3 Cognitive Stages Of Development Of A Child According To Piaget


Piaget’s stages of development during a child’s growing years is a blueprint for all. This blueprint of the Swiss psychologist unfolds the normal cognitive stages of development of a baby from infancy to adulthood. During this phase, a baby goes through lots of intellectual changes. The changes include knowledge, thoughts, and judgment.

Development biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget recorded the cognitive changes in infants, children, and then teens. After a child steps into his/her 12+ ages, he/she is no longer a child but an adolescent. So, we would talk about the first three stages of the cognitive development of a child, excluding the adolescence period.

3 Cognitive Stages Of Development Of A Child According To Piaget
3 Cognitive Stages Of Development Of A Child According To Piaget

First Three Piaget’s Intellectual Stages Of Development

Sensorimotor: First Of The Cognitive Stages Of Development

After the birth to the age of 18-24 months, a baby goes through the sensorimotor stage. In this stage, infants are only conscious of what they see in front of them. Their focus stays on what they do at that moment, what they see, and their physical interactions with the current environment.

It is a stage of experimenting for the babies as they don’t know how everything will react. For instance, they shake and throw things and try to put everything in their mouths. For them, it is a learning curve to know the world with trial and error.

When the infants reach their 7-9 months of age, they realize that any object exists even when they are not seeing it. It is known as “object permanence” and reflects that the memory has started to build.

Increased mobility through crawling and walking, leads to improve their cognitive development. At the end of this stage, babies mostly achieve another crucial milestone- language development. It signs that they recognize some symbolic patterns.


A baby stays in the preoperational stage after 18-24 months through its age 7. In this phase of cognitive development, kids can think about many things symbolically. The use of their language becomes mature. Along with that, they also develop imagination-power and memory. Therefore, they can differentiate between the past and the future.

However, all their thoughts mostly come from intuition and not logical aspects. In such a period, it is still not easy for them to grasp any complex concepts like time, cause and effect and comparison.

Concrete Operational: Final Cognitive Stage Before Becoming An Adolescent

During the concrete operational stage of cognitive development, the ages of the children are mostly 7 to 11+. In this period, kids enter into the preadolescent phase from the elementary phase. They start to sense logically, and concrete reasoning starts to come into their minds.

3 Cognitive Stages Of Development Of A Child According To Piaget
3 Cognitive Stages Of Development Of A Child According To Piaget

Their thoughts slowly go past the egocentric thought-pattern of previous stages. Therefore, external events start to make them aware of current scenarios. Also, they understand that everyone has unique thoughts and feelings about any situation or event. These thoughts may or may not match with others and sometimes can be imaginative. However, most children of this age can’t think hypothetically or abstractly.

Piaget also acknowledged that the time frame of the stages could differ from child to child. Along with that, some kids may show attributes of other stages at the given time. However, the pattern mostly stays similar to what he depicted years ago. Interestingly, each stage comes with new cognitive abilities.