As preschool-aged children prepare for kindergarten, the learning environment becomes more structured while remaining age-appropriate, including other areas that focus on reaching educational and physical milestones.
Activities and emphasized skills:
Preschoolers exercise their independence while learning about responsibility by putting away their belongings, putting work away, and using the restroom on their own. They are also assigned classroom chores such as setting the tables for lunch and snacks, laying out rest mats, and additional help to ensure the classroom runs smoothly. Showing responsibility and having a task to complete increases the child’s self-esteem and gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing they contributed.
- Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor development is encouraged by providing opportunities to throw and kick balls, run, jump, climb, push, and pull. Other activities include peddling tricycles, hopping, swinging, sliding, and going up and down stairs.
- Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are further developed through the use of scissors, pencils, chalk, and other items in class. Pronate grasping develops as the students have access to these materials. It is at this time that the preschoolers begin to learn functions in dressing themselves such as zipping, buttoning, snapping, and tying through dress up. The preschoolers also begin to get comfortable with scooping, pouring, and scrubbing.
Once a child is able to draw shapes unassisted, the preschooler then moves on to writing letters.
Math skills increase to building towers of 9 cubes or more and counting to ten and above. Additional areas of math include working with buttons, levers, and moving parts. Puzzles are also given to enhance development varying in size from 4 to 50 pieces. The students are given materials to increase their understanding of reading left to right in math and with reading shelf work.
Our goal in the preschool class is to increase and develop a child’s language skills and to be able to communicate clearly with others. Building a strong foundation in reading at an early age reaps lifelong benefits. Books and reading time are given to the preschool daily. Line time is a chance for teachers to read and encourage excitement about reading books. Encouraging children to use their own words is imperative in this development.
- Cognitive Skills
The child’s imagination soars as make-believe play, dress up, and pretend with classmates. Work materials are available for the child to develop understandings of pulleys and levers and handles.
Socialization is a big part of the preschooler’s day as well as an important skill to develop before going to kindergarten. The children socialize with each other and learn to take turns, share, listen to what others are saying, and be kind to one another by working through feelings.
- Speech and Language
Preschoolers are known to ask many many questions. It is important for this age group to feel free to ask as many questions as they can in order to learn about the world around them. Children are encouraged to speak in full sentences to the teacher and their classmates. Names of familiar things are placed throughout the classroom for the children’s language development.
- Fine Arts
Singing, dancing, and visual art are especially fun to experience with preschoolers as their coordination improves. Art project increase in difficulty as the child’s skill increases.