What are cognitive skills?

Cognitive development means how children think, explore and figure things out. It is the development of knowledge, skills, problem solving and dispositions, which help children to think about and understand the world around them.

Cognitive skill development in children involves the gradual learning of skills, such as attention, memory and thinking. These essential areas of cognitive development allow children to process sensory information and eventually learn to evaluate, analyse, remember, make comparisons and understand cause and effect.

Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention.

Cognitive or thinking skills impact upon the following areas of development:

  • Attention
  • Decision-making
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Problem-solving
  • Safety awareness

Gaps in a child’s cognitive skills can impact their everyday skills such as solving simple problems, sustaining attention on tasks, remembering key events and following instructions.