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Cognitive Development

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When you think of the word cognitive what comes to mind? The word cognitive means; “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.” As an infant and toddler there are four components that we as early childhood educators work on to get them ready to for ECIPs 3-5 and than eventually kindergarten. These components include; Exploration and Discovery, Problem Solving, Memory, and Imitation and Symbolic Play.

The indicators we work on with Exploration and Discovery include; pays attention to people and objects; uses senses to explore people, objects and environment; attends to colors, shapes, patters or pictures; shows interest and curiosity in new people and object; and make things happen and watches for results or repeats action.

The indicators we work on with Problem Solving include; experiments with different uses for objects; shows imagination and creativity in solving problems; uses a variety of strategies to solve problems; and applies knowledge to new situations.

Next indicator we work on with Memory include; shows ability to acquire and process new information; recognizes familiar people, places and things; recalls and uses information in new situations; searches for missing or hidden objects.

The last indicators we work on with component Imitation and Symbolic Play include; observes and imitates sounds, gestures or behaviors; uses objects in new ways or in pretend plays; and uses imitation or pretend play to express creativity and imagination.

One activity we can do with this domain is corn shakers. I know your probably thinking how would corn shaker be part of this domain but in this case it would be component Listening and understanding and the indicator would be shows interest in listening to sounds. To use these I would lay the infant on the floor both on their tummy or back and than shake the corn shaker next to them. If the infant is older I would give them the bottle and allow them to shake it themselves. I could also lay the shaker in front of them and allow them to roll it back and forth. When you sit down and plan these activities it may look difficult but once you get into the heart of it, it can be pretty easy.

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