Cognitive Milestones


Birth – 6 months

  • 1 month: looks at mobiles and people’s faces; becomes quiet when picked up; cuddles when held 
  • 2 months: eyes follow moving person or object; stays awake for longer periods; beginning to smile 
  • 3 months: looks at own hands; feels objects with hands and mouth; turns eyes or head towards sounds; enjoys playful interaction; smiles at familiar people 
  • 4 months: focuses eyes towards sounds; looks at toy held in hands; smiles at self in mirror; laughs 
  • 5 months: finds a toy that is partially hidden under a cloth; makes sounds to get social attention; notices strangers 
  • 6 months: reaches for a toy out of reach; likes to be with people 

6-12 months

  • finds objects after watching them disappear 
  • looks at pictures in books 
  • begins to use objects as tools after being shown how 
  • handles toys in new ways: pulling, turning, poking, tearing 
  • enjoys cause and effect toys: light up and musical toys
    likes to play peekaboo, pat-a-cake 

12-18 months

  • enjoy looking at picture books 
  • identify self in mirror 
  • know some body parts 
  • follow some simple directions 
  • starting to match and sort by shape and color 
  • starting to match animal sounds to pictures

18-14 months  

  • actively explore cabinets and drawers 
  • put things in and away 
  • name six body parts 
  • sort objects by shape or color 
  • enjoy simple make-believe play 
  • participate in turn-taking 

2-3 years

  • engage in pretend and imaginative play 
  • match shapes 
  • understand the concept of “I” 
  • play side by side with peers 
  • sort colors 
  • identify body parts and their functions 
  • complete 3- to 4-piece puzzles

 3-5 years 

  • complete 3- to-10 piece interlocking puzzles 
  • name some colors and shapes 
  • count to ten 
  • sort by shape and color 
  • match pictures 
  • understand the concept of “two” 
  • aware of basic safety: caution with stairs, sharp objects, and hot objects