Six experiments examined children's ability to make inferences using temporal order information. Children completed versions of a task involving a toy zoo; one version required reasoning about past events (search task) and the other required reasoning about future events (planning task). Children younger than 5 years failed both the search and the planning tasks, whereas 5-year-olds passed both (Experiments 1 and 2). However, when the number of events in the sequence was reduced (Experiment 3), 4-year-olds were successful on the search task but not the planning task. Planning difficulties persisted even when relevant cues were provided (Experiments 4 and 5). Experiment 6 showed that improved performance on the search task found in Experiment 3 was not due to the removal of response ambiguity.
McColgan, K., & McCormack, T. (2008). Searching and planning: Young children's reasoning about past and future event sequences. Child Development, 79(5), 1477-1497. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01200.x