Educational research indicates that until age 2, children interpret their surroundings by using their senses and exploring objects. To foster the development of logic and reasoning skills, manipulatives in the classroom help young children use their hands to explore different sizes and shapes.
After age 2, children begin to develop memory, better understand the concept of time, and use their imaginations more during play. To inspire growth, children in this stage are encouraged to draw comparisons and make predictions when manipulating various objects.
Parents can also promote the development of logic and reasoning at home using these simple ideas:
- Provide your child with age-appropriate objects to manipulate. For example, different lengths or colors of safe items to squeeze, grasp, pinch, etc.
- Hide your child’s favorite toy under a blanket, allowing them to see what you are doing. Ask where the toy went and see how they respond.
- Shine a flashlight next to your child so they can see it. Move the light around and encourage your child to watch it with their eyes or try to touch it.
Toddlers/Twos/Pre-Primary (12 – 36 months):
- Provide your child with puzzles to solve. For example, fitting different shaped blocks into corresponding holes.
- When your child is attempting to solve a problem, give them some time to try before you provide help. While assisting your child, continue to encourage them to work on the problem.
- Encourage your child to imitate their favorite story or movie. Mimic the behavior of a character with your child.
Primary/Early Childhood (30 months – 6 years):
- Give your child a group of objects to sort. Do not tell them what to consider while sorting the objects. Observe how your child sorts the items and what reasoning they use to group them.
- Talk to your child about what happens after they perform a certain action. For example, what happened when you tried to pour the water into the cup.
- Play pretend with your child. For example, while you are cooking, provide your child with a pan and ask them to fry an egg. Better yet, engage them in meal preparation by asking them to be your sous chef! Have them peel the bananas for breakfast and use a plastic knife to cut them into bite-size slices, then arrange them into a pleasing pattern on a lovely platter.
- Create different patterns with numbers or letters. Ask your child to complete the pattern or create a new pattern that follows the same rules. Patterns will get more complex as your child’s logic and reasoning develops.
- Ask your child to predict the effects of an action. Encourage them to recall prior experiences and observations to inform their predictions.
- When your child encounters a problem, encourage them to think of creative ways to use unexpected objects to find a solution.