As parents and caregivers we have the opportunity to be amazed daily at the things our toddler or preschooler is learning at preschool! At Valley Child Care and Learning Center, our custom designed lesson plans are always posted in our programs for families to view or snap a picture of so you can continue their learning experiences at home! There are several ways to encourage what your preschooler is exploring at school while learning in your own home, today we are going to explore just a few of these ideas!
Ask Open Ended Questions
It’s easy to fall into the habit of picking up our toddler or preschooler and immediately asking them “how was your day?” When we regularly ask the same question we don’t give children the opportunity to answer with a different response and continue their learning at home. Try getting in the habit of thinking creatively and asking a different question to switch things up! Some great examples of questions are –
“What was the best part of your day?”
“Tell me the silliest thing you heard today!”
“Did you learn something new today?”
“Can you tell me something that made you smile today?”
Bring Themes Being Discussed At School To Your Home!
Being involved in your child’s learning at preschool is vital to their success. Make a point to glance at the lesson plan so you know the themes or topics being discussed for the week. By doing this you will be able to ask specific questions or plan your time at home accordingly to further encourage their learning at home! For example, if the child’s weekly theme is “exploring the forest” –
Include books that talk about the forest in your library trips or family library.
When meal planning and grocery shopping discuss what kinds of foods grow in the forest or what foods you would pack for a camping trip in the forest!
Use appropriate screen time to learn more about what grows in the forest and what animals live there!
Ask specific questions regarding the lesson plan such as – “I saw that you learned a new song about the forest, can you tell me how it goes?”
Encourage Independence For Kindergarten Readiness
One of the best ways we can prepare toddlers and preschoolers for Kindergarten is by encouraging age appropriate independence. We can do this by offering choices that give them the opportunity to decide something for themselves. In doing so we show our children that we believe they are capable of making appropriate decisions. Encouraging follow through in simple directions and working up to two and three steps directions is another skill that will aid in the transition to Kindergarten, some children may grasp this concept quickly and for others it may take some time. Remember that with patience and repitition these skills will come!
Another wonderful way to encourage toddler and preschool age children to become more independent is to include them in appropriate household chores! Toddlers can help with simple tasks such as carrying folded clothes or towels to the drawer or cabinet they belong in. Preschoolers can aid in emptying the dishwasher, gathering up dirty laundry and helping take trash out.
Encouraging our toddler and preschooler’s learning at home can be simple and many times only involve us rethinking our regular routines. By making our time at home a continuation of their day at preschool, we help our toddler or preschooler further new connections they’ve made! Do you have other ways you continue your preschooler’s learning at home?
Check out our post… What To Look For In A High-Quality Preschool Program!
Established in 1967, Valley Child Care and Learning Center has continuously led the childcare, daycare, and preschool industry in Phoenix, Arizona. Our founder and Grandfather, Paul Emch, began with a simple mission to “provide tender loving care and education to each child.” Paul’s legacy lives on as we continue to uphold his original values and have grown to a well-established name in the Phoenix community. Today, we provide care for nearly 1,900 infants, toddlers, and preschool age children at a total of nine programs. Our convenient locations include North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Glendale, Anthem, Surprise, El Mirage, Chandler, South Phoenix, and Tempe! At each of our program locations, you will find qualified staff eager to join us in ensuring children are receiving the highest quality care alongside a complete preschool experience. Upon graduation from our program, your child will be equipped to succeed in Kindergarten, and beyond!