By the time your curious preschooler reaches the age of 3 or 4, their learning development has grown exponentially! They will hit many milestones, but sometimes it’s not clear what and how many milestones you should expect. Knowing what pre-reading skills to focus on will help you identify how to set achievable goals for your preschooler.
What Your Preschooler Needs to Know:
During the preschool stage, you’ll notice a strong desire for independence, along with a ton of exploration. It’s important to determine typical cognitive goals to ensure they are ready for the next BIG step — Kindergarten!
Preschool Readiness: Color Recognition
One of your preschool goals should be to teach the basic palette of colors. By four, children should be able to identify basic hues like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black, and brown. Your child should also be able to name, match and identify these colors. For example, can your preschooler match a brown chair to a similar brown construction paper?
Preschool Readiness: Math Skills
Early childhood education is a perfect time to introduce simple math concepts. It helps build a foundation for their next challenge with each passing new year. Preschoolers can develop a keep sense of math for identifying numbers and communicating a variety of sizes and shapes.
Another goal is to introduce math activities that include names of shapes and manipulate shapes as well as numbers and counting.
Preschool Readiness: Letter Recognition
Recognizing letters is an important key to pre-reading during the preschool phase. Alphabetic recognition prepares preschoolers to begin decoding words associated with their everyday language development. There are many letter recognition activities through hands-on learning.
Some pre-reading skills for preschoolers would include naming each letter, matching the letter name on paper, and identifying upper and lower case letters.
Preschool Readiness: Oral and Phonics
Wondering how to prepare your preschooler for reading? There are a few skills your child should master before beginning to read, besides letter recognition. Knowing what signs to look for will help identify the best time for teaching how to read.
Oral communication is also key to begin reading. Simply reading to your child for 15 to 20 minutes a day and asking questions for comprehension awareness prepares your child for narration. Reading aloud to your child daily makes a huge impact on their communication with others.
Practicing phonics awareness is also an essential step to reading. Taking simple words like ‘cat’ and changing the letter to ‘hat’ gives your child rhyming skills. Nursery rhymes and memorizing poems are wonderful tools for increasing their word playing.
Preschool Readiness: Fine Motor Skills
Giving your child opportunities to practice writing the alphabet is a great way to strength fine motor skills. Yet, there are also other tools in your tool belt to build these critical muscle movements.
While many daily activities like dressing, eating, and playing require these small but special skills, there are other intentional ways to prep your child.
Always have these tools available: colored pencils for writing, safe scissors for cutting, glue for pasting, games using computer mouse, or playing a musical instrument. All of these activities contribute to fine motor skills including muscle strength and coordination.
We hope this preschool checklist will give all preschool moms and teachers a simple guide on what to expect for your preschooler. Don’t be surprised how fast they learn in some areas, while others are more difficult.
Remember, all children learn at their own pace. It’s our job as parents to make sure that the learning process is fun and exciting for them throughout their preschool journey!