CogniFit's Science blog: Cognitive Development In A Five Year Nutshell

Cognitive Development In A Five Year Nutshell

Cognitive development has long been looked at as the construction of thought processes from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. This thought process includes everything from problem-solving to memory to decision-making and it all starts with childhood. And while it continues into adulthood, it is the early years that set us up for the future.

Believe it or not, cognitive development begins as early as one month into life. At this time, the infant will be capable of watching people when spoken to. Skip ahead to the second month and the baby can even smile at familiar persons who speak to them and will begin to follow moving persons with their eyes.

After four months of life a baby will begin to show interest in its bottle, the breast for feeding, familiar toys and any new surroundings that may be nearby. They are essentially getting comfortable with familiar sightings. This only grows stronger at five months as they will finally recognize themselves in the mirror and get a chuckle or two. At this point they will also look for fallen objects.

Six months into cognitive development they become easily amused by imitating others when sticking out your tongue or laughing at the peekaboo game. And while they are comfortable with friends and family members, they may actually show signs of shyness around strangers.

At seven months they will respond to their own name and try to establish contact with a person by coughing or making a noise. Eight months comes response to “no” while nine months they have actually lived long enough to express their likes and dislikes. They show excitement and interest in foods or toys that are well-liked.

Ten months is when your baby will finally understand some of the words you have to say and will actually wave bye-bye and hold its arms or legs out for dressing. As for the big one year, they may kiss on request and can understand some “where is…?” questions.

Cognitive development with children only accelerates from here as they will begin to ask for objects by pointing at 15 months and can even feed themselves. Unfortunately, negativism also sets in.

At 18 months they will mimic familiar adult activities and understand what some of the body parts are. They can obey two or three simple orders depending on what they may be. As you skip ahead to two years of age, they can draw with crayons, participate in parallel play and can name a few familiar objects.

Their peak of negativism will emerge around 2 ½ years, which is when they take interest in sex organs as well. At 3 years you can expect a number of questions as they express what happened. 4 years their imagination is flowing as they make up silly words and stories. And by 5 years of age they can recognize and reproduce many shapes, letters and numbers.