By the time they reach pre-school age, children are keen learners, but exactly how do they learn?
Pre-schoolers are defined as children between the age of three and five years old and it refers to the time before they attend school at five years old.
From the age of three years old, children largely learn new skills and abilities through doing things and sharing their world with adults. Toys can help their learning, but you don’t need to spend loads of money on big or expensive toys, as they learn a lot from everyday activities and what’s going on in the world around them.
Pre-schoolers have already come a long way in their learning and you’ll have seen great changes in their ability as they progress from being a toddler to being a pre-schooler. Doing things is one of the most vital elements of early childhood education and learning for pre-schoolers – although to them, it’s all about fun. So incorporating lots of fun activities into their day, including plenty of new things to try and explore, will significantly help your child learn more at this age.
Talking And Listening
Pre-schoolers will be mastering the art of talking and slowly building up their vocabulary of words. They learn more about the art of talking and our language through listening to other people who speak to them and the speech going on around them. Plus, actually speaking themselves and putting it into action will improve their learning of language enormously.
You can help your pre-schooler by talking to them lots during the day and encouraging them to talk to other people too. This could be to siblings, grandparents or your friends. The more opportunities they have to talk, the more they’ll be learning about how to put ideas into spoken words.
It’s also helpful for you to ask your child questions, both simple ones that will require a yes or no answer, and questions which will make them think and have to come up with their own thought out answer. For example, this could be a question such as, “What did you do at Grandma’s house?” where they’ll have to explain what they’ve done during the day or, “What did you think of the farm?” where they’ll have to put their thoughts into words.
Pre-schoolers will also be learning and developing their motor skills, which involve using their fingers and hands and developing coordination. You can add to this learning ability by encouraging them to do simple tasks that involve the use of their hands and fingers or play games that involve these skills.
For example, you could thread plastic beads onto elastic to make a necklace (girls will like this, in particular) or you could have a go at making play dough models or doing a puzzle.
There are also personal tasks and dressing skills that involve good motor skills, such as brushing teeth, doing up zips or doing up buttons on clothes that help these skills too.
The development of good motor skills will help a child with their ability to write and draw too, as they need to have a good and still grip to be able to hold a crayon, pencil or pen properly in order to learn to write their name.