Preschool Age Child Development

Preschool Age Child Development

Preschool Age Child Development
Your preschooler is developing and learning at a rapid rate. Experts agree that preschoolers need both structure and freedom in their early development. Routines, especially around mealtimes and bedtime, help children to eat more nutritiously and sleep better. Encourage imaginative play, which advances cognitive development and creative thought while boosting physical development and interpersonal skills.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    About 10 percent of kids have problems integrating all of the senses -- that is, perceiving info they receive from their senses and developing responses to it. These boys and girls may refuse to eat foods with certain textures or have aversions to baths or haircuts because they recoil from the sensation of water or a pair of scissors against their skin. They may be supersensitive to the sounds of fire alarms and vacuum cleaners or even feel disoriented while running and swinging (called gravitational insecurity).
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Left-handers from my dad’s generation had horrid tales from their school days. My 80-year-old aunt said her first grade teacher bound her left hand tightly behind her back forcing her to become right-handed. My uncle said it took years to erase his fear that he would “wrongly” use his left-hand. The harsh scolding from his strict schoolteacher still haunts him. Some historians say that even Ronald Reagan switched from left to right-handed as his life evolved because the image of growing up as a southpaw was so negative. Now I must disclose I’m right-handed and a mom and wife of lefties. I’ve seen both my husband and son’s frustrations when dealing with our right-handed world.

    Many everyday habits we take for granted for example, shaking hands cause them anguish. Can you imagine being greeted with an extended left-hand instead of the “proper” right-hand? Tsk-tsk! Dining poses another challenge. Whenever my left-handed husband or son began the matter of meat-cutting the predictable would happen. “Oh he’s left-handed,” the guest would groan. “I should have sat on the other side.” There are advantages to being left-handed. Daniel Geschwind, a UCLA expert in neurobehavioral genetics, noted that creative fields like music, art, and architecture have more than their share of lefties. That would make sense since this is the same hand used by Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci to create their masterpieces. More than a few studies have revealed there is a creative tendency in left-handed kids thus lefties such as Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, and Ludwig van Beethoven. University College Dublin found that left-handed men earn five per cent more every hour than right-handers. Don’t rule out that your lefty may just end up as Commander-in-Chief.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    There are many benefits of play.  Play increases affiliation with peers, releases tension, advances cognitive development, and increases exploration.  Children may also use play to practice roles they may assume later in life.  Play increases the probability that children will converse and interact with each other and therefore should be encouraged in young children.  Parents should encourage imaginative play as it advances children’s cognitive development and creative thought.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    The process of pruning neurological connections is directly related to the environment to which a child is exposed. We prune connections that we don't use, as exemplified by the fact that we're not exposed to certain stimuli in our environment. (It's the old "use it or lose it" idea.) If a baby isn't spoken or read to, his brain might decide that he doesn't need those language neurons. The opposite is also true: We strengthen the connections that our brains deem important because of repeated exposure. That's why creating a routine is such an effective way to instill good habits in your child.
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    Here are some ways to make reading fun:
    • Chat it up. Talk about the story.
    • Mix it up. Have your child come up with an alternate ending.
    • Keep ’em guessing. Ask your child to guess what will happen next.
    • Involve them. Discuss ways she might deal with a challenge or problem presented in the story.
    • Be dramatic. Use different voices for each character in the story.
    • Take turns. Trade off reading chapters.

    From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

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    The following tips can help with your preschooler's development:
    • It's never too early to make sure that your child is active: playing tag, doing gymnastics, swimming, and learning to love the fun that comes from moving, stretching, jumping, and running. Activity is one of the greatest ways to combat childhood obesity. Make it a family-fun time.
    • Reinforce good manners. There cannot be too many please-and-thank-yous.
    • No TV in the bedrooms. No TV during meals. No TV as a replacement for real people.
    • Set a daily limit for TV and video games. (We recommend no more than 1 to 2 hours a day for children over age 2.) Instead of TV and the risk of inappropriate commercial messaging, we recommend child-friendly DVDs, such as The Magic School Bus and Sesame Street ABCs.
    • If your child is interested in computers or video games, limit him to a maximum of 1 to 2 hours of combined screen time a day (TV, video games, computers).
    • Puzzles = good fun and high learning.
    • Play fun games that keep your child active, like keeping the balloon off the floor or throwing socks at each other in the bedroom. Even a nice game of catch or hide-and-seek will do the trick. If you have a specific game that you like to play, be open to playing it another way. A child may not be able to play Candy Land by the rules, but if you sit back and watch and listen, he may choose another way to play that he enjoys just as much.
    • Teach your child his first and last name, your real names (other than Mommy and Daddy), and his telephone number (important) and address. A great way to help him memorize his phone number is to set it to the tune of the first line of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
    • Remember, this may be your last opportunity to spend such a high%age of time with your child; teachers and peers get big-time attention soon enough. Take advantage of it! Now's a great time to start talking about meaningful things: to communicate your own values to your child and to teach him about how he fits into this great, big, wide world.
    • Keep on reading to your child. Just because he's started school doesn't mean that your job as teacher is over.
    • Be careful not to overprogram. Leave some down time for rest and relaxation and independent play, especially with you. This is how kids develop social skills and learn to cope with conflict and stress.
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    A Psychology, answered on behalf of
    During the preschool years, emotional development occurs as kids gain more control over their limbic system, which is basically the feeling center of the brain. Also, the frontal lobe is developing a lot more. Kids are learning to use more words. As their vocabulary expands, their ability to put emotional states into words also expands. This is when you start hearing not just "mad, sad, happy and scared", but words like "excited." Kids start understanding a little more that there is a difference between two feeling states.

