Understanding his surroundings and solving problems is not easy for your toddler. By playing and talking with you, he will gradually develop his thinking skills.
The reasoning is complicated for a toddler. He has to think about a situation or a problem, identify the important elements, and make connections between them. He also has to find solutions and put himself in other people’s shoes to understand their point of view… However, as he learns and his brain develops, reasoning becomes easier for him.
When a child can reason well, it’s easier for them to relate to others and solve problems. They can also better control their emotions. When children think about a situation and understand it well, they can better adapt to their reactions.
A child begins to develop reasoning skills at a very early age. A baby who has fun making sounds with objects or repeatedly dropping a toy is already thinking a little. He understands that his gesture gives a result.
Good reasoning will help your child succeed later in school.
As for the 2-year-old toddler who approaches a chair to take cookies from the table, he’s already solving a small problem.
Around 4 or 5 years old, the child starts to be able to think about more complicated problems. For example, he can take into account two or three things or what other people think.
To help your child, read stories, let them explore their surroundings, and give them a variety of play materials. You can also ask your child’s opinion on small things, ask questions that start with “why” or “how” and make him or her think aloud. When they are experiencing a small difficulty, encourage them to think of other solutions or ways of doing things.
Before 2 years
- Play “cuckoo hiding your face behind your hands.
- In front of your child, hide an object under a piece of cloth, then ask him to look for it.
- Give your child objects that fit together, various containers, cubes to stack… and to drop!
- Give him different textures: soft, smooth, rough, soft…
2 to 3 years old
- Make him do puzzles. Increase the number of pieces when it gets too easy.
- Give him measuring cups for him to play with. For example: ask your child to place them from the largest to the smallest.
- Offer to play with them to find the element that is different from the others. For example a pencil in the middle of the fruit.
- Have him make associations. For example: ask them to find blue or yellow objects in a room, to sort objects by size or color. As your child improves, increase the difficulty by combining two things (e.g., red and small objects).
3 years to 5 years
- Play memory games with him. For example, a game in which you turn over cards to find the two images that are the same.
- Ask him questions when you read a story: “What do you think will happen?”, “What would you have done if you were the character?”, etc.
- Play riddles and reverse the roles so that your child can also make you guess something.
- Play construction games with him.
- Imagine a story together: one begins and the other continues it.
- Encourage him to find different ways to use objects: cardboard box, cubes, empty yogurt pot…
What hinders the development of reasoning
A child with little stimulation and few opportunities to interact with others may have more difficulty developing thinking skills. The same is true for a child who is overprotected and limited in his need to explore around him. Language difficulties can also slow down the development of reasoning, as reasoning involves a lot of talking. However, this should improve as language develops.
- When a child is stimulated and has a variety of experiences, they develop their thinking skills.
- Talk with your child, read stories, let them explore where they live, and give them a variety of materials to play with. This will help them develop their thinking skills.
- Good thinking skills will help children understand situations better and relate better to others.
- By playing and talking with you, your child learns to think and solve problems.