Skip to Content
Around age 6, children begin to change the way they think about the
world. They leave behind the preschooler's
egocentric thinking and begin developing more mature
ways of understanding.
A typical first-grader is able to perform simple addition and
subtraction, and he or she usually begins to read and write sentences. These tasks
require that the child consider information from several sources, evaluate it,
and come up with an interpretation.
These cognitive abilities continue to evolve over the next 4 to 5
years as the child does increasingly complex, sequential, and symbol-based
tasks, such as interpreting the context of a paragraph and composing stories.
With these new cognitive skills, the appreciation of humor and word games
Board games are a great way to enhance cognitive development. Games
that use memory skills, such as checkers, tic-tac-toe, and hangman, are
especially useful. Don't worry if your child "needs" to win games while playing
with you. But also help your child learn games that he or she can play alone,
such as memory matching.
Children this age are also now able to think of themselves in more
sophisticated ways. This more advanced thinking brings about comparisons to
others, self-examination, and changing self-concept and self-esteem.
Still, reasoning is immature. In the kindergarten and early
elementary school years, children's reasoning is tied to the here and now. They
are not good at problem solving because it requires
abstract thinking, the ability to imagine other
perspectives or alternatives, and the ability to anticipate needs and actions.
For example, children in this age group usually do not fully understand the
concept of time. They may know that dinosaurs lived on Earth more than 200,000
years ago but do not really understand the vast time span between then and now.
But cognitive skills mature rapidly and problem solving advances
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2016 Rush-Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)