What are cognitive skills and how to support its development in your child?
As parents, we all want our children to develop to their fullest potential, and cognitive skills play a vital role in this process. Cognitive development refers to mental processes such as attention, memory, problem-solving, and language that enable us to learn, think, and process information.
By cognitive ability, we are trying to indicate the holistic educational approach of the children in terms of attention management, memorizing skills, language skills, and problem-solving attitude. Incorporating these learnings would help children to learn cognitive skills in early childhood.
In this blog post, we will explore what cognitive development skills are and how parents can support the development of children, with a focus on Montessori at home and purposeful toys
Basic Definition of Cognitive Development Skill:
Cognitive Development skills refer to the mental processes that allow us to acquire knowledge, understand it, and use it to think, reason, and solve problems. Cognitive development skill is therefore an umbrella term encompassing overall skills like perception, attention, memory, language, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Children can identify things like toys and things around them, learn the simple information, and reciprocate with the older individuals by uttering the exact names of their Montessori toys. The whole process of understanding creativity in early childhood is a part of gaining sharp memory which can be chiseled with the proper guidance.
Furthermore, Montessori education paves the path for learning the language with wooden puzzles. With the help of building blocks for kids, Montessori education creates a sense of reasoning that empowers problem-solving skills among children.
The Importance of Cognitive Development Skill in Montessori Education:
Cognitive development in early childhood enhances kids’ aptitude for social and reading skills. Montessori education, by far, has tried to connect one child with another so that they could expand their connection level and perform while collaborating with others. By employing different methods and play items in the core study materials such as wooden puzzles, balance board, wooden pegs, geometric shape, activity gym, and many more, teachers give the options to children to test and trial so that they can learn and progress steadily.
Research has shown that good cognitive development skill predicts academic achievement better than IQ or socioeconomic status. Children who have strong cognitive skills are better able to learn, adapt, and thrive in school and life.
Ideas on Montessori Toys:
Montessori toys are educational toys that are designed to support children's cognitive development skill. These toys are made from natural materials and are simple in design, allowing children to explore and learn through play.
The Montessori Mobiles:
Montessori Mobiles like the Munari, Gobbi, or Dancer are designed to stimulate a newborn baby's visual development. These simple mobiles help in understanding creativity in early childhood and are designed to capture the baby's attention and stimulate their visual perception.
They not only encourage focus and attention but develop visual skills like depth perception (objects at different heights) binocularity – the ability to fix their vision from both eyes on one object, dynamic visual tracking – tracking movement of things in motion, and lay the seeds of early math and develop their chromatic sense – understanding of color variation.
These are small, textured balls that can be squeezed, rolled, and manipulated, encouraging children to explore their sense of touch and develop their fine motor skills. Sensory balls add values in their cognitive development skills.
Object Permanence Boxes:
These are wooden boxes with a lid and a hole, designed to teach children the concept of object permanence (i.e., that objects continue to exist even when they can't be seen). Children can practice placing objects in the box and retrieving them through the hole that would prepare them to learn cognitive skills in early childhood.
These are wooden puzzles with different shaped insets and corresponding shapes that children can fit into the insets, encouraging them to learn about shapes and spatial relationships.
Enhance Cognitive Development at Home:
In addition to using Montessori techniques and toys, there are many simple activities that parents can do at home to support their children's cognitive development. Some ideas include:
Reading to your children will make them smarter in terms of cognitive development skill. The children whose parents read to them learn better language skills and vocabulary. Their comprehension after an age seems better than the rest whose parents do not read to their children frequently. One of the feasible Montessori methods that can be applied in the home.
Montessori education always prefers learning and playing simultaneously. Selecting a wide range of games such as board games, cards, and Lego boards, and buying them for your children would make them learn cognitive skills early childhood.
Drawing, painting, and other forms of creative expression also help children develop their cognitive development skills by encouraging them to think creatively and explore different possibilities.
Providing Hands-On Experiences:
Involving children in practical activities like Cleaning, Cooking, Gardening, and being involved in their self-care help children develop their cognitive development skills by engaging all their senses and providing a rich and varied cognitive development in early childhood.