Concrete Operational Stage – Learn About The Child Development Basics

concrete operational stage

Parents have started understanding the whole concept of child development and how physical and cognitive development are combined together to make the child cross the development stage. Now, there is a stage wherein the child would refuse to walk closer to a dustbin because it makes them sneeze. This has to be noted and appreciated because the child is able to make a logical link between two different events and this is a crucial part of the cognitive development stage. The third stage of cognitive development which focuses on thinking and reasoning would be termed as a concrete operational stage. In this article, we will be discussing the basics and details of the concrete operational stage. 

Concrete Operational Stage

If you would like to learn the basics of this stage, you can start by knowing concrete means physical things and operational would be the logical way of the thinking process. When the child is able to put it all together and come up with a rational conclusion, they are undergoing a concrete operational stage but then there is a possibility of limitations when they think about physical objects. It would also mean that the child would be grasping abstract thoughts in the next developmental stage. 

When Does It Occur?

A boy sitting on a bed

This concrete operational stage usually starts when the child comes up to seven years and will last until they reach 11. It can be considered as a transitional status between two 2 stages of development that they have already crossed and the upcoming final development stage. It is also possible for children as young as 4 and 6 being able to carry out cognitive tasks like this, which is why you should not be wondering when your 4-year-old comes up with something logical even when you have not thought about it.


A young girl standing in a room

You might want to learn the basic characteristics of the concrete operational stage. The first characteristic would be classification out of which one would be starting things into different categories like flowers and animals and other subcategories like yellow flowers and red flowers.

The next characteristic would be conservation which means they understand that when they squash that clay flat or roll it into a ball, they are in the same quantity. 

The following characteristics would be decentration, reversibility, social centricity, and seriation. All of these are about the child being able to figure out the names of products, sorting, and organizing. To this specific, social centricity is one of the characteristics that parents would be waiting for and that is when the children start understanding that the mother has her own thoughts and feelings. This is when they understand if mum says that she needs to leave the park now after five minutes of the see-saw, then that needs to be done.


Overall, this is one of the critical cognitive development of a child and these cannot be fit into an age category, which is why you cannot force yourself or the child to follow a particular timeline. This is the basic step-by-step development of the child but the progress could differ accordingly. 

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