Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Preschool Years (3–5)

What advances in symbolic thought take place in the preschool years?

While the toddler learns to symbolize objects and events that are not present, the preschool child learns to manipulate objects and events in his or her own mind. In other words, the preschool child is capable of imagination. Not only can preschool children refer to something that is not present, they can change it in their mind. This significant shift opens the door to pretend play, to fantasy, and even to lying.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Psychology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App