Cognitive Development Activities

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Cognitive Development Activity for Infant Room: In and Out Game

An activity that will be incorporated into the infant room is the In and Out game. The In and Out game is essentially the caregiver placing an object or toy into a box or container so that it cannot be seen by the infant and then taking the object back out again. This activity lends itself to Piaget’s theory of object permanence which states that children in the sensorimotor stage (0 to 24 months) of development are developing an awareness that objects and/or people do not cease to exist when they are out of sight (Mossler, 2014). This activity will aid in cognitive development and establishing object permanence with familiar toys and objects. This game can also be expanded to allowing the infant to either place the toy in the box and/or retrieve it and grab it out of the box. This would serve to enhance their sensory motor skills which are developing in this stage as well.

Cognitive Development Activity for Early Childhood Room: Pretend Play with Little People Characters

The early childhood room will include pretend play with Little People dolls. There are various Little People dolls available, from familiar Disney characters to occupation themed dolls, to animals. A variety of dolls and genders will be provided so that the children can engage using different characters. This age is known as Piaget’s pre-operational stage and lasts from about ages two to seven (Mossler, 2014). At this age, “egocentrism declines and children begin to enjoy the participation of another child in their games” (McLeod, 2007, par. 14). The idea of multiple characters fosters cognitive development and growth as the child will begin to see more than one perspective through the dolls. This activity also promotes psychosocial development as more than one child can be involved in the activity which will enhance social skills.

Cognitive Development Activity for Adolescent Room: Cooking and/or Baking from Recipes

In the adolescent room, children can help out in the kitchen making food or can help put together recipes for things like slime or homemade Play-Doh. At this stage, children are moving from Piaget’s concrete stage to the formal operations stage. This means that they are beginning to transition from understanding simple concrete rules to understanding hypothetical instances. There are a few of Piaget’s concepts that can be applied when creating from recipes, one of which is conservation. Conservation is the notion that properties of something such as its volume or mass do not change even when its appearance changes, for instance, if it’s placed in a taller or smaller container (Mossler, 2014). By using different measuring tools, such as measuring cups and spoons, children can start to grasp this concept. 

Furthermore, they can start to hypothesize different situations like what might happen if they added more or less of an ingredient. This kind of cognitive development can be encouraged by allowing kids to make their own culinary creations, for example, everyone works together to make pizza dough, then they are allowed to add their own toppings. This activity can be modified in many different ways to allow to psychosocial development as well as cognitive growth.


McLeod, S. A. (2007, February 5). Preoperational stage. Retrieved from

Mossler, R. A. (2014). Child and adolescent development (2nd ed.). Retrieved from