Games play an important role in cognitive development as it does in other aspects of developments. While playing, the child does activities in relation to the environment. Child receives stimuli from environment and while responding he learns many new activities, new meanings.
One year- old baby tries to know about the state, feel, and smell of a toy by manipulating it. He does ‘namaste’ to the picture of ‘God’. One and a half-year-old draws lines when holds a pencil. Mentally the baby tries to find similarity in these lines and the objects around. When shown a coloured book he tries to recognise familiar objects like ‘ball’, ‘bus’, ‘car’, etc. He gets familiar with his own body organs while playing. When he is asked about ‘fan’ he indicates towards the roof with a finger. He imitates the sound of pet animals.
Two to four years-old imitates mother, teacher even comic and drama like’ Ramayana’ characters. He learns letters, poems tries to teach other children. He plays with toys as well as natural objects like stones, sand, water, etc. as a result he becomes familiar and learns many thing about them.
He makes paper boats, throws pebbles in water and sees the forming of ripples asks question about these and understands his environment. Through plays the child develops creativity. He makes beads with sand, toys with match boxes, and flowers from paper. They learn while playing mental games like ‘cards’, chess’, ‘business’, etc. These games help in development of imagination, reasoning, foresight, etc.
The more the children play such games the more mental faculties are sharpened. So, opportunity and material of play help in cognitive development.
VI. Language Development
Man is a social animal. Language is an important tool to interact with the environment. Through the language, we can express our thoughts, feelings and desires to others. We can understand others thoughts also. Along with language, gestures, signs and written words are also used.
As the child grows after birth he tries to adjust with the environment. For this he needs a tool, i.e., language. We can divide the language development process into various stages.
(1) Paralinguistic stage
This is the primary stage of language development. This stage is for 13 to 14 months old child. In this stage child cries, babbles, and learns to express through gestures.
After birth child knows only crying. This is a natural process and reflex action. Along with crying certain body reactions also takes place like reddening of face, increase in pulse rate, closing of fists, etc. One month-old child cries differently for different reasons.
He cries differently when he is hungry and cries in a different manner when he is in pain. Mother is able to recognise the cry whether he is crying due to hunger or pain. The child makes different sounds when in pain along with crying. As the child grows crying becomes less. Too much of crying is harmful for the baby. It has a bad effect on the health of the baby.
The baby makes other sounds also other than crying. Three months-old baby’s voice-apparatus starts getting matured. So certain sounds are made automatically by his sound box; and some he creates himself.
These sounds he makes while yawning, sneezing or when happy. As the baby grows he makes the sounds for a longer period. Whenever anybody talks to the baby he responds by trying to make sounds. Five to six months-old child turns his head towards the person who is talking to him.
Five to six months-old starts making babbling sounds. This is a sort of play for the child. By doing this the child feels
happy. Sound apparatus become strong and the child starts making sound like ‘Ma-Ma’ ‘Na-Na’ ‘Da-Da’, ‘Pa-Pa’, etc these sounds actually doesn’t mean anything but parents feel very happy and start taking them with their meaning. Gradually with the encouragement of parents, the baby actually starts understanding their meaning. This is the point when language interaction starts between parents and the child.
Third stage is of using gestures. Child uses his whole body. Babies use their face, arms, legs, etc. to communicate with others. When elder people talk to a child they use their facial gesture liberally along with the language, but children use mainly gestures to communicate, e.g., if they want to go to somebody they throw their arms and push their body towards that person. When angry he pushes the bottle aside, smiles to sees his mother and throw his hands and feet in the air to expresses his happiness. As he learns the use of words the use of gestures using gestures becomes less.
(2) Linguistic stage
Next stage is quite important from the point of view language development. From 9 to 10 months is the preparation for speaking. The starting point is:
Comprehension is the ability to understand others language and gestures. Though the child is not able to speak but is able to understand what people say to a great extent. Six months-old understands the meaning of ‘No’ and stops immediately after hearing it when mother says ‘come’ he pushes himself towards his mother. Eight to ten months-old is able to understand instructions from his mother. He is able to under, elder’s anger, happiness, and fear and st responding accordingly. His facial get also correspond with elders gestures.
As the child grows vocabulary increases the vocabulary of child is of two types (i) General (ii) Specific
(i) General vocabulary
Gene vocabulary is used in common situations ‘Good’, ‘bad’, ‘beautiful’, ‘food’, ‘Dada’, %: etc. Child learns those words which are us for him. He learns to use nouns first and is pronouns. He learns to use repetitive so first like ‘Ma-ma’ ‘Da-da’, etc high months-old learns to use adjectives like’s ‘bad’ etc. Two years-old starts using verbs pronouns. Around 200 to 300 words he is to learn. Mostly he uses the word T.
(ii) Specific vocabulary. Three year starts learning specific vocabulary, e.g. of different colours, coins, flowers etc. Scents learn to use even secret language.
(c) Sentence making
Eighteen months, old expresses himself by using two words, e. “Mama-Dada”, “Papa-Toffee”, etc. Three years old starts making small sentences. Four old make sentences comprising of seven Words. Grammar is also almost correct. Intelligent children make correct and long sentences.
In the beginning the pronunciation of the child is not clear gradually it becomes clearer. Three years has reasonably clear pronunciation.
Individual’ difference is always found in the language development of the child. Language is learnt by imitation. Child learns to pronounce people around him speak. If they speak’ wrong language or ‘bad’ language the child also le the same.
Sometimes they miss certain letters, or they may pronounce wrongly, e.g., ‘Lucknow; is pronounced as ‘Nicholas’, ‘Bazaar’ as ‘Buzz Sometimes people speak child like langue: and the child picks up and even if he grows doesn’t leave it, e.g., ‘shush’ for urine, ‘m mum’ for water, etc. Parents should awl” try to speak in a clear tone to the child i discourage him to speak childlike language after a certain age.