As your child grows, his play styles and tastes change drastically, as do his needs, likes and dislikes. From his first steps to his first day of preschool, it’s important that the changes he experiences in himself and his surroundings are reinforced through play.
I have a preschooler, who will be three in a month, and have done a lot of research on what to expect at the preschooler developmental stage and would like to share some of our favorite products and some guidelines for appropriate activities your child can enjoy.
Topping my preschooler must have list are:
- Slip-on or Velcro shoes. We are partial to Native shoes, which are perfect for warmer weather and I think, a lot cooler than Crocs. Slip-ons save a ton of time and at (almost) three, my son can almost put them on himself. We will tackle shoelaces at some point.
- Containers to carry their multiple collections around. If your preschooler is anything like mine, one minute he’s playing with his Thomas & Friends trains, the next it’s Toy Story figures and the next, it’s cars. I am forever buying reuseable bags, buckets from the dollar bin and collecting shoe boxes, etc.
- A book collection that includes all the classics. I can’t image a childhood without Richard Scarry, Dr. Seuss or The Berenstain Bears.
- Personalized labels. I put them on everything! Mabel’s Labels are the best; dishwasher and microwave safe labels for lunch boxes, and much, much more.
- Washable markers.
- Space! A big back yard or park in which they can run and play and dig and explore, not to mention get the sillies out.
I already know that three is going to be a superfun age. We are really enjoying all the interaction, conversation and curiosity. Our son is (slowly) mastering potty training and the art of story telling.
Preschoolers are known to:
- Develop friendships and skills for playing with other children.
- Recognize symbols in more complex ways and in two-dimensional form.
- Expand their ability to attach language to actions and ideas.
- Explore relationships between objects and how parts and wholes fit together (as in making constructions).
- Experiment with how to make desired effects happen with objects and people.
- Develop increasingly complex large and small motor skills.
- Learn how to plan ahead.
Examples of appropriate preschoolers’ toys:
Construction toys with interlocking pieces; new dramatic play items–props to recreate real life (gas station, post office, store) and puppets; art materials such as markers, paint, scissors, glue, and an assortment of blank paper of various colors and textures; simple musical instruments and noisemakers, including shakers and rhythm sticks; wheel toys (ride-on equipment such as bikes and wagons); outdoor play materials (balls, bats, bubble blowers and liquid soap, and giant chalk pieces); and natural outdoor materials, (rocks, sticks, and leaves).
One of my favorite websites for the perfect toys for my preschooler isÃ‚Â ebeanstalk. Check it out for tons more information about your rapidly growing preschooler.