Life with Preschoolers is never dull. The world is brand new and they have tons of questions. They want to explore everything even the normal everyday. They have worked hard the past several years learning to walk, talk, play.
Reading twenty minutes everyday has built a large vocabulary. They are familiar with how stories are structured and you may find them creating their own through “handwriting” on paper that may look like scribble scrabble but is the building blocks of hand writing. They may know how to print letters, especially the letters that make up their name. They may be writing numbers and can consistently count to the number ten but anything after that can be jumbled.
Preschoolers although chaotic at times like order and routines. They will ask for the same story over and over and over again just like they ask for the same lunch. Don’t be frustrated when your child doesn’t want to try something new. It is all a part of learning and our job as parents is to offer new choices and respect the times a child isn’t ready for something new. Keep offering it and eventually they will accept it.
When it comes to books your preschooler is ready to sit longer to listen to a story. Fairytales, folktales and fables are perfect for this age. Find fractured tales or old standbys filled with colorful illustrations and vibrant text.
Preschoolers are able to tell their own stories with fluency if they have grown up with reading. Find books with only pictures and have your child describe the action on the page.
They still might gravitate to board books and that’s okay. The simple illustrations and text are great ways to help them break apart the sounds of words in an safe and enjoyable way.
Rhyming books are still great choices especially as a young reader emerges. Try out different forms of poetry books as well as picture books. They can now play rhyming games with you. So whatever book you read you can pick out words and have them think of rhymes. Silly words or actual words all of it helps your child learn to read.
What can you work on to build your budding reader?
- Word games. I spy with rhymes or grocery store bingo or twenty questions at the playground. Pass time waiting at the doctor’s office or long car trips playing word games.
- Drawing Pictures. Sidewalk chalk, painting, crayons or whatever the artist’s tool of choice, hand grip and manipulation of writing tools improves the more your child practices. Always have paper and pencil available and let them practice.
- Reading Time. Let them explore books on their own. Set up library corners in their room with accessible books. Have baskets of books in every room of the house they frequent. The goal is to have your child picking up books and discovering their abilities as independent readers.
- Play Time. It may seem counter intuitive but kids learn a lot through unstructured play. Turn off the cell phone, clear the play date calendar and let your child roam free in the backyard and with their toys. Be nearby but out of their way. Their imaginations will explode, their brains will grow and they will be more comfortable entertaining themselves. A goal all parents can get behind.
- Be cautious of Screen time. Media is a part of our world and there is nothing wrong with that. But our job as parents is to monitor appropriate amounts of time with computers, tablets, smart phones, TV and other media. Be aware of what games your child plays. Not all are created equal. PBS Kids develops a lot of great games and apps to help children learn as they play. Put limits that are age and family appropriate.
My top 5 book picks for Preschoolers. (I do not get paid to review books. If you click on the picture the link will take you to Amazon. If you make a purchase from the link I do make a small profit.)
Post in the comments what your favorite books or games for preschoolers are.