13 - 15 Months

Help your toddler develop an important early reasoning skill

You know that your toddler’s lovey is either in their crib or the car. You look in their crib and don’t see it, so you know that it must be in the car. This form of logical reasoning is known as disjunctive reasoning or process of elimination. Adults use it to solve problems all the time—and even as early as 14 months, you can help your toddler develop this cognitive skill, too. 

You may need to watch your toddler closely to spot their early attempts at disjunctive reasoning. Because they can’t yet articulate their thoughts, noticing what your child chooses to look at will give you a glimpse into their budding reasoning abilities.

3 ways to help your toddler develop this early form of logic

  1. Hide a small ball in one of two identical containers that you can’t see through (think upside down plastic Solo cups). Make sure your child sees you put the ball under the container, and then mix up the containers. Lift the empty container to show your toddler that the ball isn’t inside, then say, “Where is the ball?” If your toddler looks at the other container, say, “Yes! The ball is under this one.” Let your toddler lift the second container to find the ball. 
  2. Take an object that your toddler can likely identify, like their spoon, and one that might be newer to them, perhaps a whisk. Put both objects in front of you. Ask your toddler, “Which one is the whisk?” If they look at the whisk, you can say, “Yes! That’s the whisk!” then pick up the whisk and hand it to them. This gives them a chance to practice process-of-elimination reasoning, which will serve them well in learning new vocabulary.
  3. Practice disjunctive reasoning while teaching your toddler new names of people in their lives. For example, if your friends Kyle and Maggie come over, you could say, “Look, it’s Kyle and Maggie!” Introduce Kyle by pointing to them, and then ask, “Where is Maggie?” If your toddler looks at Maggie, say, “Yes! That’s right—there’s Maggie!” 


Team Lovevery Avatar

Team Lovevery

Visit site

Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, 16 - 18 Months, Problem Solving, Executive Function, Cognitive Development, Lovevery App, Child Development

Keep reading