Children Cognitive Development and Toys

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According to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, in the early ages, infants are strictly aware of the matters that are immediately in front of them. Children solely focus on what they see, physical interactions with the instant environment and what they do as per that period. The first sub-stage of infancy according to Piaget lasts from the time the infant is born up to around 1month is reflexive activity. This is the stage where a child engages in reflexive activities such as sucking on breasts and bottle when given. Through such reflexive activities, babies hold learning about the surrounding and how they can interact with it, and it must be noted that in this stage babies do not think about how to carry out the reflexive activities but it is automatic. The second sub-stage for infants is primary circular reactions that take place between the age of 1 to 4 months. In this period, babies purposefully repeat actions that pleasure them and gives them desired outcomes (Samartzi, 2011). Babies in this stage also begin to develop expectancy from different situations.
The secondary circular reaction is the next sub-stage, and it lasts from age 4 to 8 months where babies start repeating actions on external objects that bring desired outcomes and pleasure to them. The focus in this stage of infancy is to the environment for the babies rather than body. Between ages 8 to 12 months, the stage for babies is coordination of secondary schemes where the babies begin showing intentional means-end behavior. That is babies start putting together different activities with the aim of achieving a goal such as mimicking, clapping when someone else does the same. Ages 12 to 18 months represents the tertiary circular reactions sub-stage where infants continue exploring their surrounding and experiment to see how things work out (Rochat, 2014). It is also at this stage that babies develop object permanence realizing that objects can be moved from their sight but still exist. The final sub-stage is between ages 18 to 30 months which is the representational thought sub-stage. At this period of infancy, babies start being symbol oriented where they create general images of numerous things in their minds and retain the images as examples of objects. For the information processing approach, children thinking is not systematic and does not follow the stages as Piaget suggests in his theory. Thinking of children is a computational process that involves various complex developments.

Part 2

Appropriate toys for infants differ from one age group to another. For young infant babies prefer bright colors and faces because they like looking at people who are moving (Stokes, 2015). Appropriate toys for babies of 6 months include unbreakable mirrors, pictures of faces that hung, recordings of simple songs and lullabies, soft dolls, squeeze toys, textured balls, and rattles.
For older infants of age 7 to 12 months, they are movers since they roll, bounce, creep and scoot. Good toys for such older infants include things to build such as wooden cubes and large soft blocks, baby dolls, water toys, puppets, wood and plastic vehicles containing wheels (Oncu & Unluer, 2012).
1-year olds can comfortably walk and climb stairs, and they like experimenting (Stokes, 2015). Appropriate toys for such kids include photographs of real objects or board books containing simple illustrations, recordings with simple stories, toy phones, dolls, toys for doings things such as those with lids, knobs, and switches.
For 2 to 3-year-olds, there is unique characteristic where they are learning the language and can easily sense danger. However, these babies love being physical testing by jumping, hanging over objects, rolling and climbing which gives them good control of their fingers and hands. For this reason, 2 to 3-year-olds should be given toys for solving problems such as objects to sort, wood puzzles, things with hooks, snaps, buckles, buttons. CD and DVD players containing a variety of music, picture books, things to create with such as fingerpaint, washable markers and crayons that are non-toxic (Oncu et al. 2012).

References

Oncu, E., & Unluer, E. (2012). Preschooler's Views About Gender-Related Games and Toys. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 5924-5927. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.08.006
Ormond, J., (2012) "an Essential of Education Psychology: the Big Idea of Effective Teaching," Pearson Education Inc. Boston
Rochat, P. (2014). Early social cognition: Understanding others in the first months of life. Psychology Press.
Samartzi, S. (2011). Children's Cognitive Development of Lived-Experienced Time And Physical Time. Studia Psychologica, 53(3), 307-311.
Stokes, B. (2015). Your self-motivated baby: Enhance your baby's social and cognitive development in the first six months through movement.

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