Sensorimotor Stage Activities

A child psychologist named Jean Piaget (say pEE-uh-jai) developed the theory of sensorimotor stage activities. This is the first stage of cognitive development which analyzes the average child’s behavior until the age of two. Read on to learn more about your behavior before the age of two.

  1. Simple Reflexes (0-1 month). During first 30 thirty days of birth, a baby develops what is called simple reflexes. A child has the ability to see, move, and grab objects. You’ll also find out that placing items into the mouth is a common sensorimotor stage activityfor newborns. It is important that you watch the child to make sure he does not place small objects into his mouth.
  2. First Habits and Primary Circular Reactions (1-4 months). It is very interesting to learn that there is a possibility that children may develop good habits or bad habits within four to sixteen weeks after birth. What does this mean? Tommy may want to suck his bottle all day long because this is one of his first habits and he enjoys this sensorimotor activity.
  3. Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8 months). During the secondary circular sensorimotor activity stage, mom or pop may have to spank Tommy hands because he is now placing dirty toys in his mouth. In the meantime, Tommy becomes more vocal and starts to pick-up his parent’s habits and acts just like them. Be careful about what you do when little Tommy is around and watching.
  4. Coordination Secondary Circular Reactions (8-12 months). In the coordination secondary circular reactions sensorimotor activity stage, the child will adapt to behaviors that he sees and remembers his favorite toys. For instance, if he squeezes the duck, he knows that the duck will make a quacking sound. Within the eight to twelve month range, Tommy may be crawling and walking so you have to watch him carefully so he does not hurt himself.
  5. Tertiary Circular Reactions (12-18 months). During the tertiary circular reaction period, a child may do something to see what would happen at a later time. He may even try to dial 911. Of course, he can probably now say daddy and mama. As Tommy’s cognitive skills develop, he is going to make noise, drop, throw, and hit objects. Sensorimotor stage activities are at a high level during this time.
  6. Beginning of Thought (18-24 months).  After eighteen months, your child is considered to be a toddler and uses the brain to think. A toddler can talk. In fact, at the age of two an average toddler has a vocabulary of about 30 to 50 words and can speak simple two word sentences. Watch what you say around your child and try not to get too emotional because it can affect him positively or negatively.
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