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Brain Cognitive Development

A Guide to Toddler Cognitive Development Stages (Ages 1-3)

Escrito por: Christian Kent Aguillon



Tiempo de lectura 4 min

Did you know that in the first few years of your little one’s life, they grow and develop at an astonishing speed? Toddler cognitive development, a fancy term for how your toddler thinks, explores, and solves puzzles, is all about their expanding knowledge and understanding of the world. Watching their little brains develop as they learn and play is truly amazing, isn't it?

During toddler cognitive development, toddlers aged 1-3 enhance their ability to process and organize information, establishing a foundational understanding of the world around them. It is correct to say that this is one of the most crucial stages of their lives and as parents, it’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety during this period, driven by the desire to ensure our children are progressing at the right pace.

Recognizing the importance of these phases and milestones, we’ve crafted this blog to highlight the crucial stages of toddler cognitive development for growing toddlers from one to three years old.

We’re here to help you understand and support their incredible journey of growth. Let’s dive in and explore how you can nurture your child's amazing development!

How Early Childhood Cognitive Development Happens

Early childhood cognitive development is a fascinating journey that shapes how children perceive and interact with the world. Let’s delve into the stages of cognitive development proposed by Jean Piaget, a renowned Swiss psychologist who revolutionized our understanding of how children learn and think.

1. Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 years):

During this stage, infants explore their environment through sensory experiences and motor actions. Key milestones include object permanence (understanding that objects continue to exist even when out of sight) and the development of basic motor skills. Babies learn by touching, tasting, and manipulating objects around them.

In this initial stage, infants embark on a journey of visual clarity, focusing on the movement of objects, discerning tastes, and reacting to the symphony of sounds and faces around them. It’s a time of sensory exploration that lays the foundation for their cognitive growth.

2 years old toddler boy playing in nature

2. Cognitive Kickoff Stage (9 Months to 12 Months)

Toddler 1 year old crawls on floor in living room.

As your baby approaches the one-year mark, significant cognitive developments take center stage. Object permanence becomes a concept they grasp, gestures are imitated, responses with sounds become more intentional, enjoyment of picture books flourishes, and object manipulation becomes a noticeable skill.

3. Preoperational Stage (1 Year to 2 Years):

Toddling into the toddler years, your little one's cognitive abilities continue to bloom. They begin to enhance their problem-solving abilities, understand object permanence, and develop memory and recognition skills. Language skills start to emerge, as they learn to comprehend and use simple words and phrases. This stage also involves increased curiosity and exploration, as toddlers experiment with their environment to understand cause-and-effect relationships. They begin to imitate actions and behaviors, laying the foundation for more complex learning and social interactions.

Creative 2 years old boy

4. Concrete Operational Stage (2 Years to 3 Years):

At this point, children become more logical and less egocentric. They can perform mental operations on concrete objects and understand concepts like conservation (the idea that quantity remains the same even if the appearance changes). Problem-solving abilities improve, but abstract thinking is still limited.

Children in this stage develop symbolic thinking and language skills. They engage in pretend play, use symbols (such as words and drawings), and exhibit egocentrism (difficulty seeing things from others’ perspectives). While their imagination flourishes, they may struggle with logical reasoning. Supporting their cognitive growth with supplements like TruHeight Kids Brain Growth Gummy can be beneficial. Loved by many parents and pediatricians, these gummies, appropriate to kids ages 2 years and up, boosts cognitive development and brain growth unlike no other brain growth supplements for children.

Fun activities for 3 years old

Why Understanding Toddler Cognitive Development So Important?

Early childhood cognitive development isn’t just about your little kids memorizing concepts and names of things; it’s about constructing mental frameworks to understand the world. These stages lay the foundation for critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making, so parents should always be ready to assist them in all the ways you can, including filling their brain’s nutritional gaps through brain-boosting vitamin supplements.

As parents and home educators, we can support cognitive growth by providing stimulating environments, encouraging curiosity, and fostering meaningful interactions.

Remember, every child progresses through these stages at their own pace, influenced by both nature (genetics) and nurture (environment). Be patient, encouraging, and observant with all of the aforementioned stages.

3 Year Old Playing with Cubes at Home


Isn't it astonishing to witness toddler cognitive development right before our eyes? Each day brings new discoveries that are truly mind-blowing. These early experiences are crucial for nurturing important skills like thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. It's amazing to witness their rapid development during these early years. Let's keep cheering them on, providing the fun and nutrients they need, and watch them blossom into smart, curious individuals. It's not just about preparing them for school; it's about setting them up for life. Pretty awesome, right?


How can I promote my child's cognitive development?

To promote your toddlers’ cognitive development, engage in interactive activities like singing, identifying noises, and practicing the alphabet. Create a nurturing environment by having warm interactions, limiting screen time, and ensuring proper nutrition. Lastly, talk, read, and explore together—describe daily activities, explore sounds and letters, count, and read.

When is the best time to start sending children to school?

The best time to start formal education for children is generally around six years old. However, this recommendation specifically applies to formal schooling and does not include child care services or activity groups like crèches, day care, and playgroups.

It’s essential to consider both the child’s developmental readiness and the learning environment when making this decision. While academics are important, remember that a child’s cognitive, physical, socio-emotional, and language development all come into play during their early years.

Are vitamins going to improve toddler cognitive development?

Not all kids need vitamins, but some groups may benefit from them. Most children get adequate amounts of nutrients from a balanced diet, but there are certain circumstances where vitamin or mineral supplements might be necessary. 

TruHeight® Toddler Brain Growth Gummy is a pediatrician-recommended supplement designed for children aged 2 and up. It supports memory, focus, and learning abilities by providing essential nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), pine bark extract, and lecithin. 

Remember, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplements for your child. They can provide personalized advice based on your child’s specific needs.