Cognitive Development Activities

Cognitive Development Activities

PSY 104


  • Cognitive Development Activities
  • There are many activities to incorporate into the classroom that help in the cognitive development of children. The activities I have chosen are the treasure hunt for the infant room, “if your happy and you know it” for the early childhood room, and which one is missing for the adolescent room. These activities focus mainly on the age of the child and the four stages of development “sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete stage, and the formal stage.” These are different stages of development that a child goes through upon maturity. Incorporating age-appropriate and cognitive developmental activities into the classroom is an excellent way for the children to learn and develop positively and educationally.
  • Cognitive Development Activity for Infant Room: Treasure Hunt
  • An activity to incorporate into the infant room is to have a treasure hunt. In this activity, the teacher hides objects under a blanket and encourages the child to find them. This is an excellent way for the child to feel the softness of the fabric and the different textures and shapes of the objects. Once the child has seen and touched the object, it triggers the sensory system in the brain. The sensory system allows the child to identify objects simply through sight and touch. In order for the child to acknowledge and recognize the object, information must be integrated throughout other senses. “This integration was thought to occur by the infant interacting with objects, experiencing concurrent feedback from different senses, and associating, assimilating, or calibrating one sense to another” (Lickliter, 2011, para. 4). For example: as adults, we know that a cupcake is a cupcake by merely touching it, smelling it, and seeing it. We use our eyes to see it and our hands to touch it. The cognitive development theory that is most associated with this activity would be the sensorimotor stage of development. At this stage, children are identifying objects using their senses. This activity is an excellent way for the children to identify an object simply by feeling or seeing it.
  • Cognitive Development Activity for Early Childhood Room: “If your happy and you know it”
  • The activity to incorporate into the early childhood room is called “If you’re happy, and you know it.” In this activity, the teacher starts to sing the song, “If your happy and you know it clap your hands.” The children are encouraged to sing along, dance, and clap to the music. Singing the song over and over again will allow the child to memorize the song. As a child matures, their memory becomes stronger and faster. “There is evidence that improved speed of processing and overall cognitive development is, therefore, a maturational process, as specific axon connections lead to age-related gains in performance” Mossler, 2014, sec. 8.3, para. 15). This will not only improve their gross motor skills; it will prepare them for the necessary language skills used to speak in the near future properly. In the song, there are rules. The music tells the child to clap if they are happy. The cognitive development theory that is best associated with this activity would be the preoperational stage. During this stage, children are learning to follow the rules and engage in activities that require them. The child will be able to acknowledge the rules and follow them as directed. This is not only a fun activity; it is crucial to cognitive development in young children.
  • Cognitive Development Activity for Adolescent Room: Which one is missing
  • The activity to incorporate into the adolescent room is called which one is missing. In this activity, the teacher would place ten different cards down on the table for the children to observe. Once they have had time to look over all of the cards, the teacher will then take one away and mix them up. The child is then encouraged to figure out which card is missing. The concrete and formal stages are better associated with this activity because, by this age, children are learning how to solve problems, use step by step instruction, memorize a significant bit of information, and think about thinking also known as metacognition. They are aware of the cards that have been placed down, and because of their maturity, they can memorize which ones are there and which one is missing. “While many core facets of executive function may reach maturation in childhood, these processes continue to be refined and stabilized during adolescence” (Vishnu, Finnegan, & Beatriz, 2016, para. 1).

Lickliter, R. (2011, December). The Integrated Development of Sensory Organization. Retrieved from

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

Vishnu, M., Finnegan, C., & Beatriz, L. (2016, November). The Role of Experience in Adolescent Cognitive Development: Integration of Executive, Memory, and Mesolimbic Systems. Retrieved from