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Early Childhood Education » Helpful Ideas

Helpful Ideas

Here are a few ideas for you to help your child develop necessary skills.  
Alphabet Knowledge:  
Sing and say the ABCs with your child EVERY DAY, helping them where they get stuck and fixing any letters that are not correct: xyz instead of syz, lmno, qrs instead of qrx, etc.  Make it fun by singing it like a monster, opera singer, baby, etc.  
Practice the letters in your child's name.  Say them, write them, mix them up and put them in order.  If they know those letters, move onto others.  Talk about the sounds they say.  Get creative to hold your child's attention.  Use playdoh to form letters and also build fine motor skills.  Collect leaves and glue them on paper or cut up some yarn to use.   
Number Sense Skills:
Count EVERY DAY!!!  Practice the 'tricky teens' when counting.  If your child is counting higher than 20, practice counting by 10's.  This will help them to keep going after those 9s - 29, 39, 49.
Help your child development number sense by counting objects and writing or showing them the number that they have counted.  Help create an understanding of larger or smaller numbers.    
Motor Skills:
Work on strengthening your child's core.  Their core is the center of control for everything else the body does.  Having good core strenght will help with balance, coordinated movements on both sides of the body, sitting up straight in a chair, holding a pencil, controlling scissors, and jumping.
Here are some things to try: 
     The bridge - child lays on back with head and shoulders on ground, knees bent, and lift and lower their bottom off the floor.  Race cars under to make it a game. 
     Superman - lay on tummy on floor and fly like a superhero.  Place a stuffed animal on their back and see if they can keep it from falling off. 
     Plank - push-up position and hold for as long as possible.  Try it on knees if too hard on hands.  See if they can hold it for 3 balls to roll underneath. 
     Wheelbarrow walk 
     Crawl like an alligator with tummys on floor and pulling with arms while pushing with feet.  
Social Skills: 
Conversation:  Preschoolers love to talk but not always to each other.  Create opportunities to help your child with this skill.  They should be ready to talk with friends, read facial expression, take turns in a conversation, and stay on topic.
Cooperation:  This is more than just's also the ability to get along with others.  This comes with age and practice so make sure you create opprtunities for your child to build cooperative skills!
Conflict Resolution: Preschoolers typically aren't problem solvers.  They need practice finding words to say instead of hitting or yellling.  Talk them through things and help them to find words for their feeling.  By age 5, your child should be able to have a limited conversation with a peer but a fair compromise is a much more advanced skill. 
Communication: Improved vocabulary and speech clarity is great but communicating well also includes the abliity to express feelings, needs, wants, and knowledge with new people.   
Confidence:  Help your child build self esteem and confidence.  Allow them to do things for themselves without making little corrections.  Learning to take initiative will help them to build self-esteem and feel good about their abilities, which will serve your child well for life.
Self-Control: Learning self-control is an ongoing skill, but the more your child understands cause and effect, his ability to control his emotions increases.    
Curiosity: Curiosity is what allows your child to explore the world, ask questions, and draw conclusions.  Plan activities to encourage your child's curiosity.  
Children learn to regulate thoughts, feelings, behaviors and emotion by watching and responding to adults' self-regulation.  Self Regulation Article
Games to play - Red light, green light
                      - Hide & Seek
                      - Dancing: fast and slow to different kinds of music
                      - Count Down: Play a game where you can count down for your child and they he jumps (for example).  Making sure that he waits for the "go"!!  
Science Experiment:
Great Books for the Month: