Child Development Stages – The 4 Cognitive Stages

Child Development Stages – The 4 Cognitive Stages

Child development stages mark the growth of your kid as they move from one milestone to another. Milestones are physical and behavioral checkpoints in your child’s development journey. As your baby grows, they achieve these milestones and develop additional skills. These skills are known as abilities.

These milestones can be associated with both the physical and mental growth of a child. When it comes to mental growth, Jean Piaget identified 4 cognitive child development stages. This tracks the various stages of normal intellectual. It also includes judgment, thought, and knowledge.

Sensorimotor – The First Cognitive Child Development Stage

This is the first cognitive child development stage. It also marks the intellectual growth of an infant from his birth to the first 18-24 months of his life. At this stage, infants can only focus on what’s in front of them. They also pay attention to their physical interaction with their immediate environment.

They are not aware of how things react so they keep experimenting with things. This includes putting things in their mouth and throwing stuff. They basically learn from trial and error. 

After the first 6 months and between then and 9 months, children start developing more cognitive skills. They realize that things exist even when they are not in front of them. This indicates the first sign of memory development. When the child is about 18-24 months, they start developing early language skills.

Child Development Stages – The 4 Cognitive Stages
Child Development Stages – The 4 Cognitive Stages

Preoperational Stage

Ages 1 to 7 years marks this cognitive child development stage. Children begin to symbolically think about things. Their language also becomes more mature. They also develop better imagination and memory. This allows them to understand the meaning of the past and the future, allowing them to engage in make-believe activities.

At this age, their thinking is still not logical and completely based on intuition. They don’t comprehend more complicated concepts such as time, cause and effect and comparison.

Concrete Operational Cognitive Child Development Stage

This cognitive child development stage kicks in when the child is aged between 7 to 11 years. Preadolescent children finally start demonstrating concrete, logical reasoning. Their thinking also becomes less egocentric. They also become more aware of external events. Children also realize that their feelings and thoughts may be unique. Not everyone may agree to them. They also realize that what they think may not be entirely true.

However, most children in this stage still can’t think hypothetically or abstractly.

Formal Operational Stage

Child Development Stages – The 4 Cognitive Stages
Child Development Stages – The 4 Cognitive Stages

A child hits this cognitive child development when he reaches the age of 11 and above. He is finally able to use symbols related to abstract concepts logically. This includes subjects such as science and algebra. He can also think about multiple variables in systematic ways, consider possibilities and formulate hypotheses. They also develop abilities to think about abstract concepts and relationships such as love, justice, and friendship.

This stage marks the last of the cognitive child development stages. The intellectual development from this stage forward pends on accumulating knowledge.

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