3 – 5 Years
Your child is a preschooler. As his self-esteem continues to grow, your child is interested in talking and can do a lot more by himself. This is an important time to sing, talk and read to help set your child on the road to success in school and life. If you don’t have one already, now is a good time to get a library card. Use it to access your local library.
Explore ways to help your preschooler learn and grow.
Your child learns and uses more words.
Point out words you see while you walk together and ask your child to repeat them. While shopping, have him help place items in the shopping cart and tell you what they are. Poetry can increase your child’s interest in words. Books with silly, made-up words help your child have fun with reading. Books with repeat words and phrases increase her interest in words.
Your preschooler does more on her own.
Your child is proud when she can accomplish a task. While she helps you pick up her clothes and toys, ask her to tell you the name and color of each item.
Visit the library and let your child choose her own books. Books, including those with no words that allow your child to make up or tell the story, are a great way to show what she can do. Some books allow your child to guess what happens next. This helps her understand the structure of a story.
Songs from the radio or songbooks like Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan and The Lady with the Alligator Purse by Nadine Westcott are good options for your preschooler. She can sing along with the repeat chorus.
Your child’s self-esteem grows.
As your child’s personality develops, it is important for him to hear and read stories that he can identify with. Share stories about your childhood or special memories about a grandparent. Choose books with human characters who look like your child or animals that act like children.
Your preschooler learns harder concepts.
As your child grows, she learns letters, numbers, colors and opposites. Support learning about letters with books like Alphabetics by Suse MacDonald, LMNO Peas by Kieth Baker and Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin.
Write together with crayons on the Metro or while waiting to see the doctor. Help your child write her name using different colored crayons. Explore colors through books like Green by Laura Vacaro Seeger.
Your child learns through play.
Pretend play helps your child learn. Have a pretend picnic with your child. Talk with him about the pretend food you are eating and talk with his pretend friends who are at the picnic. Read books that celebrate pretend play like I Stink! by Kate McMullan.
Your child’s knowledge of letters increases even more.
When reading a book with your child, point out the words in the title and see if he can find them later in the text. Read books where words are repeated often, like Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberley. Encourage your child to write the letters.
Your preschooler is interested in the world around her.
As your child gets older, she becomes interested in the world. Talk with her about the butterflies or worms you see outside. Talk about the new homes or buildings being built in your neighborhood. Choose books about science, history, machines or dinosaurs.