Showing posts from May, 2012

Clean Up! - The Art of Getting Preschoolers to Put Their Things Away

Clean up!  It sounds like a simple request.  In an average preschool class, one or two children will be champions at cleaning up.  They like things in order and enjoy putting items in their place.  The rest of the class is usually not so inclined.  When they are asked to clean up, they walk in circles for a few minutes and then go back to playing with toys rather than putting them in their place.  You can observe the same behavior at home.  If you are lucky, one of your children likes to put things away while the others seem to be ignoring your request or, at the very least, procrastinating until they are threatened with punitive damages.  There are cute songs about cleaning up.  There are books, poems and TV show sketches.  Preschool age children usually like to please people; yet, when you ask children to clean up it seems as if you weren’t speaking aloud. 
What is it about those two words that seem so impossible to a preschooler?  The problem is that those two words represent an …

Let Kids Be Kids – Put Down the Tablet, Appt Book and Pre-K Workbooks

Ryan has about 5 more minutes before he has to turn off hisiPad, get in the car and go to his acting class.  After acting class, he will tackle thatworkbook page and get ready for dinner.  Thissounds like a typical day for a teenager in 2012.  Sadly, it is also a typical day for many 3-5year olds.
We have forgotten. That must be the reason that so many young children spend their dayswith an adult’s schedule.  We have beendistracted by product marketing and standardized test makers.  We are ignoring what children need in orderto learn.  We have reprioritized to apoint where children are expected to perform more than pretend.  We have given into a society that says thedefinition of successful parenting is pushing children beyond their developmentalstage because everyone needs to be the absolute best at literallyeverything.  We have forgotten and it issad.
Technology – tablets, laptops, smart phones – are theproducts of creative, critical thinkers but they do not develop that sort ofthi…

Telling Time – A Preschooler’s Point of View

Have you ever told an upset preschooler that mommy will be back soon and noticed that this information isn’t calming the child?  Have you tried desperately to get something done and told your preschoolers that you will play with them in one hour just have them come back to you every five minutes?  Does your preschooler claim to have done one activity all day when they obviously did more than that? These scenes occur in most households because adults tend to forget that preschoolers cannot relate to the concept of time.
Time is an abstract concept and 3 & 4 year olds are concrete thinkers.   Preschoolers measure their days by relatable routines.  They find comfort in the expected.  In preschool, classes are much calmer when there is a routine that children can depend upon.  They learn very quickly, for example, that their preschool day will consist of circle time, center time, story time, snack time, playground and dismissal in that order.  The average 3 & 4 year old begins to…