What does ‘cognitive’ mean anyway?

What does 'cognitive' mean anyway

By cognition we mean everything that has to do with thinking: learning, knowing and recognizing. During the first three years of life, the number of connections between the nerve cells in the brain, the synapses, increases rapidly. A widespread neural network is created that will be constantly expanded and rebuilt in the years to come – the children save and process their experiences here. You learn to think more and more complex. In doing so, they remain tied to what is happening in the here and now for a long time to come. At the start of school, your brain is gradually able to work logically and with foresight. And it is only when our children are around twelve years old that they think like us. This development can be increased from few supplies available at

Working of Cognitive development in children

Babies already react curiously to their surroundings. You want to understand the world around you and belong. Cognitive thinking accompanies our children from birth. In the beginning, however, it is very closely linked to their sensory perception and the development of movement. Hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting and moving determine the first thought processes. The older our children get, the more complex their thinking becomes. It develops from the concrete to the abstract and from the simple to the complex.

Trying things out for yourself remains the most important learning experience into school age. Children want to “understand” the world around them in the truest sense of the word. Positive feelings are at least as important for their cognitive development. They develop emotional relationships with people, toys or their environment. And the more intense this relationship, the more effectively the child learns in the respective situation.


Children learn best unconsciously and playfully when they have fun, feel good and are allowed to follow their own spirit of discovery.

Developmental psychologists have created entire catalogs of developmental activities, including the following recommendations:

  • tinker with different materials and experiment
  • Play role playing games
  • Look at picture books and read aloud
  • move a lot outdoors
  • Practice rhymes and songs
  • Solve child-friendly puzzles and brain teasers

This is how the child’s brain remains efficient. It is also clear, however, that even the most beautiful suggestions go to waste if the brain is not receptive. Therefore: Sufficient sleep, healthy meals rich in vital substances and sufficient amounts of water to drink are the prerequisites for our children to be able to develop their cognitive abilities. In general, our children should feel comfortable so that their brain can function optimally. Fatigue, hunger, thirst, stress and mental strain boycott healthy brain development and learning success.

The mental development of children, however, takes place at different speeds. However, if we notice noticeable delays, there could be emotional as well as organic reasons. If in doubt, always ask your pediatrician for advice.

About the author


Chloe is a nurse and an influencer during her free time. After taking care of her patients at the hospital, she would pen down articles that help her readers especially when it comes to elderly care. Her content has helped her readers from all across the globe.