Cognitive Development for Children 4 – 5 Years Old

In Terms of Cognitive Development, Most 5 Year Olds Will:

  • Be able to dress himself
  • Handle all bathroom responsibilities independently
  • Follow the rules to games, but sometimes change them as she goes
  • Can help with chores

Parenting Tips for Preschool Cognitive Development:

Suggested ideas to help a toddler between 4 and 5 years develop her social and problem-solving skills:

  • Make up rhymes. Ask your child to think of a word that rhymes with pie. Let’s say she says sky. See if you can think of any more then make a funny sentence using them. ‘Look it the sky! A flying pie! Will it fall on my eye?’
  • Go Fish! Playing card games with your child is a great way to learn how to follow rules and take turns. Old Maid and Animal Rummy are also fun. Your child might enjoy other simple games, like Candy Land, Don’t Spill the Beans, or Chutes and Ladders.
  • Become a chef. This is a great age to help in the kitchen. Here’s a recipe a child can make with minimal supervision: muffin pizzas. Let your child spread some spaghetti sauce on an English muffin, sprinkle on cheese and his favorite topping. You cook the pizza in the oven for him. After he enjoys his snack, it’s time to clean up!
  • Go camping in the living room. Have your child and a friend build a tent from sheets and blankets draped over chairs. Add some flashlights and maybe a few stuffed animals and they’ll have a good time.
  • Play ‘I Spy.’ Riding the bus or car or waiting for food in a restaurant is the perfect time to play I Spy. Say, ‘I spy a green hat.’ And wait until your child finds it, then it’s her turn. Remember to also look for letters and numbers.
  • Eat the alphabet. Make pretzels from pizza dough or pie crust dough. Cut the dough in strips and have your child help you form letters from the dough. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with some salt. Bake until golden. Try to think of something that starts with the letter, before you eat it!
  • Be an engaging story teller. Don’t just read a story to your child; use different voices for each character to make the story come alive. Next ask your child to do the same for you.
  • Play switch. Let your child be the parent and you be the child. You pretend you need help brushing your hair. She comes and helps. Try to break one of your rules and see what your ‘parent’ says. ‘Can I have ice cream for breakfast?’ Ask her to read you a story, the list is endless!
  • I can do it! Your child now can take care of a lot of her personal needs, but she will need extra time. Let her do what she can, be patient and ready to help.
  • Teach 911. A preschooler should know his name, address, and telephone number. Teach your child what to do in emergency. You can role-play calling 911 with a play phone but remember to teach your child to use a real phone for a real emergency.