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Children learn through hands-on play.

Jean Piaget, a prominent Swiss philosopher and psychologist, was one of the first researchers to take children's play seriously. 

Piaget identified these stages of children’s development:

Sensorimotor Stage: Birth to 2 years 

The child at this stage uses senses and motor abilities to figure out the world. Squeeze the rubber ducky and it quacks. Drop the ball in the hole and it rolls down the chute all the way to the bottom. Through repetitive play, the young child learns how to keep in mind what's out of sight and how to cause a reaction. 

Preoperational Stage: 2 to 6 years 

During this stage the child acquires the ability to use symbols but still requires physical props and concrete situations to solve problems. A preschooler will line up 4 blocks and 4 more and then count up to 8. Then do it all over again using cookies or fingers. 

Concrete Operations: 6-11 yearsFrom physical experience, the school-age child learns to conceptualize. Now 4+4 can be solved with numbers, not just with objects. Still the young student relies on experiment and discovery to hotwire the brain. Strategy games and brainteasers help children to begin thinking logically and lay the foundation for the acquisition of formal logic later on. 

Provided By Nancy Stanek
This information is provided on behalf of the toy experts at your 
neighborhood toy store.

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