From the very moment they are born, children are immersed in a highly social world. This includes parents, siblings, classmates, and teachers as well as values and objects that are part of their culture. All of these offer a context for the cognitive development and growth of a child.
Preschooler’s thinking skills will undergo many changes between the ages of three and five. Their ability to use representational symbols and thoughts to symbolize events, objects, and people, which started in childhood is now becoming much more complex. They start to use logic to think about why and how the world around them works.
Despite the major cognitive gains during the preschool years, they are actually not little adults and still have lots of cognitive limitations. Preschool teachers play a major role in the cognitive development of preschoolers. By having an understanding of these advances and limitations in thinking, teachers are better able to support the cognitive growth of preschoolers.
One of the best ways for teachers to engage the thinking skills of preschoolers is by reading quality children’s books that promote things like problem solving, reasoning, metacognitive knowledge, symbolic play, social cognition, knowledge, and memory. Following, you will find a few teaching methods, recommendations for books, and activities that you can use in your classroom to encourage cognitive development.