Hey, Hey! Piaget!

I highly recommend this site to help you put what you know about development and integrate it into your conversations about your experiences with children. Scroll to the section titled “How to apply Piaget’s stages to learning and development” and see if you’ve already done a few of those things  during your volunteering or practicum when working with children. If you haven’t, now that you’re aware of what these different age groups are looking for in an effort to learn and develop, start incorporating some of these things into your play to best meet the child where they’re at!

Second site I recommend for those of you that are more visual when it comes to learning is this site. I feel like they do a phenomenal job of unpacking Piaget’s 4 stages of Cognitive Development using really beautiful visuals such as the one I just posted below. To find more of these visuals all in one spot, click here to find it on my Instagram highlights.

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development
Illustration by Joshua Seong

Here’s a brief rundown of Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory that I found on Quizlet (free online flashcard site) and put into a handout for easy review.

(birth – 2 years)

  • Learns through senses
  • Begins to understand cause and effect
  • Develops object permanence and separation anxiety

(2 – 7 years)

  • Begins to use symbols (mental representations) like language
  • Enjoys make-believe play
  • Egocentric worldview (everything is about me)
  • Classifies objects by a single feature

Concrete Operational
(7 – 11 years)

  • Logical, concrete thinking
  • Understands reversibility
  • Classifies objects by several features

Formal Operational
(11+ years)

  • Capable of abstract thought and reasoning
  • Hypothetical/deductive reasoning
    • If I do that, this may happen…
  • Becomes concerned with the hypothetical, future, and ideological problems



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