Cognitive Skill Builders for Kids – Teacher Tip #3


Continuing our series of guest teacher tips, educator Renee answers the question:

What is your favorite activity for strengthening students’ cognitive skills?


Cognitive Skill Builders for Kids Tip 3

As an early learning educator, parents often ask me how they can help their child grow.


Lo and behold the answer is not in flashcards or spelling drills but in building cognitive development.  It is about growing and exercising thinking skills.  Although cognitive skills and intelligence do go hand in hand, cognitive thinking goes beyond facts and academics.  I am sharing with you one of my favorite games to help build these skills with early learners. It is called


Which One Doesn’t Belong, and Why?

You can do this game anywhere including on the go. This game can be tailored to build visual, tactile, and auditory skills.


How to Play:

A person suggests verbally three to four things that relate to each other and one that does not. After the suggestions have been given, the person says, “Which one doesn’t belong? And why?”


This version of the game best builds auditory cognitive skills.



Visual skills: Use pictures or physical objects instead of words. Ask the learner to guess which doesn’t belong from the pictures or physical object.


Tactile skills: Have your learner practice writing skills by writing the answer. Another modification for this type of learner is to put physical items in a box with a slit in it to only feel the physical difference in the object.


Renee is an early learning educator who works with parents of toddlers & school aged children to build a strong foundation for their child’s education.  Learn more at