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The preschool years fall between ages 3-5, and are the years we typically spend getting our children ready for the big day: when they start school for the first time. This is the time to really focus on those social and language skills, as well as independent thought and play. Basically, it’s time to stop hovering and start really letting your child become the little person she is meant to be. It’s one of the hardest time for parents, because your baby is no longer a baby. Obviously, you’re not going to let them go off shopping by themselves with your credit card at this age, but you do need to step back a little more and let her discover the world on her own. Choosing the best educational toys for preschoolers can help them become more independent.
Educational Preschool Toys That Help Prepare Your Child for School
- Alphabet Skills- You can start teaching your child about the alphabet during the toddler years, but it becomes essential during preschool years. Unlike many years ago, when we learned the ABC’s in kindergarten, kids are expected to know the alphabet before they even enter school. Electronic educational toys for preschoolers that incorporate fun gameplay into the learning experience are perfect for this age group. LeapFrog and V-Tech make some really cool electronic toys. Continue reading to your child regularly as well.
- Self-care Skills. Teaching your child the basics of self-care, such as how to wash her hands after using the bathroom and how to fasten her pants or Velcro her shoes is important because she will be expected to do many of these tasks on her own once she reaches school. If you weren’t successful in potty training during the toddler years, now is the time to really get a handle on that. Reward charts are great incentive to use the potty and do other tasks. Dolls with clothing that can be snapped, buttoned, buckled, or tied are also good tools.
- Critical Thinking Skills. Puzzles and games that require your child to think critically are important because this skill will be valuable throughout his entire life. Start with educational toys for preschoolers like simple wooden puzzles with large pieces, and work up to slightly more complex puzzles. Help when asked, and try not to step in if he looks frustrated unless he is really upset about it. Letting him figure things out on his own is important.
- Pattern Skills. Around age four, your child will start to recognize patterns and be able to work with them. Colorful blocks are a fun and easy way to explore this concept more. Try alternating two different colors and asking him to finish the sequence. Electronic education preschool toys are also great, just look for games that enhance this skill.
- Social Skills. During the toddler years, your child started to role-play a bit more and learn about sharing and taking turns. The preschool years are a vital times to expand on these concepts. Your child has a basic ability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, so expand on that by playing “Real or Not Real’ games. The best educational toys for preschooler include board games like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders are great for teaching her how to take turns. Do not let her win every game. While boosting her confidence is important, she needs to learn how to be graceful when she loses.
Educational toys for preschoolers open up a whole new world of learning possibilities, but remember that you are your child’s best teacher. Model good behavior, talk to her about the world around her, and start instilling important safety lessons that she can take with her throughout her life.