10 Examples Of How Cognitive Learning Works

Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Editorial Team

Do you remember a time when you struggled to learn something new, but suddenly it clicked? That’s the magic of cognitive learning! In the classroom, this approach emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and skills through problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making. 

With cognitive learning, students can develop a deep understanding of a subject rather than simply memorizing facts. From interactive discussions to hands-on activities, cognitive learning provides endless opportunities for students to explore and learn in a dynamic environment. 

In this blog, we will explore some fascinating examples of cognitive learning; you can imply that kids develop cognitive abilities using cognitive learning and also discuss some research-based facts to answer if cognitive learning is beneficial for learning disabilities.

Fun and engaging cognitive learning examples for kids!

Let’s understand how cognitive learning works. Cognitive learning is a way of learning that uses our thinking abilities. When we learn, we use our brains to make connections between new things we learn and things we already know. It’s like adding puzzle pieces to a puzzle we already started. 

Cognitive learning prioritizes active involvement in the learning process, specifically through activities and questioning. It is believed that by participating in hands-on activities and asking meaningful questions, learners are able to comprehend and internalize new concepts more effectively. This educational approach also encourages individuals to reflect on their personal learning preferences and explore different methods for self-improvement. Here are a few examples of cognitive learning with kids.

1. Puzzles


Puzzles are a fantastic way to exercise your brain and promote cognitive learning. Whether it’s solving a crossword, Sudoku, or a jigsaw puzzle, the act of piecing together information stimulates the mind and improves problem-solving skills.

As kids tackle difficult levels and challenges, they enhance their skills and develop skills like spatial reasoning. For small kids, teachers can provide simple puzzles to explore, while for students in higher classes, sudoku, and other complex puzzles are great to engage their minds.

2. Memory games

 Memory games

Memory games are an effective means of fostering cognitive learning within the classroom setting. These games are not only enjoyable and interactive as well as improve students’ memory retention and recall capabilities. You can create a  customized word chain or memory match game in class related to any topic or subject.

For example, if a child is struggling with learning sight words, you can create a memory game with matching pairs of sight words and corresponding pictures. 

3. Building blocks

Building blocks

Legos and Duplos are more than just toys – they’re a way for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills, through games and unleash their creativity. Instead of following step-by-step instructions, let the little ones create their masterpieces. This allows them to explore their own problem-solving skills and discover their own unique style.

Building block games can allow young learners to explore and engage with concepts in a tactile and interactive way. Children, in general, are often characterized as being “hands-on learners,” meaning that they learn best through active engagement and physical manipulation of objects.

4. Sorting and categorizing activities

 Sorting and categorizing activities

Sorting and categorizing activities are more than just fun and games – they’re an effective way to promote cognitive development in children! By grouping objects based on their similarities and differences, kids can develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and organizational skills.

Plus, they’ll learn how to recognize patterns and relationships, which will help them succeed in many aspects of their lives. Whether in the classroom or during playtime, sorting, and categorizing activities are fundamental tools for building a strong foundation of cognitive skills.

5. Board games

Board games

Board games such as Chess and Checkers are great for developing children’s strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. Board games aren’t just fun – they’re also great for your brain! Playing board games can help boost your decision-making, problem-solving, and strategic thinking skills when you combat to beat other players.

And that’s not all – board games can also improve your social skills, like communication and teamwork when children play with their friends or class makes.

6. Arts and crafts

 Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts activities, such as drawing, painting, and sculpting, are not only fun and creative, but they can also provide significant benefits to cognitive learning. When children engage in arts and crafts activities, they use their hands and fingers to manipulate various materials, which helps to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Furthermore, when they select materials and decide how to use them, they engage in critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Furthermore, by exploring different colors, textures, and shapes, they can develop their visual-spatial skills enhance their ability to think in abstract terms, and also promote creativity and self-expression

7. Reading


This timeless activity provides a mental workout that challenges their brains and helps to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and language skills. As they read, children are constantly processing new information and expanding their knowledge, strengthening their memory and comprehension abilities. Plus, reading activities can ignite their creativity and imagination, allowing them to develop their own unique ideas and perspectives.

8. Cooking and baking

Cooking and baking

Have you ever considered cooking and baking as more than just a way to satisfy your cravings? Well, it turns out that it’s not just about the delicious end result but also about the educational benefits that come along with it. By involving your children in the kitchen, you can help them develop their math skills, understanding of measurements, and problem-solving abilities – all while having fun.

To make this experience more unique, allow children to choose their recipes and adapt them to suit their tastes and preferences. This will encourage them to experiment with different ingredients and develop their cooking skills. This can also be a great opportunity to teach children about nutrition and healthy eating habits.

9. Computer games

Computer games

Computer games have come a long way from just being a source of entertainment. They are now being increasingly used as a tool for cognitive learning with adventure, stimulation, and strategy to educational and brain training games.

These games are specifically designed with prompt critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and decision-making abilities. Such games are Luminosity, brainHQ, Minecraft Education Edition, and more.

 10. Outdoor Exploration

Outdoor exploration

As you wander through the wilderness, let’s encourage our young minds to wonder with curiosity. Take children on outdoor exploration activities, such as nature walks, scavenger hunts, or geocaching. Encourage them to observe and ask questions about their surroundings, and allow them to explore at their own pace.

Every step of the way, they discover new things about the environment and its inhabitants, from the fluttering of butterfly wings to the colorful petals of flowers. Provide resources such as field guides or maps to help them identify plants and animals they may encounter.  

Facts explored: Can cognitive learning be beneficial for kids with learning disabilities?

Children with learning disabilities often face unique challenges when it comes to acquiring and applying knowledge. Traditional classroom settings and teaching methods may not always be effective for these children, who may need personalized attention and adaptive strategies to maximize their learning potential.

Here cognitive training can benefit children with learning disabilities. Yes, research[1] suggests that cognitive training can help children with learning disabilities. In fact, computer-based assistive technologies are often used to provide personalized cognitive training to improve the learning abilities of such children.

Cognitive strategies[2] and instructions are also proven effective in improving learning, performance, and self-regulation for children, adolescents, young adults, and even adults with LD. Through intentional processes that involve planning, execution, monitoring, and evaluating strategies, a teacher can see significant improvements in learners. Whether it’s mnemonics, composition, or mathematics, structured and explicit instruction can make all the difference.


It is important to note that cognitive learning strategies should be tailored to the specific needs and abilities of each child. It is also important to work with a trained professional, such as a teacher, therapist, or educational psychologist, to develop and implement an appropriate cognitive learning program for children with learning disabilities while staying up to date with research.


  1. Shen, X., & Xu, C. (2021). Research on children’s cognitive development for learning disabilities using recommendation method. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpe.6097
  2. Wong, B. Y. L., Harris, K. R., Graham, S., & Butler, D. L. (2003). Cognitive strategies instruction research in learning disabilities. In H. L. Swanson, K. R. Harris, & S. Graham (Eds.), Handbook of learning disabilities (pp. 383–402). The Guilford Press.

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