Preschool age kids’ exposure to their environment, surroundings, and daily lives, positively or negatively, influence their young developing minds, and their behavior. They observe family and friends and enjoy imitating them. While they are growing up and learning from all they see and experience, it is important to choose activities that promote a positive experience. Suggested activities that positively influence a preschooler include the following: a special parent or grandparent and child date, planned playtime, approved TV viewing, creative learning activities, and maintained consistency of scheduled activities.
Parent or Grandparent and Child Date
A date is a specified time that is set ahead of time. A parent or grandparent can set a date with their child or grandchild. The anticipation is to set up an activity that both can enjoy together. It can be as simple as a visit to a park, dinner and a movie, or a day at a child’s oriented place or event. The key is to prepare the child for the date. Set an expectation, explain the details of the date, and keep your word. The child will look forward to the date and when it does happen, it creates consistency. The feelings invoked are happiness, security and a feeling of being important or special. I have a date with my grandson on Thursdays or Fridays. Every week we do something different. His favorite date involved dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant, followed by a visit to the comic book store, and finally, go-cart rides.
Although preschoolers love playtime, a choice of activities that promote positivity need to be encouraged. A list of some examples follow: pretend play with dolls or stuffed animals, dress-up, and creative building. All three activities can enhance their imagination, thinking skills, interaction, and creativity. Pretend play allows them to imitate their daily lives and give a clue to their perception of life. Dress-up allows their imagination to transport them into a world unique to the costume chosen. They could be super heroes, princesses, parents, teachers or anything else their imagination cooks-up. Creative building involves motor skill development, pattern recognition and a bit of imagination. This activity promotes thought process and positive feelings, as they get praised for their unique creation.
Approved TV Viewing
Parental control of what a preschooler watches on TV is crucial. A parent can search the guide and pick the programs viewed. These can be learning oriented or feel good stories. The learning programs promote increase in knowledge and additional school preparedness. When selected properly, the child gains skills needed once they enter school. The feel good stories encourage proper behavior, consequences of good choices and promote positive feelings. Feel good stories reinforce positive character traits that the child may imitate during pretend play.
Creative Learning Activities
Preschoolers are like sponges. They absorb everything they observe and everything they hear. Their vocabulary is expanding. They learn proper behavior by observation, and parental teaching and correction. At this age, they like to color, scribble, read books, and many use the computer. Since they want to learn and are eager to be like mommy and daddy, the introduction of age appropriate academic books is encouraged. Many publishers have preschool curriculum available for home schooling, or as an added activity. Learning activities are fun additions to a preschooler’s day. Markers, crayons, glue, stickers, and pencils will be necessary for the activities. Additionally, there are websites that promote alphabet and numbers learning activities. Some websites encourage interaction; others offer musical videos of the intended learning module.
Maintained Consistency of Scheduled Activities
Any of the above suggestions work great when used consistently. If you tell your child what to expect and follow through, he will learn consistency and trust. When a child can count on the word of an adult, he will feel stable and secure. They understand that a date is a promise to spend time together, pretend allows them to act out their learning, TV provides positive entertainment, and learning will enhance their knowledge. Maintaining a schedule of activities and consistently following it, will teach the child a structured routing.
The previous 5 suggestions will positively influence the preschooler. The impact on the child will enhance his behavior and knowledge. It will provide a positively structured and consistent environment. Most of all, it will give a sense of stability. Positive influences, when included in a preschooler’s life, give the preschooler the best head start they deserve.