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The Importance of Play for Cognitive Development
Cognitive development, in a sense, refers to an individual’s ability to know and understand the world. The thinking of children is different from the thinking of adults. The developmental pathway to a more adult way of thinking occurs in stages as the child grows and has more experiences with his environment.
During play experiences, infants and toddlers learn about their worlds and make discoveries through lifting, poking, mixing, touching, and exploring objects. Play gives infants and toddlers information about the world to build new understandings. Play helps infants and toddlers develop thinking skills. Like physical development, cognitive development progresses differently for infants than it does for toddlers.