Strategies for Developing Symbolic Thought in Children

Symbolic Thinking in Toddlers

Adults just don’t seem to realize that toddlers engage in symbolic thoughts during their play time. If you pay a little attention, you can actually cite many symbolic thinking examples displayed by kids. Improving this can play a major role in enhancing the cognitive development of a toddler.

You keep a close tab on the physical development of your toddler. However, when it comes to the cognitive development of your child, this does not seem as easy. In order to gauge this development, it is important to take into account a lot of things, symbolic thinking being one of them. Wondering what this is? Well, take a look.

Symbolic Thinking in Child Development- The Real Meaning

Symbolic thinking generally refers to the ability of a toddler to symbolically represent different objects using the things at hand. Sometimes, instead of using props, they might do this just by making up something imaginary. For instance, the doll may become mommy while an empty box may be used as a car or a bus.

Importance of Symbolic Thought for Toddlers

You may feel that symbolic thoughts are just not so important. After all, how does imagining a thing as something else help your child? Well, the truth is that symbolic thought can improve the imaginative powers of your toddlers. What’s more, it unleashes their creativity and helps them improve their interactions. Symbolic thoughts can also help a tot to express himself in a better way and thereby help in his overall cognitive development. ||

Symbolic Thought in Play

Play time is one of the main times when you may cite your tot displaying his ability to symbolise things. He may take up some toys or everyday household objects and make them fill up for other things. So, when he pretends to be a super hero, he may use your stole or shawl as cape.However, it is not always necessary, that he uses objects to represent something. Many a times, you may also see him imagining things. So, you might see him acting like a commander in the army with his soldiers following him.

Symbolic Thought in Communication

They can use these skills even when communicating with others. When your toddler realises that he can get things done with a few signs or gestures, this is an example of symbolic thinking on the part of the toddler. Similarly, your toddler’s ability to draw things and color them or mimic others, also displays his symbolic thinking skills.

Developing Symbolic Thoughts in Toddlers

One of the best ways to develop symbolic thoughts in toddlers is by encouraging them to pretend play. There are a lot of pretend play toys available like doctor’s kit, miniature kitchen sets, mini laptops etc.You can chip in by pretending to be a comrade in the game. You can also make your own pretend games at home. How about taking a bed sheet and making it into a tent in the living room. Tell your toddler to imagine that the two of you are out camping.

Symbolic thinking plays a very important role and can even help your child take correct decisions in later years.

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