Activities to Promote Cognitive Development in Toddlers

Children during their initial stages of development are able to thrive when provided with opportunities to explore new information and experiences independently. 

In fact, the best way to describe a tiny toddler is by referring to them as active, curious, and definitely energetic. 

Toddlers develop an innate interest in understanding the world and want to establish their independence willingly. 

During the toddler stage of development, the child begins to recognize themselves as separate entities and are able to identify themselves in the mirror or in a picture. 

Associating cognitive development and the education of basic cognitive skills with early childhood development can be quite unconventional, however, these skills are paramount for the toddler’s development process. 

Cognitive activities allow your tiny toddler to broaden their horizons and develop the ability to understand, comprehend, communicate, and enhance their creative imagination. 

Activities that promote cognitive development in toddlers allow your tiny tots to venture out and engage in meaningful activities that bring about several learning opportunities to help develop their preliminary skills.

If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver of a tiny toddler looking for fun and exciting Cognitive activities to incorporate, look no further. 

Below will be a list of some of the best activities to promote cognitive development in toddlers.

When Does Cognitive Development in Children Begin?

Learning begins in children as soon as they are born and children begin to reach appropriate milestones in terms of cognitive skills as they grow up.

The child starts to develop an understanding of the world based on their senses as soon as they are born. 

Infants and toddlers are able to learn important communication skills by imitating their adults like their parents or their immediate caregivers. 

Children from the stages of infancy to adulthood are developing new cognitive skills to think, communicate, read, learn, talk, remember, and pay attention. 

Cognitive skills help individuals process incoming information or stimuli and categorize the information in the appropriate areas of the brain.

What are the Major Cognitive Milestones for Toddlers?

According to the renowned Swiss Psychologist Jean Piaget, children when they reach their toddler stage also reach their sensorimotor stage. 

The sensorimotor stage is among the first stages of cognitive development in children when the infant or toddler is between the ages of 0 to 24 months

During the sensorimotor stage, both gross motor skills and sensory development allow children to develop their cognitive skills. 

If you are a curious and vigilant parent of a tiny toddler willing to learn if your child is reaching age-appropriate milestones, we’ve got you covered. 

Here is a list of some age-appropriate milestones your child reaches during their toddler stage of development:

  • Between the ages of 9 to 12 months, the child is able to independently crawl, sit up, stand, and walk with support. 
  • Between the ages of 1 to 2 years of age, the child is able to differentiate between “self” and the “other” or “me” and “you”
  • In fact, a one-year-old child develops a better understanding of the world than they did during the stage of infancy. 
  • Toddlers between the ages of 2 and 3 years the child begin to establish their independence and actively explore their surrounding environment.
  • Toddlers are able to identify themselves in their mirrors
  • The toddler is able to identify different objects in a book or in pictures
  • Toddlers are able to sort different objects based on their size, shape, and color
  • Lastly, toddlers are also able to build towers by using building blocks

A List of the Best Activities to Promote Cognitive Development in Toddlers:

During the toddler stage of early childhood development, the child requires ample opportunities to expand their horizons to develop an understanding of the world. 

In fact, children during this stage of development require activities that promote cognitive development by enhancing the child’s critical thinking, problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, creative imagination, memory, and attention span. 

If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver looking for fun Activities that not only stimulate learning but also facilitate Cognitive Development, look no further. 

Here is a list of some of the best Activities that help promote cognitive development in toddlers:

Sorting Activities:

Sorting activities are among the best ways to develop essential cognitive skills like critical thinking, categorizing, identifying, and recognizing skills. 

Sorting skills also help children develop their fine motor skills as it allows children to manipulate and maneuver objects. 

Allow your toddler to partake in fun sorting activities by promoting them to sort items based on their shapes, sizes, and colors. 

Matching Activities:

Matching activities are another fun and engaging activity for toddlers that help them develop their basic cognitive skills. 

In fact, matching activities are an engaging way of enhancing your child’s memory and improving their attention span. 

You can use pairs or similar objects or matching activity puzzles to allow the child to identify and categorize. 

Sing-along Activities:

Singing-along activities are another fun way of developing your tiny toddler’s sensorimotor skills and cognitive skills. 

In fact, sing-along activities not only develop the child’s cognitive skills but also help develop the child’s social and emotional skills.

Practice Recognizing Animal Sounds:

This fun and exciting cognitive activity for toddlers helps them enhance their memory, auditory sense, and their attention span. 

Furthermore, this fun cognitive activity helps the child rapidly learn new sounds and develop their vocabulary. 

Arts and Crafts Activities:

Arts and crafts activities are among the best ways of developing your child’s creative imagination. 

Allow your toddler to take reign over their imagination and promote them to draw mold, cut color, and paint the artwork of their dreams.

Playing with Cause and effect toys:

Cause-and-effect toys are the best way of promoting your child’s cognitive development. 

These amazing and simple toys allow your child to learn that their actions have a corresponding reaction.

Letters and Number Games:

Letters and numbers are the foundation for developing the child’s mathematical and language skills. 

Promote your child to learn the alphabet through the alphabet song or allow them to learn numbers by using magnetic numbers. 

Playing Outside:

Playing activities not only promote gross motor development in children but believe it or not they also help develop their cognitive skills. 

Help your child acquaint themselves with the natural world that surrounds them as well as develop the requisite skills to maneuver through the natural surroundings. 

Outdoor play activities also help children develop their problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and sportsmanship. 

Tactile Activities:

Tactile activities not only promote sensory development in children but also allows them to develop their cognitive skills. 

Promote your child to indulge in unique tactile experiences by touching and feeling different textured fabrics or tactile toys. 

Scavenger Hunt:

Scavenger hunt activity is a great way of developing their gross motor skills and emotional skills as well as their cognitive skills. 

Allow your child to partake in a fun and engaging activity by hiding simple objects in your home and giving them a helping sheet to find the said objects. 

This fun cognitive activity promotes children to develop their critical thinking, problem-solving skills, memory, and their attention span. 

Indulge in Daily Routines:

Daily routines are among the best ways of allowing your child to develop qualities like structure and order. 

Promote your child to establish their independence by prompting them to partake in simple daily routines like dressing themselves, picking their outfits, showering, or brushing their teeth.