Learning and developmental needs of preschoolers should be mastered by any parent. Why? The reason is that knowing these will help you support and further develop your child during his or her formative years. Thus, this post will provide you with those very vital data.
Preschoolers are children ages 3 to 5 years old. They don’t need to be enrolled into a preschool program just to be called a preschooler.
During these years, your child is already cultivating friendships, and recognizing feelings. It is also in these years where they enjoy physically strenuous activities such as running and climbing.
Learning and Developmental Needs of Preschoolers: Milestones
Children have different development rates. There are many skills that they have not learned yet but are already mastered by other children. Don’t worry and don’t panic just yet. You can consult your physician about the necessary skills. For now, let me give you a list of preschoolers’ milestones.
At 3 to 4 years old, they are capable of:
- Meeting and talking to people of different ages
- Understanding the concept of sharing
- Verbalizing and expressing thoughts
- Controlling tantrums
- Showing concern for others
- Telling and understanding a joke
- Expertly using the hands
At 4 to 5 years old, they are capable of:
- Asking and understanding deeper questions
- Skillfully walking, running, climbing, biking, and drawing
- Writing letters and understanding numbers
- Independence and demonstrating confidence
- Establishing friendship
- Making longer conversations
Does your child stutter? Can he make or say simple sentences? Can your child understand feelings? Can he draw simple shapes? If you see any difficulties on your child’s part regarding language and emotional development, please consult your physician.
Learning and Developmental Needs of Preschoolers: Play
Playing gives your child a chance to learn how to interact with other children. Through playing, your child learns more about himself. He will also begin to understand other people through play. In addition, emotional and intellectual areas are also developed through play.
Here are some games that you and your kid, or your kid and other kids can enjoy:
- Dress up games
- Running, singing, and climbing
- Pretend play (example: pretend doctor or nurse tending to a patient)
- Finger painting, and drawing
- Playing with dolls and action figures
Learning and Developmental Needs of Preschoolers: Communication
Children are always curious. For this reason, they ask a lot of questions. Please be patient when children do this because this is their way of learning. This is also one of the ways to express themselves. Just be honest if you don’t know the answer to the questions. Instead, ask them to find out the answer. This will help develop critical thinking and encourage problem-solving.
You also need to talk to your child properly when they are misbehaving. Let them know what you feel about their behavior. When they do something good, make sure that you praise them so that they will repeat their good action.
Follow through your promises. Best of all, keep everything light and fun. Just talk to them. It will take time for them to understand your instructions so be tolerant if they make mistakes.
Learning and Developmental Needs of Preschoolers: Additional Tips
There are many things you can do to support your child’s development:
- Let him or her try new things and experiment. Don’t be afraid to let him explore. This will open his world to new wonders.
- Let him talk. Ask him about his observations, thoughts, and opinions. Have frequent discussions about what’s happening in your surroundings.
- If he has questions that you don’t know how to answer, research about them together.
- Always ask him to picture out things. For instance, you can make a play about a bird’s life – what a bird does or where it goes every day, how it eats, etc. This will encourage creative thinking and inquisitiveness.
- Sing songs and read books together.
These are the learning and developmental needs of preschoolers. They need to play to learn and they need to be talked to. As parents, you must check the milestones and consult your doctor about your observation. For more information about parenting, please browse the rest of the Parenting Domain site.