Cognitive development - How toddlers develop logic and abstract thought


All a child needs is its own cognitive abilities to recognize and understand its environment and its own self. These include thought structures, language comprehension, perception, problem solving and memory. All these areas only develop during the first months of life, while other areas in the brain that involve bodily functions that are essential for survival have been developed since birth.


Cognitive skills

The first cognitive skills


The mental development of a baby does not happen in a linear way but by leaps and bounds. In the first three months of its life, a baby cannot comprehend that it can make things happen or that its caregivers are still there, even if the baby cannot see anyone. But it already recognizes voices and turns toward them.

Between the ages of three and six months, the next big steps in mental development take place. The baby understands that it can make things happen. For this reason, toys are now more consciously seen and their individual effects are consciously observed. Babies are also able to recognize objects. Surprisingly, the capability for abstract thought already exists at this age. Babies can already categorize different sensory impressions and, for example, classify a cat, a dog and a cow as animals.

Making plans and anticipating consequences

From seven months on, babies can consciously undertake certain tasks. They can decide to crawl across the room to their favourite toy or throw down a spoon on the floor. The same activities are now replicated in various situations. Babies can also now recognize their own name. Up to their first birthday, children are better able to judge what will happen when they decide to take certain actions. They can now make quite conscious sounds of their own. These are meaningful to them, and then become their first words.

Developing and training their ability to concentrate

There's one thing toddlers need most of all for many of the big and small tasks in their daily lives - concentration Retaining concentration for a period of time is not so easy, as younger children only have a fairly short attention span. It is very exhausting for them to concentrate on a specific process for long periods of time, but it is possible to train their ability to concentrate. The toddler can concentrate on a single activity better in a quiet environment than in a noisy one. The best way to strengthen the ability to concentrate is with play, being outside in nature or performing small tasks within everyday family life.. It is generally easier for children to concentrate on something if they are encouraged to do so with praise and if they see a purpose behind their task,- for example, setting the table!

How to encourage a small child's cognitive development

Fostering cognitive skills with pegging games, stacking games & sorting games

With age-appropriate toys, it is possible for even toddlers to be able to spend a short period of time alone. A variety of pegging, stacking or sorting games are particularly suitable for this. They allow different forms to be recognized and assigned and, besides the ability to concentrate, this also trains fine motor skills and the understanding of colors.

Fostering cognitive skills with threading games

Threading games too are a wonderful way to practise logical thinking and concentration. Colorful motifs can be threaded one after the other or explored in free play.

Fostering cognitive skills with children's puzzles

Puzzles are often popular with children from a very early age. In the beginning, they try out simple gripping puzzles that show scenes from their everyday lives. Recognizing, naming and assigning can be excellently trained by this!