    Preschoolers start paying more attention to the feelings of others. Empathy starts to emerge. It is mostly in the context of their caregivers that they are able to read other people's feeling states. At this point, it may not yet happen with a complete stranger.
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    A , Psychology, answered

    There are many ways to help your kids learn to play alone and entertain themselves.  Here are boredom busters to try:

    Learn to Be Alone. A word to the wise: if your kids come back after two minutes of alone time, you may need to first teach your kids how to enjoy their own company. The truth is some of our kids actually need to learn how to play alone. So start by thing of age-appropriate activities that your child could “do alone.” (For a young child: doing a puzzle; for an older kid: learning to play Solitaire). Then teach your child the “solo activity using the baby step model: First show how to do the game together. Next, watch and guide to ensure he knows the rules. Finally, wean him from you being there until voila! – You step back and your child is playing alone.

    Build It In. The reality is you still have to be the boss of free play. At first your kids aren’t going to run off like Tom Sawyer. Put up a calendar where you and your kid mark in regularly scheduled summer activities (like days at summer school, camp, sports or swim lessons). Keep some hours open and point out that those are times when your kid is “free” and on his own.

    Set Unplugged Rules.  Set a specific limit for TV or video game viewing. Keep in mind that the average kid aged 8 to 17 is plugged into some kind of electronic device at least 7 ½ hours a day, so wean your kid away from those video games. Your first step is to assess just how often your child is “plugged in.” Decide a maximum time allotment and then post those rules ASAP so your kid is clear of those expectations. If not, you may end up with coach potato.

    Wean Away From You. Of course a toddler can’t occupy his time alone – nor do you want him to. But you will want to gradually start your child weaning away from needing you 24/7 when you see he or she is ready to learn those independent skills. Start with “I’ll be back in one minute—I can’t wait to see what you drew when I return. Surprise me!” Then keep your word, and keep increasing alone time. (You can still be in the room for a young child – just not always managing his every move).

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    First off, spend time each day reading together with your child starting when she is very young. Reading to your children is the most significant thing you can do to encourage brain development. I can’t emphasize this enough. Whether you’re snuggling together on the couch, or sitting bedside before lights out, it’s a special time for you and your child. Not only does it strengthen your bond, your child will associate reading with warm feelings, prompting them to read more.

    Once your child learns to read on her own, it’s still important to have read-aloud time together. Ask your child to read to younger siblings. They’ll be proud of their ability, and the younger kids will be even more enthusiastic about learning to read.

    From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Daily classroom Pre-K to kindergarten routines typically include:

    Circle or group time: Children sit together and the coach initiates a conversation about topics such as the weather, the calendar, the seasons, a field trip, or an upcoming holiday. Sometimes she leads a discussion about a special theme or group project. The children learn concepts of time and space and gain new vocabulary words.

    Free choice: Children choose from a variety of different activities available in the classroom: block building, puzzles, dress-up, water or sand play, drawing, or painting. They initiate their own play, either alone or with other children. They learn how to work independently, take turns, share, and play cooperatively with others.

    Group activity: During this time, children may learn a song or dance. They may participate in making up a story, preparing a meal, planning a village, or working on a science or art project. They practice new skills, develop fine motor control, learn how to communicate their ideas and needs effectively, and how to work together as a team.

    Snack: As they eat, preschoolers learn social and practical skills: how to set the table, to pass the juice and crackers, to carry on a conversation.

    Outdoor play: Climbing, running, jumping, bouncing balls, and crawling through tunnels helps children develop large muscle control, motor coordination, and balance.

    Clean-up: As they clear the table or put away the blocks, children learn how to plan, organize, and work with others.

    Story time: Children gather together in a comfortable corner of the room to listen as the coach tells a story or reads from a book. They look at the illustrations and discuss them. The teacher asks questions about the story, helping children to learn to predict what will happen next. She encourages them to think about the characters and plot and to use new vocabulary from the story.