Cognitive Development through Reading Books


Children are exposed to a whole new environment the moment they come into this world. They are often amazed by the way things happen around them. As they grow they, become more inquisitive about the things around them (especially in the preschool years) and this is when they start asking 'why' things are the way they are. This is high time when parents and teachers must encourage cognitive development.

Cognitive development is defined as the process through which a child learns to reason and solve problems. Thus most preschool curricula are designed encourage cognitive development in children aged between three and four. Various activities are included in the preschool curricula to help children understand their surroundings and how things work. However, parents must also play an active role in helping their children develop the cognitive skills. Reading is an effective way of encouraging cognitive development and help the child perceive things in a differ perspective. 

How Reading Can Help in Cognitive Development

There are various aspects of cognition and in this section we will explore the activities that will encourage cognitive development in the respective areas:
Social Cognition

Social cognition deals with social situation and how a child feels about others. As a child grows, he/ she understand the people around, how they behave and feel and this is also when they start their communication skills. By reading books that talk about emotions and feelings, you can help your child understand why people behave in a specific manner and how to respond in a specific situation.

Problem Solving

Children often try to explain how things happened and why it happened. Even though most of the time they cannot express themselves properly, it shows their urge to solve a problem and desire to reason. Problem solving skills are best developed through play; but reading books can also help a lot. Through reading they can understand how things get transformed and what causes the changes. This will help them adapt to the changing environment.

Memory Skills   

Children learn better when they get hands-on experience. For instance, rather than saying ice is cold, place an ice cube on their hand and say 'see it is cold'. Then ask how do you feel? Expect the child to say 'cold'. So in order to develop memory skills, read books that talk about the characteristics of materials, people and things around them and then allow them to get hands-on experience on what they learned from the book.    

Cognitive development is very important since this would help children to solve problems as they grow and tackle issues on their own. So parents must be proactive in helping their children develop the various cognitive skills. Talk to the teacher about how to help your child with cognitive development; get recommendations for books that help in cognitive development. Reading in groups can also be a great way to help your child understand the surrounding.

Children are not born with the capability of understanding the perspectives of others or understand how and why things work in a specific manner; however they can be trained to do so. So make reading a ritual and help your child grow into a responsible adult.