Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development Toy Evaluation

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

The theory of cognitive development maintains that there are four stages of cognitive development that occur sequentially. These steps are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages. Piaget proposed four critical features of these phases. First, they always follow the same order; secondly, no aspect is ever missed; third, each period is a vital revolution of the step before it, and lastly, the advanced stage incorporates the previous phases into itself (Molitor, 2013, p. This paper explores the critical elements of Piaget's stages of cognitive development and how the choice of children's toys can contribute to the developmental phases. Examples and descriptions of these toys are also outlined. Sensorimotor stage In Piaget's theory, cognitive development begins at the sensorimotor phase. It is the period from birth to the age of two where infants operate using their senses and small motor movements (Molitor, 2013, p. Infants continually touch, bite, look at, listen to, and manipulate objects. These actions allow them to learn and make sense of the world around them. The main milestone of this phase is that infants acquire object permanence. This concept means that they are aware that an object still exists even if it is not in sight (Bremner & Lewis, 2006, p. There are six substages during this phase. The first substage is reflex acts. The child responds to the outside world with innate reflexes (Bremner & Lewis, 2006, p. For instance, they tend to suck reflexively when a hand gently brushes their cheek. The second sub-stage is primary circular reactions where a neonate repeats pleasurable activities concentrated on itself such as sucking the thumb (Rathus & Longmuir, 2015, p.

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The secondary circular reaction comes third and continues for about 4-8 months. Infants repeat actions that cause pleasure with the help of objects and their body parts such as shaking a rattle to enjoy the sound that it produces. Co-ordinating secondary schemes falls in the fourth position among the six substages (Rathus & Longmuir, 2015, p. The blocks are multicolored and very eye-catching. The toy, therefore, helps to foster sensory stimulation through the different block colors and textures as the child looks at, touches, and manipulates it at his or her pleasure. The building blocks also keep the child cognitively engaged rather than being inactive all the time. In my experience with toys at this age, I have observed a neighbor's one-year-old baby playing with a rattle. This toy is a small, colorful, round object with a handle that is filled with small pellets such that it produces a sound when shaken.

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The best toys for this stage would be those that allow room for creativity where a child can build an adventure. For example, the Zoob bot. This gadget will enable kids to develop their robots from scratch. The game kit has forty-nine zoob parts, two wheels and four tires, a two-wheeled motor, light-up eyes, and guidelines to assemble four robots. The zoob bot allows children to engage their imagination as they create any robots of their choice. The child gains more adeptness at activities that entail logical reasoning, deduction, and induction, differentiating realities from fantasies, categorization of objects by class, spatial thought, devising judgments about cause and effect, and knowledge of numbers. Moreover, youngsters begin to exhibit a logical comprehension of the conservative principle. This concept refers to the understanding that fundamental properties of an article stay the same even if the physical appearance changes.

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For example, children in this age group understand that the quantity of a liquid remains unaltered even if the storage container is replaced. Also, the child begins shedding off the egocentrism of earlier stages (Houdé, 2000, p. People can apply learned information to different situations and engage in problem-solving. Additionally, they can approach and solve problems analytically by making hypotheses and systematically test them out. Furthermore, children can combine information and come up with better ideas regarding different subjects (Rathus & Longmuir, 2015, p. They also portray independence and irreversibility which means that they cannot go back to starting points. For instance, unlike younger kids who may take the same road home every day because they have mastered the starting and end points, older children can figure out other shortcuts. The toy also enhanced isolation which is not good at this age as kids need to engage and communicate with others to enhance their social skills.

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Conclusion Even though this fact is sometimes ignored, the choice of toys plays a crucial role in the cognitive development of children. Piaget's stages of cognitive development outline the developmental milestones of children in each phase. This concept, therefore, becomes easier to apply while choosing toys for each child. For that reason, parents, caregivers, and even educators should put this into consideration and be selective in the toys they present to their young ones. Developmental psychology I: Perceptual and cognitive development : Infant perceptual and cognitive development. London: SAGE. Houdé, O. Inhibition and cognitive development: object, number, categorization, and reasoning. Cognitive Development, 15(1), 63-73. The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 179-184. doi:10. wbeccp078 Rathus, S.  A. Longmuir, S.

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