At the age of two, toddlers' cognitive skills transform: they are less reliant on the concrete world, and can envision abstract ideas, images and scenarios – using their improved mental representations of objects and events. In other words, your baby can now imagine the candy in the pantry and try to get to it without the need to actually first see it there to verify its existence.
At 18 months, your baby already knows a lot about how to classify objects. Watch as she sees a ball in a book and runs to her room to get a real one. She may spend hours separating objects into different categories, which are then rearranged and re-categorized again and again; toys categorized according to color may be later reshuffled into groups of shape or size. These developments help your baby to be more flexible in her thinking and encourage creative approaches to problem solving.
The Roller Coaster of Cognitive Development
Bear in mind that child development does not follow a straight and narrow continuum; it's much more like a roller coaster. Interests change, acquired knowledge or skills may seem to disappear and reappear without any rhyme or reason. Cognitive development is individual and based on innate natural abilities, the environment your baby is brought up in and the various experiences he or she is exposed to. By providing an enriching environment that stimulates and entices your baby with a wide variety of activities, along with your support and encouragement, you will help promote your baby’s cognitive development.
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When you speak to your baby, use specific terms that relate to his space. Try not to use “here” or “there,” but rather “the toy is on the table,” “it’s in the box,” or “it is behind the door.”
Draw his attention to the colors and shapes of toys and objects, and the type and textures.
Encourage your baby’s curiosity, especially when he seems to have “failed” at a task. Try not to be critical so you don’t inhibit him from trying again.
Looks for a desired object or toy in more than one area or hiding place.
Can search for a toy in a place she left it days before.
Places round and square-shaped blocks in their proper slots.
Any advice and information provided in this website is given as suggestions only and should not be taken as a professional medical diagnosis or opinion. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent.