Intelligence: the ability to interpret and understand
everyday situations and to use prior experiences when
faced with new situations or problems.
Shaped both by heredity and environment.
Everyone is born with certain limits of possible intellectual
development, however a person’s potential is greatly
influenced by that person’s environment.
Methods of Learning
Incidental learning: unplanned learning
Example: A 5-month-old finding that when he
pushes a button, it makes music.
Trial-and-Error Learning: takes place when
a child tries several solutions before finding
one that works.
Happens with a child as young as 12-18
months, but becomes more complex the older
the child is.
Example: A 3-year-old trying several different
solutions to get his block tower to stand.
More Methods of Learning
Imitation: learning by watching and copying
Example: A 2-year-old copying the song an
older sibling is singing.
Directed Learning: learning that results from
being taught, often by parents, other
caregivers, teachers, or older siblings.
Example: A 5-year-old learning how to write the
alphabet by his kindergarten teacher.
It’s what you are doing right now!!
Concepts: general categories of objects and information.
Toddlers have broad generalizations that have to be sorted out.
Example: thinking every round food is a cookie.
Children learn to categorize objects by shape, color, and size.
Occurs in stages
Size distinctions come in 2 steps:
1st step: the relationship between 2 items-big and little-may be
recognized as early as 18 months.
2nd step: knowing the middle-sized ball out of 3 possibilities.
Concepts concerning what is alive and not alive comes later.
The concept of time improves during years 2 and 3. How might
this affect their patience?
The 7 Areas of Intellectual
Infants and very young children aren’t able to block out
much sensory information and focus on one thing.
As they get older, their attention span develops and they
are able to learn more.
Without memory, there would be no learning.
Older adults and children have both short and long-term
Something must first enter short-term memory, before it can
become part of long-term.
Babies demonstrate memory early-it’s based on food and
Between 6 months and 1 year, babies develop recall
memory: the ability to remember more for longer periods of
time, especially those that have a strong emotional impact.
As children grow, they develop long-term memory. A 3
year-old can remember past celebrations and look forward
to the next one.
As a child grows, their brains use the sensory
information they are receiving more effectively.
Descriptive observations help children develop their
perception. Also answering all of the Why? How?
What’s that? questions develops perception.
Necessary to gain the ability to solve problems, make
decisions, recognizing relationships, and forming
Simple problem solving occurs at 4-6 months and
becomes more sophisticated as a child grows.
It’s important to give children practice making their
Becomes apparent at 2 years.
Enhances learning by trying new things and acting out
a variety of roles.
Imagination also helps children connect what they see
and hear with themselves.
Imagination can also help children cope with anxiety
Creativity: imagination is used to produce original ideas.
Examples: finger painting, silly stories, dramatic play.
Causes a child to wonder why? and how? or to try
It’s important for a child to have a safe environment,
but still be allowed to explore and be curious.
Encouraging Learning From 1-3
Children can’t learn more than what they are
physically and intellectually ready to learn.
However, if children are not encouraged to
learn when they are ready, they may
experience problems in the future.
A child’s readiness to learn depends much on
the environment the caregivers create.
eading Readiness: learning skills necessary for
Before age three this involves…
After age three this involves…
Learning how to handle books.
Beginning to associate written words with the words being
Feeling a sense of accomplishment when finishing a book
and choosing what is read next.
Understanding letters combine to form words.
Enthusiasm from the caregiver about reading goes a
Math Readiness: the level of knowledge of
basic math concepts, such as number
recognition, needed for learning math.
Encouraging math readiness:
Teach numbers every chance you get-use
Teach shape recognition-blocks, puzzles, sorting.
Allow children to explore their environment.
Give your time and attention.
Allow time for thinking.
Give only as much help as the child needs.
Encourage children to draw their own conclusions.
Demonstrate how to solve problems.
Model problem solving.
Maintain a positive attitude.
Keep explanations simple and on a child’s level.
Allow children to explore and discover.
Help children understand the world and how it works.
Take frequent breaks.
Appropriate Toys for Ages 1-3
Toys that allow motor control.
Learning through exploration.
Some toy possibilities-household items, riding toys, books,
simple puzzles. Make sure they aren’t too small.
Toys that allow them to role play-child-sized vacuum,
shopping cart, play dishes and food.
Also crayons, play dough, books, sandbox.
Toys encouraging their imagination-dolls, construction
Also crayons, paint, scissors, books, tricycles, swings and
Vocabulary develops rapidly
12 months: 2-8 words
18 months: 50 words
2 years: 200 words
3 years: 600-1000 words
By age 3 they speak using complete sentences
Children understand more words than they can
Children develop speech at different rates.
If a child doesn’t seem to understand what is said, doesn’t speak at
all, or speaks very little may need an examination.
Speech-language pathologist: a specialist who is trained to detect
and correct speech problems.
Treating speech problems can begin as early as age 3. The earlier
Articulation: the ability to use clear, distinct speech.
Problems with articulation are common until age 3-4.
Stuttering: occurs when a person speaks with sporadic repetition
or prolonged sounds.
Some children may seem to stutter, but their thinking and
speaking abilities are just immature.
Stuttering is usually the repetition of the beginning sound of a
word and involves differences in rhythm, pitch, and speed of