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Activities to Promote Preschool Cognitive Development

Activities to Promote Preschool Cognitive Development

June 27, 2016 | Ron Spreeuwenberg
It's been well documented that the preschool years are critical for building the foundation for learning in the K-12 school years. During the foundation building preschool time, your child will begin to engage in more purposeful play. Preschoolers start to form a whole new understanding as they expand their experiences with the world around them.

Preschoolers are eager to learn how the world works, and the best way for them to learn at this age is through play. The following are some of our top activities to incorporate into your daily routine to promote preschool cognitive development:

Memory and Puzzle Activities

Memory matching games or other simple card games like “go fish” allow preschoolers to intellectually work through a problem to find the answer or a solution. Similarly, puzzles provide children with opportunities to hone their problem solving skills as they figure out where pieces fit or don’t fit. Puzzles and memory games teach preschoolers to solve problems and think in a more logical way.

Sorting and Classifying Activities

Categorizing plays a large role in a preschooler’s cognitive development. Through sorting, children begin to understand that certain things have similarities and differences. This type of logical thinking forms the foundation for future mathematical concepts and even everyday tasks. Choose activities that encourage sorting and classifying items, such as sorting toys by colour, type or size.

Sequencing Activities

Preschoolers typically use their own routines to understand events and recall sequence. They understand time in a general way (for example, “yesterday” could mean something that happened anytime in the past), but can work on their sequencing skills to develop a better sense of time. For example, you could ask your preschoolers to draw you a sequence of their morning routine in the correct order. As an educator, remember to emphasize sequencing words like, first, start, finish, next, last, then, before, after, etc. so they become a part of a preschooler’s vocabulary.

Symbolic Activities

Both parents and caregivers can support preschool cognitive development by playing symbolic games with their children. Taking part in imaginary play with a preschooler helps them develop their natural curiosity about the world, invokes their problem solving skills and helps develop their focus and attention as well.

During the preschool years, children are undergoing a period of rapid brain development. Parents and teachers can help maximize this period of brain development by supporting children with certain types of experience and activities, as well as encouraging children to pursue interests and play that come naturally to them. Looking for more activities to support cognitive development in preschoolers? Stay tuned to the HiMama Blog where we regularly post new activities to try with your preschoolers!

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