Four different age stages child development as per Piaget theory

A baby lying on a bed

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a theory developed by French psychologist Jean Piaget in the 1920s. He wrote about four stages of growth in children, each corresponding to a specific stage in a person’s development from a baby to an adolescent. Each stage is associated with a particular attentional set. The Piaget reconstruction attempts to explain the origins and evolution of the complex cognitive abilities we possess, based on a reconstruction of four stages of child development.

First Stage

A group of people sitting on a bed

It is called the sensorimotor stage because it is driven by senses and motor. When the child is 0-2 years old, It is called the sensorimotor stage. The first stage of visual development, sensory experiences, involves the identification of key features that give rise to graspable concepts. These include color, shape, size, and motion. Individuals develop concepts about these primary features over time as they learn more about the world around them. In this stage, their thoughts lack logic and only believe something to be true until it exists in front of them.

Second stage

A woman sitting at a table with a toothbrush

From 2-7 years the child is under the second stage also known as the preoperational stage. During this stage children expand their thinking capabilities from here and now. They start symbolizing absent objects. They can learn pictures and words for representation. Children during this stage lack the ability to understand different perspectives and egocentrism is dominant. In the preoperational stage children still struggle with logic rather they develop perceptions. If you pour equal water in one wide and another tall glass tube, children will by instinct consider the tall one to be of more quantity.

Third Stage

From 7 to 11 years, children are under the third stage which is also called the concrete operational stage. The third stage is a logical progression of ideas that are generating logical, measurable consequences. It is a return to reality and follows from the earlier steps. Concrete operational stage decisions usually involve issues that can be controlled, evaluated, and implemented immediately. During this stage, children understand the reversibility of actions  and understand the principle of cause and effect which builds mental capabilities.

Fourth Stage

After turning 12, a child goes into the fourth stage which is also called the formal operational stage. There are various formal stages as a child develops intellectually. The fourth stage, abstract ideas is the stage considered when you begin to formulate abstract thought. This stage is partly learned from adults and partly innate. Theoretical thinking, critical thinking, and implicit reasoning are all stages in this process. At this point, children have a strong theoretical understanding of the world around them and can make arguments based on empirical evidence. As children progress through each of the three stages, they acquire more sophisticated operational skills responsible for reaching conclusions about the world around them.


Piaget’s theory of child development is an extremely influential theory in child Psychology and Psychosomatics. It provides a unified view of development that is found across all cultures, historical periods, and geographic locations. Piaget claims that we all begin at about the same stage, but develop at different rates. Some people develop more quickly than others.

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