when a situation comes up and the child is not sure how to express his/her feelings.

Language Development. Love this area! Children develop language mostly by imitating you. Make sure you are modeling appropriate language skills and vocabulary. Here are some games you can play:

  • Put some objects in a container and name them as you take them out.
  • Move your body in different ways and name the movement.
  • Pretend play (any familiar situation) – Talk about what happens and the objects you use (e.g. eating dinner)
  • Read books – Helps with vocabulary.

There are many more activities you can do to help your child in each area. This is just an example of what you can start doing today!

What area do you think you encourage your child more/less?

photo: Kindermusik

How can I help my child in his/her development? Part 1

That is one question many parents should ask themselves all the time. Parents have the most influence on their child’s development, but sometimes they don’t know what to do. In order to know how you can help your child, first you need to know what areas are involved in their development. Let’s review 4 major areas.

Motor Development – A motor skill is a learned sequence of movements that combined, produce a smooth, efficient action in order to master a particular task. Motor skills can be divided in two areas: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills include the use of large muscles such as arms and legs. Gross motor skills make you move in different positions such as lifting the head, rolling over, sitting up, balancing, crawling, walking and jumping. It usually develops from top to bottom. Fine motor skills include the use of smaller muscles to manipulate small objects, transfer objects from hand to hand, and other various hand-eye coordination tasks. Fine motor skills may involve the use of very precise motor movement in order to achieve an especially delicate task to do something. Some examples of fine motor skills are using the pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger), picking up small objects, cutting, coloring, writing, or threading beads.

Cognitive Development – This is the are that develops the ability to learn new knowledge and to process, understand, and apply this knowledge to different ends. Developing this area helps a child improve his/her capacity for mental activities such as reasoning, interpreting, comparing and contrasting, evaluating, judging, inferring, predicting, sequencing, and visualizing. It also helps children master specific content knowledge relating to vocabulary, mathematics, and science.

Social-Emotional Development – This is the development of skills relating to how one interacts with other people and how one behaves oneself. The capacity for empathy, the understanding of social rules, and friendships are some of the skills a child will learn to master as they grow.

Communication Development – This is a process starting early in human life, when a person begins to acquire language by learning it as it is spoken or signed. Children’s language development moves from simple to complex. Infants start communicating by crying but as the child gets older, new meanings and new associations are created and vocabulary increases as more words are learned.

Next time I’ll share specific ideas that parents can do to help their children in each one of these areas!

Did you learn something new today? Let us know!