Children between the ages of 3 – 5 continue to make significant changes. It is amazing how fast time goes as they grow and develop into their little own person. You can expect the following as your preschooler develops:
- Begin to play WITH other children rather than next to them. Group activities become more appealing since their attention span is longer.
- Are more likely to share and take turns as they realize others have feelings too.
- Become more self-reliant as they dress themselves, bathe and grab a snack out of the pantry.
- Are more coordinated and love to run, jump, dance, skip and play catch.
- They may develop fears (monster under the bed) or imaginary friends.
- As their vocabulary increases they will be able to understand and follow directions. Use new words in longer sentences and be aware of rhyming sounds and words.
- They will develop a sense of humor and like riddles and practical jokes. Making faces and being silly will become one of their favorite activities.
- Many children will be able to recognize numbers and letters. They may attempt to read or repeat sentences from their favorite storybook. Their writing and scribbles will improve.
- They will be able to recognize shapes such as triangles, circles, squares and rectangles.
Preschooler development requires several opportunities to interact with other children so they can learn to take turns and share. Play time also provides them opportunity to develop coordination. Continue to read, talk and sing to your child to develop their growing language abilities. Explore numbers, the alphabet and help them attempt to write messages.
As your child grows he is going to want to be more independent by dressing himself and exploring. This is okay but it is important to set limits and not allow him to run amuck. Provide clear and consistent discipline and when you tell him no, follow up with what he should be doing instead.
During this stage of development you can include your child in many more activities around the home. They can help fold laundry such as sock and towels. They can help out in the kitchen by setting the table or adding ingredients to chocolate chip cookies. There are a number of things your child can do to help out around the home that will enhance their development. It’s when they are young they actually think household chores are fun.
Continue to provide your child with a loving and supportive environment with plenty of exercise, water and a healthy diet. Remember, your interactions and the interactions of others are shaping your preschooler’s personality and way of thinking.