Thursday, August 27, 2009

Preschoolers...gotta love a little kid

Well, I know I am not really full-time homeschooling anymore, but I do have my little niece and nephew [ages 2 and 5] come over one morning a week to play, sing songs, have snack and have Aunt Jill read to them.

I really love little kids. They are so funny in so many ways that I find myself laughing right out loud a lot when they are around. I also love watching how they play and find it amazing that their natural curiosity leads them to do the very things they should be doing to develop their fine and large motor skills.

I have been doing a lot of research lately about what kind of things you can do to help your child develop in this area. I have read state standards, researched various activities, become very familiar with the Montessori method and gleaned ideas from various websites.

And, after all this research I have come up with the top three things to help your child develop as they should. So, for those who are interested, here goes:

  • Limit TV and computer games. They not only steal time, but they rob of children of imaginative play and of taking personal responsibility for entertaining themselves.
  • Read, Read, Read to your children. Reading teaches them a lot about language, it excites their imagination and broadens their world. READ!
  • Have classic toys available. These include [but are not limited to] balls, paper, crayons, scissors, blocks, toy cars, dolls and riding toys. With these simple toys a child can master many activities and have lots of imaginative play.
During my research I found an excellent resource for developing fine motor skills in preschool to first grade age children. I looked at many, many books and a lot of web sites, and talked to early child development teachers and this one book incorporates nearly every single idea that I found everywhere else.

It is called:

Activities for Fine Motor Skills Development, published by Teacher Created Resources. It has simple ideas, recipes, finger play games, black line masters to copy and much more. It is an amazing resource that I wish I would have had when I did my licensed home day care and when my children were young. It is well worth the price.

So if you have preschoolers I encourage you to get this book, limit TV and computer games, read to your children and have classic toys available.

Pictures from top:
  • My oldest child as a preschooler. You may think he is napping, but I always think of it as recharging his batteries.
  • A reminder of my hardest year--three preschoolers and temperatures that winter that were below zero most of the time. That was a looooong winter!
  • Scotty--he loved hats and I particularly love this picture because it seems to capture all the fun and seriousness that is bound up in a preschooler.
  • The best resource I found--very parent friendly!
Take care,

For more of my Pre-School thoughts and suggestions:

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