The 1st Year
Cognitive development is the development of an individual’s thoughts and intelligence. Babies begin to recognize objects at various times during infancy. Everything that Baby learns now sets the stage for later development.
In the first year of development, Baby will be able to focus and follow moving objects with his or her eyes. Peek-A-Boo will become a favourite game with Baby. Baby becomes interested in big and colourful pictures in books, and will learn quickly as you introduce new things to Baby everyday. Baby will also learn to imitate your actions.
The 2nd Year
Up to the age of two, your toddler will learn through exploration. For example, Toddler will try to activate a toy car by pushing the ‘on’ button.
By two years, Toddler begins to identify 2 to 3 primary colours and understand the concept of size by identifying which is the bigger of two wooden blocks.
Your toddler will begin to recognize his or her own reflection when looking at photographs during this period. Toddler will also imitate sounds, match toys to pictures and models, and will learn to bring the basket from the kitchen if requested to do so.
The 3rd Year
By the age of three, your child should be able to recognize the photos of yourself and perhaps two more familiar people.
Toddler also knows his or her own gender and can tell the difference between a boy, girl, man and woman. Your toddler now understands the implications when you say ‘no’, and will show a reaction through facial expressions or verbal and physical gestures.
Out of sight is also no longer out of mind for the toddler. So if you try to hide your child’s favourite toy from his or her view, your toddler will know that the toy is still there, just that it is out of his or her view.
Other than being able to match and sort primary colours, Toddler will also progress to sorting simple shapes (e.g. circles, squares and triangular objects).
Although a toddler’s attention span is still pretty short, toddlers this age will pay attention if you read them their favourite stories. In fact, they will begin to remember details in familiar stories, and let you know if you have missed out a part.
Completion of a simple 3-4 piece puzzle is also no big feat to the toddler now.
The 4th Year
At this age, your child is beginning to acquire skills necessary for school.
By now your child will learn to count and understand numbers. And your child will have learnt about shapes and be able to sort different objects according to shapes, sizes and lengths.
When shown a picture of a dog, your child will have the reasoning skills to tell you that it is a picture of a dog and that its tail is missing! When playing with other children, your child will also be able to observe and describe what others are doing.
The 5th Year
Your child will now be able to do simple problem sums if you draw pictures to help him or her. Your child can now start to identify and count up to 10 and tell you which object is biggest, smallest or longest.
Expect that your child will start sorting, matching and selecting at least 5 items based on appearance, functions and categories. Do not be surprised if your child is also able to explain the different categories and why a particular object belongs to a category!
You will notice an improvement in your child’s ability to concentrate on any task on hand, even with some minor distractions in the background (such as some noise from the television).
Do not be amazed if your child is now able to sequence pictures in a logical order, and come up with a suitable ending to a story!
The 6th Year
Your child is now armed with many skills and getting ready for school. Your child becomes a problem-solver and is able to make judgments related to time, speed, size, length, weight and distance. So don’t be surprised to hear your child say ‘Mummy, I am ready to go out!’ after putting on his or her socks and shoes.
Your child can now answer literal and interpretative questions about the story he or she is familiar with.
Expect that you child will be able to count up to 100; your child is ready for simple addition and subtraction math sums.
Your child will also be able to name today in relation to yesterday and tomorrow, and even tell you it is now half past six and that it is time for dinner!