Kids love to learn, and they are absolute sponges for knowledge. A child learns more, and grows more, in the first five years of their life than they will throughout the rest of it. Think about it for a minute. In those five years, the child learns to sit up, walk, talk, be polite and share his toys. In those five years, the child learns to become the person that they will be forever. So, paying attention to the development of your child at this stage is absolutely, fundamentally important. Parents can foster healthy growth with the types of preschool activities that they choose and keep up with. Don’t wait until your child starts kindergarten, thinking that that is the place where he or she will start learning. There are some things that you need to do with your child before then.
The Importance of Preschool Activities To Help Train The Brain
In the preschool years, the child needs to spend some time learning through tactile activities, to build his or her skills, confidence in themselves and relationships with others. In the first five years, your child is becoming a person. They are learning to engage with the parent and the other people in their life, and at this time they are shaping their futures. The relationship with the parent at this time is central to the child’s life and the child needs to connect with them in a positive loving way. Through completing activities together, the child receives a sense of pride and accomplishment in what has been learned. Preschool activities should be hands on. Tactile experiences will do more for them than typical school-age activities, such as memorization drills or rote learning. Consider cooking with your child, playing games and singing songs. Dance together, or watch some TV together so that you are spending time together and the child feels engaged and safe. Let your little one do things for him or herself, don’t help unless they really need it. In a recent article entitled ‘Please don’t help my kids’, Kate Bassford Baker spoke of taking her daughter to the park to teach her how to climb the ladder to get to the slide, not to be at the top all the time.
Allowing the child to do things for himself will help to build confidence and strength. The kinds of things that you can do at this age are drawing and coloring activities or building things with blocks. This will help to build up their motor skills. Give them autonomy in stages. Let them make some decisions on the kinds of clothing they want to wear, or at least let them choose one t-shirt out of two, or whether they want the fireman pajamas or the stripy ones.
The first five years helps to form the child’s brain. How they begin to learn at this age will form how they learn throughout their life. Reading to your child and getting them used to the printed word is a very important part of preschool activities. They will begin to be curious about reading and develop a life-long attachment to it. Kids who are exposed to language, will be more social and more ready for school. Reading to them helps their literacy skills by building a larger vocabulary and an understanding of phonics. They will also get the idea that marks on a page represent words. You don’t need to teach them to read at this point, but they should know the alphabet.
However, at this age, be careful that the preschool activities that you choose do not do too much. There are many internet sites listing the top 100, or the top ten things your child should know before they start kindergarten, check them out and look at them. Your child has to develop at his or her own pace, but the things that they learn at this point should be relevant to their developmental stage. Don’t over teach, but let them go in things that are exploratory and experimental. Let them touch, feel and try new things. At this age, preschool activities are very important. They need love and encouragement to develop the sense of trust in themselves and their abilities that will become confidence as they grow.
This article was written by Susan editor of ChalkPreSchool.com.