One of the silver linings offered by this lockdown is having more time with the kids. This is a unique opportunity to witness and nurture their growth. It’s tempting to just play and spend this time having fun with them, but it’s also important to make the most of this chance and guide their development with activities that can help them grow into well-rounded individuals in the future. This is especially important for preschoolers.
According to the California Department of Education, children from three to five years old need a lot of guidance as they begin to discover more about themselves and the world around them.
Here are six areas of development you should pay attention to.
During this time, children exercise their problem solving and critical thinking skills. You’ll be surprised by their reasoning thought process when you ask them ‘why’ questions. It’s important to give short and simple explanations at this stage. Repetition is also an excellent teacher.
Have your children play puzzle and memory games to further enhance their cognitive development. A 3D puzzle may be more interesting and engaging for them. Give them help and encouragement during this activity.
According to the Indiana University of Health, at two, children can remember 10 words. At three years old, they can learn 1000 words. This significant jump in their vocabulary means their ready for a higher level of communication. During this time, it’s important to have conversations with them. Reading and story-telling sessions are also very important in improving communication. You can teach them songs and sing with them too.
This is also an important time for creative development in children. According to Scholastic, this is around the time they enter into Jean Piaget’s pre-operational period, defined by their ability to use symbols to represent something else. Foster creativity by having them play in the sandbox and build structures. Coloring books are also helpful during this time. Toy blocks like Lego promote creative and cognitive learning as well.
According to WebMD, preschoolers are ruled by emotions. They begin to understand what they feel but still lack control over it. Having them care for dolls and puppets may be a good idea at this stage. They can further understand human need and kindness through these dolls. According to Fatherly, these toys are windows into the emotional life of your child.
This is the stage where your child is slowly learning to share and cooperate. They start engaging with other children instead of just playing alongside them before. This is also the time they start to prefer spending time with other children, or peers instead of adults. Preschoolers are starting to understand social norms during this time too. It’s important to give them playtime with other kids of similar ages. Video calls and children’s shows may not be as effective, but they are viable alternatives during the quarantine.
Preschoolers grow heavier and taller. They have primary teeth and have 20/20 vision at age four. According to Medline Plus, this stage can be dangerous for children because of how mobile they’ve become. Parental supervision is a must. You can channel physical play into activities like dancing, jumping on a trampoline, walking around the neighborhood, etc. Here is a list of possible activities by Verywell Family.
As valuable these years are for your children’s growth, they will also fly by. Make sure you get the most out of this time with them.