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The Four Stages of Child Development

The Four Stages of Child Development

The Four  Stages of Child Development

When choosing the best ways to help your child learn, it is very important to take into account the child's developmental stage.  There are four recognized stages of development from Piaget's theory of cognitive development including sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage, and formal operational stage.  These stages occur from infancy to adulthood.  There are many developmental toys for kids that will help them develop throughout these stages.  When choosing a learning toy for your child, a developmentally appropriate toy is the best to promote learning.

sensorimotor stage

  The age range of sensorimotor development is from birth to 18-24 months old.  In this stage, senses and motor actions are combined to develop new skills.  This is a period of time when babies and infants use actions such as listening, seeing, sucking, and grasping items to learn about the things around them and to learn about their new environment.  During this time of development, children have a huge spike in intellectual development.  A child may perform an action not realizing what they are doing, and then realize that they can do it again and will begin to repeat actions to get desirable outcomes.  A child during this stage may realize that if they squeeze paper it crinkles.  Once they have realized this, they may squeeze the paper over and over to produce the same crinkle sounds.  Appropriate toys for children in this developmental stage can include rattles, and balls, and crinkle books, and other basic toys for the child to grasp and explore.  Musical toys are also recommended as they teach using the hearing sense in addition to touch.

preoperational stage

 The age range of preoperational development is 18-24 months old to 7 years old.  This is another time of vast development as language becomes a developing skill.  During this stage, children are beginning to use symbols, or objects of play.  Pretend play becomes very important at this stage.  This is a time when a child may use toys to symbolize animals or use role play to pretend they are a "mom" or "dad".  It is important to note that at this stage, children do not have logical skills yet and cannot combine separate ideas.  Egocentrism is also a big part of this stage as the child can only see things from their own perspective and not from other people's perspectives.  Appropriate toys for children in this developmental stage can include action figures, dolls, barbies, dress up, and other pretend play types of children's educational toys for the child to use and develop their symbolic understanding and imagination.

concrete operational stage

The age range of concrete operational development is from 7 years old to 12 years old.  This stage is when a child begins to develop logical thought.  This is the  time when children begin to comprehend conservation.  They begin to understand weight, volume, mass, and numbers at this stage.  They begin to realize that the same item can take different shapes.  For example, they understand that the amount of water is the same in an ice cube or a melted ice cube although it takes on a different form.  Basic problem solving skills are also developing in this stage.  Appropriate toys at this age can include number games, logic games, remote control toys, STEM toys, and many other toys for development that help them to develop logical thought processes and help the child learn about how things work.

formal operational stage

The age range of formal operational development is from adolescence to adulthood.  This stage is where a child begins to learn and comprehend hypothetical or abstract scenarios.  At this point in development children can do mathematics, use abstract reasoning, and determine outcomes of particular actions.  Problem-solving in this stage is now done with logical thought and hypothetical thoughts.  The outcomes can now be recognized and helps to determine the final solution.  Appropriate toys for this stage are wide spread.  Games are a great way to enhance learning at this stage, especially games that involve strategy and thought.  There are also many other toys such as remote control toys , hover boards, and more that help to improve dexterity, balance, and coordination.

As you can see, toys for development can be very helpful in encouraging learning in your child, but they are most effective when they are developmentally appropriate.  Toys are categorized by age to help in determining which toys are appropriate for each child.  At Kid-Krazy LLC, we have taken all of these developmental stages into account when selecting our premium toys for development.  We offer toys by age group as well as category so that you are sure to find the most appropriate toys for your children.  Check out the awesome toys for development we have to offer at


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