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Cognitive Development

Help your child's brain grow! Teach thinking, concentration, pre-math skills, pre-reading skills, and language.

Math for Kids: Seriation Seriation is putting things in size order, either big-to-small or small-to-big. Children need to learn this concept of looking at something and picking out which item is bigger or smaller. Be sure to go in the same order each time. (Always from bigger to smaller or the other way, but don’t go back and forth. Keep it clear for them.) When teaching seriation, it’s best to use all the same color items. When teaching size or quantity, lots of color can confuse the children as to exactly what you are comparing. If the items being compared are all the same color, the child is clear it is size that is being differentiated. To prepare for the two steps in teaching seriation, you will need a big square and a little square. You can use a brightly colored cardboard box. (You may be able to get some free from a grocery store.)...
How To Get The Brain Wired For Math If a child is not understand math, you can play games to get the brain ready for math. If you need to start over with the basics again with an older child, just be aware of using materials that won’t belittle a child (sand, clay). The object is to get the information into the brain through auditory, tactile, and other methods. If the “highways” aren’t working, use “back roads”- it still gets you there! Three Principles for Getting the Brain Ready for Math Stable Order Principle – When you’re counting, the numbers have to be said in a fixed order: “One, two, three, four, etc.” Not “Three, five, two, seven…” Preschoolers often don’t have this concept yet. One-to-One Correspondence – Each item you’re counting gets a number and only one number. You can practice this when going up stairs. Children may at first use many numbers per step. Have them step...

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Imagination Expanded If you’ve been following our blog posts, you will have seen the last one on the topic of pretending. It was about when pretending might start in your wee ones, why, and some implications to consider. In this post, we’d like to list out some practical ways to increase the development of your child’s imagination. We will give concrete ideas and ways to play together. First, though, a reminder: when your wee ones start to develop imagination, be aware that little brains work differently than adult brains. (Children are not simply like adults, but small; they are different.) Little minds do not have the experiences, memories, words, or even wiring to imagine what adults find easy to imagine. This one observation has at least two practical implications: One, when helping your child imagine something, it is helpful to engage and develop all of their senses as well as all the words...
When Can Your Child Start Pretending? Out of Sight, Out of Mind – from birth to 6 months Out of sight, out of mind. That’s what the brain of a baby from birth to six months will be processing when the baby sees something. At around seven months old, the brain and how it develops changes to be able to hold on to an image. So if you hide something from your child, they may briefly look for it. But then they’re on to something else that they can see. These developmental stages are important to know about when we think about pretending with our kids. To be able to pretend one needs to be able to hold on to a picture or action in the mind. Object Permanence – from 8 to 12 months Around about eight months of age a child is beginning to know that things still exist even when they cannot see the...

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Children tend to not handle change well. Their brain has trouble shifting gears, similar to a railway car in need of assistance to shift tracks. Some children are better with change than others. This is based on personality or temperament. But regardless of their personality or temperament, there are ways we can help our children learn to deal with life’s inevitable challenges that come with change.       They need routines. If you can have a fairly stable routine (e.g. “This is what we do at this time of day…”), children tend to relax and exhale at the thought of knowing what is coming next.       They need rules/expectations that are consistent, that they can count on. Children need to know what is expected of them and that it is not going to change. If you make a rule, try your best to stick with it. Yes, new rules will happen at...