How to boost cognitive development of babies from 12 to 18 months

Cognition is concerned with how we come to know the world around us. Cognition deals with the development of thought and knowledge. The development of cognition enables the individual to adapt to surroundings and situations. With the development of thought, the person is able to understand and handle situations with greater effectiveness. Learning through association and discrimination, remembering, problem solving, imitating, reasoning, understanding what is expected of one-are all aspects of cognition or intelligence. Besides these mental processes, cognition also involves concept formation and symbolizing.

At the age of 12 to 18 months, a child typically

  • Learns to look for things that are hidden, however he/she will still enjoy a game of peek-a-boo
  • Finds things in pictures when asked.
  • Learns about the world by touching and moving objects.
  • Expects events to follow routines
  • Beginning to be predictable based on prompts and may explore further
  • Follows simple directions, such as “Come and show me the ball.”
  • Needs encouragement at this age to play with other children, they seem to be more inclined to play in parallel and often resist sharing and interacting with their peers
  • Begins to model the behaviour of both the adults and children they are associating with
  • May still have the need for emotional support or the comfort of a cuddle toy or cloth, especially in unfamiliar surroundings
  • Starts showing signs of independent play

What can be done to boost the cognitive activity during this period?

In addition to playing with toys and books, encourage your toddler to make music and dance.

You can also support your toddler’s cognitive development by the below methods:

  • Talking about events and people your toddler remembers.
  • Counting things together in books and then finding those things in your home.
  • Pointing out colours and shapes.
  • Giving your toddler simple directions: “Put your truck and doll in the toy box, please.”
  • Making special books with your toddler and enjoying them together.
  • Reading books with your toddler and encouraging him/her to talk about and point to the pictures.
  • Short stories can encourage listening, but visual aids will enhance their comprehension, use of pretend phone or interactive talking toys etc would be help.
  • Singing a favourite rhyme or song encourages language development and can be a great tool for communication, creativity and expressing themselves
  • Read to your child for at least twenty minutes of per day. While looking at a book, ask him questions such as: “Where is Thomas, the tank engine?”
  • Talk about shapes, colors, and numbers all day long. “That’s a round, red ball.” “We have only one chocolate left.” “Let’s find your yellow shirt.”
  • Teach your toddler the names of his body parts and then ask him to point to his nose, eyes, ears, etc.
  • Play games with instructions. Your child is increasingly able to follow simple directions and will be so proud of himself when he can do what you ask. This can include bringing the plates, cups etc.

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