Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

1456 (3 pages)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

Table of contents

A Swiss biologist Jean Piaget develop a Cognitive Developmental theory to examine how children perceive and mentally represent the world. (Book Page 10 ) He theorized a child’s cognitive development is an outcome of adaptation through the process of assimilation, accommodation, and equilibrium. (Book Page 10 or 83) Piaget proposed the four major cognitive stages in cognitive development, corresponding to four successive forms of knowledge. During each of these stages, children are hypothesized to think and reason in a different way (Goswami, 2001). These stages are Sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. (Book page 83) In this assignment, I will describe the four divisions of Piaget's stage of cognitive development, toys that would be the best fit for the stage, and how the toy meets the needs described in Piaget’s theory of development. I will also explain the toys and activities I played when I was in those developmental stages as well as the impact of this theory on my childhood development.

Developmental Stages of Piaget`s Theory

The Sensorimotor

The sensorimotor stage takes from birth to 2 years of cognitive development (Lefmann & Combs-Orme, 2013, p, 641). This stage is the most dynamic and critical stage of brain development. Key maturational events put basic cognitive processes in place that when allow for the development of abstract thought planning and cognitive flexibility (Lefmann & Combs-Orme, 2013, p, 641). During this time infant’s progress from responding to events with reflexes or readymade schemes, to goal-oriented behavior (Book Page 83-84). According to Piaget this stage divided in to six sub-stage namely simple reflex highlights action through reflexes sucking, following moving or interesting objects with eyes ( Lefmann & Combs-Orme, 2013, p, 642). primary circular reaction is the beginnings of the ability to coordinate various sensorimotor schemas (Book Page 84)., secondary circular reaction starting the ability to differentiate between itself and the outside environment ( Lefmann & Combs-Orme, 2013, p, 643)., coordination of secondary schemas infant begin to show intentional goal directed behaviour,, tertiary circulation reactions whereby infants take on experimental quality through trial-and-error fashion to learn how things work and invention of new means through mental combinations whereby external exploration is replaced by mental exploration (Book)

One of the important aspects mentioned by Piaget at this stage object permanence which refers to the recognition that an object or a person continues to exist even when out of sight (Book 86). The toy I pick for this developmental stage is a pop-up bear. It is a colourful plastic toy with a hidden bear inside waiting to pop-up. When infants turning the lever, the bear pops up and make them happy. In addition, by turning the lever, they can hear the music and learn that when the music gets to a certain point the bear is coming out. Furthermore, it has an easy to grasp the handle, so they can play with it independently. Each side features a diverse sensory component to encourage exploration and fine motor development. This toy helps the baby to develop object permanence which is an important aspect of the sensorimotor stage. Playing with this toy is like a peek-a-boo game when the bare is hidden, the infant won’t see it, but as soon as they twist the lever the bear will pop up to surprise. As they play the game repeatedly, they will come to a recognition that an object exists even if it is out of sight.

Preoperational Stage

This stage is the second stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and lasts from ages 2 to 7 years. (Book page129). According to Piaget at this stage children’s can not use judgement to combine or separate ideas. However, the logical construction of children best starts developing at this stage. (Book page129) During this stage children’s thought is describe using symbols to represent objects and relationships (Book page129). According to Piaget once the child starts to symbolize objects, they start to participate in pretend play which is based on children’s mental representations of their knowledges (Book page129). Another big point manifested by Piaget children at this stage of development are one-dimensional thinkers they only see things on one direction and expect other people to see it same way on this situation leads them to be egocentric.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

For this developmental stage I chose to portray building blocks. I do believe building blocks with an alphabet, numbers and shapes would be the best choice for children at this stage. This toy works by building different objects weather by stacking the blocks on top of each other or nesting them inside one another. Sorting them by letter, number, colour or shape is also one way to play with the blocks. Since, blocks have letters and numbers written on them, it helps the child to develop strong developmental skills including matching, stacking and sorting at an early age. According to Piaget, children at this stage develop language skills and use of symbols to represent objects and relationships (Book). This multi-function toy will help the child to develop their language ability by recognizing the letter appear on the block, as well as create different kinds of symbols using a variety of shapes.

When I was in this developmental stage, I used to play with a hand made dolls called “Ashangulit” in my native language. Ashangulit is a type of hand made doll using fabrics and yarn. I used to pretend to be a mom and take care of the doll like my mom used to take care of me. I was obsessed with playing with the doll including feeding, bathing and cuddling with the baby doll. by taking care of the doll-like my mother used to do it for me bathing, changing, feeding and cuddling the baby doll. The fact that I spent most of my time with my doll has helped me start making words and develop fine motor skills.

Concrete Operational Stage

Concrete operational is the third stage of Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory. This stage starts at the age of 7 and lasts until age 12. (book page160). During this period children can think in much more logical, solve problem in a reasonable manner and develop concrete cognitive operation (book page160). They show maturity in thought focus on tangible object instead of abstract idea, which is their activities are known as “concrete” operations (Book 160) Children also involve in decentration which they Starts focusing on several dimension of a task instead of focusing only on one direction.

Playing a Jigsaw puzzle would be very helpful in developing the concrete operational stage of Piaget’s theory. It requires assembling various pieces of a picture together to discover a complete picture. The game challenge children at this stage to use logical thinking to find the right pieces of the puzzle and put it in the designated place. Furthermore, when children play the game, they involve in decentration which is focusing on several dimension of the task e.g hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and memory to solve the puzzle. Thus, improving the ability to think more critically and examining problems from a different perspective would make a jigsaw puzzle appropriate for the concrete operational stage.

One of my favourite activity to do when I was in concert operational stage was cooking. I used to help my parents around the kitchen. My mother told me every time she bakes, I was egger to learn the measurements and ratios which helped me to apply my knowledge of measurement and understand low of conservation. In addition, categorizing ingredients in to different groups, follow a sequence and multiple direction of a recipe allow me to develop my critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Formal Operational Stage

Formal operation is the last stage in Piaget’s theory of development which begins at the age of 12. (book 83) Adolescent in formal operational stage can imagine many possibilities and consider the options systematically and deal with hypothetical schemes in an abstract way compare to formal operational stage (As cited by Berninger & Yates, 1993). In this stage the child become mature, engaged in abstract thought, consideration of different conceivable outcomes and thinking become more logical and critical.

A toy that can be used in this developmental stage is Rubik’s Cube. A Rubik’s cube is a game in a form of plastic cube secured with different colour squares, which the player tries to turn and twist too much up the colour in each face of the square. This game helps young minds to stay concentrating, develop sharp memory and promote creativity. Playing with Rubik’s cube able adolescent to use a problem-solving skill that makes them analyze the different possibilities to solve the puzzle. As the child play the cube, their mind engages in an in-depth abstract thought and critical thinking to find ways to solve the problem and reach the desired outcome.

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. (2020, October 08). WritingBros. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development.” WritingBros, 08 Oct. 2020,
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 14 Jul. 2024].
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Oct 08 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from:
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges