Read our newest research on the R.O.I. of Caregiving! Download the report here.

We're here for you.

Sign up for our newsletter here.



Grow Their Mind: Creative Cognitive Activities for Preschoolers

We’re here for you.

Share your email, and we’ll share our world.

Children’s brains absorb everything from the world around them. By the time they reach preschool age, their minds are exploding with experimenting and testing that helps them organize and sort out important information about the world. There’s so much to learn about cognitive development at the preschool level and great activities to encourage development that you can do with your child at home. 

What Is Cognitive Development?

Cognitive development is extremely important as part of early childhood, especially once your child reaches preschool age. Preschoolers’ brains are quickly developing and cognitive development focuses on sorting through the information they’re taking in by using perception, memory, information processing, language skills, and decision making. 

Your Preschooler and Cognitive Development: What’s Happening In Their Brain?

Neurologists refer to brain development during the preschool stage as “blossoming” because their brains are going through so many anatomical and physiological changes. Some children have a desire to experiment, explore and be individuals that may go beyond their abilities to communicate through language. It’s not unusual for this to lead to frustration and meltdowns. But there are cognitive activities for preschoolers that can better help them to express themselves.

6+ Creative Cognitive Activities for Preschoolers

Here are some of our favorite cognitive activities for preschoolers.

  1. Use Different Materials to Help Learn About Literacy. If your child is interested in letters, help them make letters using materials like sticks, rocks, or anything they can find in nature. Ask them to use a stick and draw the letter in their name in the mud or the sand. 
  2. Sorting Shapes and Colors. For younger children, a simple game of sorting colored balls or objects into different buckets can be a fun learning activity. Hand them a group of different color balls, and ask them to place all the red balls into one bucket, and all the blue balls into another. You can also do this by sorting different shapes. Ask your child to describe what they are doing for an added language connection. 
  3. Work on Hand-Eye Coordination with Puzzles. Simple puzzles are a great way for children to work at hand-eye coordination and to start making shape connections. They also help with critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  4. Encourage them to Dress Up. Dress-up play lets children pretend to be their favorite characters and try out different personalities and abilities. Through dress-up play, children develop important social skills, problem-solving and imagination.
  5. Play a Game of Simon Says. This classic children’s game of repetition requires listening, memory, and critical thinking along with physical activity.
  6. Singing and Rhyming. Simple songs and rhymes are so much fun for children. They help develop language skills, memory, and rhythm, and can even introduce important concepts like the ABCs and counting.

Encouraging Cognitive Development in Young Children: Top Tips for Parents

Children learn best when they are engaged with what they are doing and can follow their interests. Learning through play is one of the best ways for children to explore and learn about the world and integrate that learning into other parts of their lives. Parents can encourage cognitive experiences for preschoolers that help with development by playing along with their children and engaging with them in the activities. 

Here are a few tips that will help you encourage your preschooler’s cognitive development:

  • Follow your child’s lead. Let them decide what to play and what the rules are. This will help keep them engaged.
  • Ask questions. Ask them to explain what is happening during an activity, and ask them to describe it. Encouraging children learn to use language about something they are interested in helps them form connections between different parts of the brain.
  • Offer a variety of activities. If you’ve been mostly inside all day, change it up with an outside walk or activity. If you are working on cognitive math activities for preschoolers, use things from nature, like sticks and rocks, to help count or make a pattern.
  • Let them make mistakes. Children need to make mistakes when learning something new. When they have to try something over again because it didn’t work, they can develop resilience. 
  • Play with them and have fun! Children learn best when they are having fun, and they love having attention from you, so get in there and show them you can play too.

If you are interested in learning more about cognitive development in preschoolers, reach out to our educators at Vivvi. Our child care centers and in-home educators provide an enriching learning environment for children that helps them develop their learning abilities and sets them up for success. Contact us today for a virtual tour or to learn more about our programs.

Experience the Vivvi™ difference for yourself.

Meet us online for a safe, smile filled open house.