What causes early thinking

Education and development field: thinking

The development of thought begins with the structuring of sensual perceptions and actions. Thinking depends on relationships from the start. The child needs emotional, non-verbal and verbal suggestions and reactions to their actions from their caregivers. If this dialogue does not succeed, it will be hindered in the development of its thinking. The feeling of security and an encouraging look from the teacher stimulates the child to embark on various explorations of his environment. A particularly important step is when the child includes the caregivers in their actions and a common center of attention is created.

From the beginning, children look for meaning and meaning. You have amazing perception and thinking abilities from a very early age. As early as six months, they can recognize and remember cause-effect relationships (e.g. when kicking - then movement, when shaking a rattle - then making a noise). Even at this age, they are able to form and remember categories and rules (known and unknown sound sequences of their first language). An initial understanding of sets is also developing. Even small children have an intuitive understanding that 1 plus 1 cannot be 1.

The development of language catapults the child's thinking further forward. Everyone knows the tendency of young children to ask incessantly about causes. These “why” questions (and their answers) are important for the child to be able to explain, predict, and ultimately control events. This already happens at the age of four, when children are able to formulate and test hypotheses. "The sun goes to sleep at night"; “My plant is bigger because I am older” are hypotheses made by children.

Children think in pictures and express themselves through pictures. This form of pictorial thinking needs to be given space by offering children a wide range of opportunities to express their thoughts and ideas. This includes not only the creation of images about reality, but also a kind of thinking about the possible and the impossible. Fantasies, utopias and visions develop from this. This form of thinking must find its special place and expression in aesthetic-artistic design and when making music.

What, how, by what, why, what for? The process of thinking must be supported in order to track down phenomena in everyday life and in nature, for example. Children relate to their environment by observing, comparing and researching. In doing so, they develop their own explanatory models - also in exchange with other children and caregivers.

Thinking encompasses all skills that help explain, structure and predict. Specifically, it is about creating categories and finding and applying rules, grasping cause-and-effect relationships, reasoning and problem-solving, as well as logical thinking.

In order for the child to learn and try out all of these skills, they need an environment that encourages them to do so. It's not about learning facts, it's about ways of thinking and strategies that are needed later when flying a kite, repairing a bike or hiding a Christmas present, as well as in science and mathematics lessons.

In the educational and developmental field of “thinking” a bridge is built between the concrete context and action-related experiences of the child and the child's thinking in images and symbols. Natural phenomena, technology and mathematics are part of the children's world and exert a great fascination on children. Appearances of nature, such as the seasons, lengths of day, sunshine duration, growth of plants, animals, people as well as technological inventions such as the kettle, the speedometer in the car and the odometer on the bicycle arouse the need to understand.

Childlike thinking is holistic thinking, which is why it is important not to approach the child's topics and questions in isolation, but to consider the mathematical, scientific and technical relationships as a whole and to embed them in childlike forms of expression and to make them tangible.

Aims: children

  • are amazed at everyday and natural phenomena and are linguistically accompanied and encouraged,
  • collect various things, such as stones, yogurt pots, leaves and chestnuts and other tree fruits,
  • enjoy thinking about things with others,
  • observe their surroundings closely, make assumptions and check them with various strategies,
  • systematize and document their observations,
  • recognize patterns, rules, symbols and relationships in order to grasp the world,
  • develop conceptions of quantities and recognize digits,
  • create plans (e.g. daily plan, plan of a festival, construction plan, route sketch, game plan),
  • ask themselves and their environment questions, also of a philosophical and religious nature, and look for answers,
  • experiment and pursue their own mathematical and scientific ideas,
  • experiment and pursue your own ideas in the linguistic, artistic and social areas,
  • construct and develop your own technical ideas,
  • reflect regularities and relationships,
  • give your thoughts, ideas, dreams and wishes an aesthetic-artistic expression.