Children learn about their world by listening, observing, copying and experimenting. The world of infants is very small and their repertoire of skills limited. They learn about their world through observation, by reaching and grasping objects and by copying sounds and actions. By contrast, toddlers are mobile and their worlds are large. Their motor skills are greater and they begin to attempt constructional tasks, thereby learning about aspects such as size, shape, the properties of objects and space.
The child is an active participant in the learning process. Progress depends upon not only the learning opportunities, but also the child’s learning strategies and processes. Information processing in infants is related to later cognitive abilities in memory and speed of processing, thus in visual recognition tasks, habituation, learning, object permanence and attention, including crossmodality.
In older children, the features of new problem solving that are linked to learning are variability, ability to shift focus, frequency of self-correction and diversity of strategies.