Preschool is the first step children take in their education. And as the first step, it is also a key step. To many parents, it probably doesn’t seem so, as they think that children play most of the time and just spend their time away from home.
However, it is not quite so. By attending preschool, children learn a lot of things. They develop some of the crucial skills they need for academic success and further life generally.
Even though children play most of the time in preschool, it is not all free play. They engage in meaningful structured play, which is a great base for acquiring certain skills.
The first thing children learn in preschool is how to be learners. They also work on developing fine and gross motor skills. Other skills they also develop are social and cognitive skills, through socializing and various activities.
Besides these, they also learn how to self-regulate and distinguish letters or even learn how to read. Preschool is also great for promoting creativity and curiosity. Moreover, it helps in developing children physically and emotionally.
Children learn how to be learners
It is well-known that children learn by playing. So, the best way to prepare them for the overly learning environment in the school is by enrolling them in preschool.
In preschool children start learning slowly – they start with basic skills. Preschool is a necessary base as it provides space for curiosity first. This is perhaps the best way to introduce a learning environment and to get kids to actually like learning.
By playing and engaging in amusing activities, children become interested and they develop positive associations with learning. This drive to learn is to stay with them throughout their further education and life.
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Fine and gross motor skills
By attending a child care center, children also develop essential skills such as fine and gross motor skills. Gross motor skills involve large muscles and children develop them by constantly moving.
Movement is one of the first and most important skills children start learning from the moment they start crawling. They further develop this skill by moving, running, jumping, climbing and other physical activities they engage in preschool.
Children should develop this skill in order to be able to develop some other skills. They also develop agility, strength, and hand-eye coordination.
Movement is beneficial for children as it improves focus, stimulates learning, and provides the brain with oxygen. These skills are a base for fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills, on the other hand, involve small muscles. They are necessary for everyday tasks as well as for learning.
These skills are developed through several activities such as drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, and so on. Developing a pencil grip is one of the key motor skills children should master in preschool.
In preschool, children spend a lot of time surrounded by other children. They learn to socialize and work together as a group. They also learn to listen to authority figures such as teachers.
Among other things, children learn how to make friends, cooperate, listen and build basic conversation skills. Teachers try to teach children to respect others and cooperate with them.
Also, children learn how to resolve conflicts, as they are bound to happen at certain points in preschool, school, and generally in life.
Preschool programs are interwoven with all kinds of activities that aim to teach them certain things. These activities challenge them to solve problems, try new things as well as ask questions and observe the world around them.
Through these activities, children learn to think in a more complex way. Children use the knowledge they gain about the world around them and by reflecting on things they know, they get a better understanding.
By exploring, asking questions, and exploring, they enhance their thinking skills. Thinking skills are connected to the way children approach learning. For instance, they learn how to focus and handle frustration – which helps them with learning.
By being a part of a collective, children engage in different activities with their peers. Inevitably, minor conflicts are bound to happen. Certain feelings such as anger, frustration, and emotional challenges are often evoked. These conflicts are, however, great as teachable moments.
Teachers can encourage children to observe how their behavior affects other children. Through these observations, children can practice interpersonal problem-solving skills.
Preschool also provides children with a chance to develop their pre-literacy skills through various literacy-boosting activities. Children start to get familiar with letters by practicing pencil movements, connecting dots, tracing letters, and singing the alphabet song.
They learn to distinguish sounds from rhymes and they listen to read-aloud stories. These fun and engaging activities work as an excellent booster that keeps them interested in learning.
These activities are intended to be amusing to children in order to facilitate positive associations with reading and writing It is necessary to start slowly and in a playful manner.
Creativity and curiosity
Moreover, preschool as an institution is designed in such a way that promotes creativity and curiosity. Kids often have active imaginations but they need to be nurtured to enhance learning and creativity.
The environment children spend time in at preschool is designed in a specific way that encourages exploration and asking questions. The role of preschool teachers is to aid children in developing their own thoughts, opinions, and ideas.
Teachers should listen to children’s ideas carefully rather than seeking one correct answer. For best results regarding creativity and curiosity, the environment needs to be stimulating and adult-children interaction structured.
Emotional and physical development
Another set of crucial skills that children learn at preschool is emotional and physical development. By being a part of a group, children learn to understand their and the feelings of their peers.
They learn to recognize and manage them. Children also learn to be compassionate. By being encouraged to complete difficult tasks, their self-esteem is raised.
Besides maturing emotionally, children also develop physically. These two are connected. Children develop physically through distinct indoor and outdoor activities that involve jumping, hopping, skipping, hanging, and so on.
These are just some of the many skills children learn by attending preschool. The right preschool environment prepares children well for school and other academic as well as business endeavors that await them in life.
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