4 Stages of Intellectual Development In Children

It is easy to track a child’s physical growth, but not so easy to track his or her mental growth. The intellectual development of early childhood is divided into phases by the famous psychologist, Piaget. Lets have a look at the definition and the stages as well in this article.

What Is Intellectual Development In Children?

Intellectual development in children happens quickly using the kind of experiences that they gain. With time and experience, their memory, problem-solving skills, reasoning and thinking abilities get honed and developed.

4 Stages Of Intellectual Development In Children:

The cognitive and intellectual development of a child is marked by certain activities and patterns that we can recognize if we know them. There are four distinct stages of intellectual development of a child that have been specified by Piaget, stated below.

1. Sensory-Motor Stage:

This is the period of 0 to 2 years of age where certain activities are observed in a child that marks his or her growth of mental faculties.

  • The first two months are marked by very elementary motor movements such as sucking and grasping. This is the reflexive stage.
    • The next two months are marked by repetitive motions. This is the stage of primary circular reactions.
  • The 4 to 8 months phase sees the child repeating movements with consequence like making a hanging toy over the crib move by touching or kicking it. This is the stage of secondary circular reactions.
  • By the time the child is one year old, you will see his or her movements become more complex. This stage is the coordination of secondary reactions.
  • The next six months will see the child discover new ways to do the same task. You may find your child pulling a pillow to take a toy kept on it without directly taking it.This comprises the tertiary circular reactions.
  • At the age of two years, the child starts to show signs of solving simple activity related problems mentally before executing the actions. This is the invention of new means through mental combination.

2. Pre-Operational Period:

This early childhood intellectual development phase lasts from 2 to 7 years of age and is marked by the following developments in the child.

  • From the age of 2 to 4 years, language skills of the child develop. His or her speech, however, is not highly logical. The child can recall and talk about objects that are not presently in sight. This is the pre-operational phase.
  • The age from four to seven years sees the child develop his speaking skills. The talk makes more sense and the child is able to recognize and use simple logic.
  • Games with simple rules are comprehensible to the child now. This is the intuitive phase.

3. Period Of Concrete Operations:

This intellectual child development stage comprises of the mental growth taking place in the child from the age of 7 to 12 years.

  • The child is now able to understand logical patterns and also use them. The mental faculties are now taking a turn towards solid understanding and cognition of what is to be done for what.
  • The child is able to understand categories now and can also solve problems logically and correctly.

4. Period Of Formal Operations:

This is the period of development that takes place from the age of 12 years and above.

  • It is in this final stage of intellectual development that the child is able to start understanding and thinking about abstract concepts.
  • Logic and deductive reasoning becomes comprehensible to the child. Complex logical and abstract sequences becomes easy for the child to think about and apply in problem-solving.

A child’s mental as well as physical growth is highly accelerated in the initial years of his or her life. You need to remember that every child is different in his own way. Do not put unnecessary pressure on your darling. Let your child develop his skills on his own and enjoy the stages of growth!

We hope this article answers all your queries about cognitive and intellectual development of children. If you have anything to add to it, we shall love to hear from you.

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