Studies on the development of semantic networks are numerous in literature; researchers have analyzed the processes using different approaches. In this study we investigated the development and the use of semantic categories in preschool and school children. Our objective was to verify the presence and the use of semantic categories in cognitive development; the study aimed at analyzing the progression of competence in using associative categories in infancy. One hundred and twenty-nine children were involved (64 males and 65 females), aged between 50.8 months (± 3.0) and 92.4 months (± 4.0), divided into 4 groups, from the second year of maternal school to the second year of primary school. The children were presented with a test of semantic association. The categories analyzed were: function, part/all, contiguity, attribute, superordinate. Results showed the presence of significant differences in the five categories in relation to age. Particularly, the ability to use the function was significantly better than the category superordinate; also differences between categories vary with age.