Cognitive skills are crucial for the overall development of a child, especially at preschooler age. Various things like language learning, usage, thought process, memory development etc. come under its preview. The child also learns to be aware of his surroundings in a logical way and slowly and gradually augments his knowledge store, which is essential for his further development.
There should be a conscious effort on part of teachers as well as parents regarding the development of cognitive skills and activities when the child is still at play school. Games and plays especially designed for this purpose contributes a lot to improve cognitive abilities. Following are some activities to improve cognitive skills in preschoolers:
Puzzles come in handy for this purpose. Puzzles involving various things like alphabets, numbers, colors etc. attract the children very much and they get a chance to develop their thought process. When a child holds something, it kindles his imagination as to its shape, color, use etc. This is the very basis of human curiosity and discovery.
Role Play is also a very important technique. The miniature versions of doctor’s clinic, food, kitchen, factory, house etc. help to build the imagination of children to a great extent. Their mind develops the concept of images and children begin to associate specific movements/activities with particular things/characters.
Memory Development is also a technique in which children are stimulated to recall things so that they can learn to ‘think at a distance’. When a child is able to recall the function/activity of a particular thing, it’s marked well in his mind. So, make it a point that you don’t throw away old toys/puzzles of your children but keep on placing them before your child from time to time.
Similarly Rhymes or Educational songs involving everyday activities also leave a deep impression on your kid’s mind and help develop his cognitive skills to a large extent. Music has a great effect on human beings. This is quite evident when children try to copy the actions of cartoon characters that are involved in rhymes. Children get very exited and tend to jump, dance, smile, laugh and make faces while watching such rhymes.
The same goes for songs that are specifically made to teach counting / alphabet to children. Finger toys and puppets are also very much liked by children and they go a log way in increasing their creative capability. Moreover, children are able to hold these puppets (alive things for them) and this leads to loss of fear for a new thing. This loss of fear/ inhibition is vital to new learning.
With the help of Playful learning, children are able to follow the dictates of their instincts in addition to satisfying their curiosity. Well-developed instincts only lead to enhanced cognitive ability. It becomes all the more necessary to choose such a play school where proper emphasis is given on different kinds of activities. Some playschools just tend to look after children. This is not what is expected of a good play school. It becomes the responsibility of the parents to give a surprise visit to the playschool so that they become conversant with the reality.