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Friday, April 11, 2008

Preschooler at Home?

I know there are millions of us out there with preschoolers at home. Many time parents wonder, "What are some good materials to have at home for my preschooler?"

I think it is important to have some craft material. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, the basics are good. Definitely, you will need paper—I think my little one has already depleted a forest. Drawing paper, construction paper, scrap paper—very important to have around. Also coloring books are good. Then of course, you will need those ever important crayons. Markers are great too, the children really love how bright the colors are with markers, but they can be messier than crayons. Paint is another good medium to have. I opt for the watercolors—easy clean up. With watercolors I can give the kids the paint, brushes, and paper and let them go. When dealing with tempera paint, there is a bit more supervision involved. At the school when we do a craft with tempera, it is more of a teacher supervised activity, but if we do something with watercolor, I can put these at one of the independent stations. Sure things get wet, but at least the children and area aren’t a whole different color if I leave them alone.

Of course, you are also going to need some glue. I really like glue sticks because there is a lot less mess associated with them, and the drying time is much quicker, but any type of glue will work.

Next on the list is an item that isn’t always popular—scissors. Young children need as much practice as possible with scissors. In the early years they don’t have to cut out anything specific. They can cut newspapers, magazines, old flyers, junk mail, just watch the hair. It is mostly the aspect of allowing the children to become comfortable holding the scissors, moving the scissors, and cutting something. Scissor skills are a very important part of our three-year-old program. We like the children to leave this class being comfortable and successful with scissors. When you give your child scissors, I love Fiskars they work really well, just let them do want they want. Try not to be too directive—they could become frustrated. Your goal is to allow them the time to enjoy using scissors.

Our next item is another one that parents don’t always cherish—play dough. Children love play dough and it does wonders for their motor skills. Kneading, pounding, rolling, pressing, molding,--all valuable skills in the development of a preschooler, and all skills that play dough promotes. Sometimes parents seem to forget that motor skills are just as important as academic skills; that is where play dough comes in. I know it’s messy, I know it gets everywhere, I know, I know, but they love it and your only young once.

The final item I think is really important is books. Children love books. Some of us may look at some of the books our kids seem to treasure and we get this confused look on our faces. I can’t tell you why they would love that book with the goofy pictures and two words per page, or, on the same token, the encyclopedia with a thousand words per page and great pictures, but they do. Sometimes I just watch in wonderment when a child is looking at a picture book by themselves and they are just so enthralled at what they are experiencing. And the excitement they get when you ask, “Would you like to read a story?” that can be priceless. Those couple of minutes that you are reading their favorite story for the 10 millionth time, they’re cuddled up next to you or in your lap, you’re coming up with some voices you never knew possible, it’s great. It’s time you cherish, time that doesn’t come around often enough, and time that is hardly ever seen after a certain age. Enjoy!

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1 comment:

Leah NiƱa Elsie Vega said...

Taking care of your kids and teaching them new things must take a lot of energy. If you need help, is always open for parents like you to give some tips with your kids.