Your child is now developing more socially, has real friendships and understands the causes of feelings. Physically they are much more coordinated in high energy activities such as running and climbing and may have progressed to riding a tricycle.
All children develop at different rates; however, in this age range there are some skills that are especially important for your child’s self-esteem and learning. For example, being able to speak clearly is important in order to be understood by others.
If you are worried about your child’s development, speak to your Maternal and Child Health nurse or call the Maternal and Child Health line on 13 22 29. Your final recommended Maternal and Child Health appointment is at three and a half years of age.
Talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse about :
You can support your child’s learning by:
Your child may now be eligible to attend a kindergarten program, which can provide new learning experiences and strengthen your child’s love of learning.
Play is often social – that is, it involves other children. Social play gives your child a chance to practise getting along with other children and to learn new skills. Play helps children learn about themselves and where they fit in the world. Evidence shows that play can support learning across physical, social, emotional and intellectual areas of development.
A few suggestions of good play experiences for three to five-year-olds include :
Young children are trying hard to understand the world of people and objects and how they fit into it. They are eager learners who understand more and more complex ideas. They are curious about everything, which leads to a lot of ‘why’ questions. Answering their questions can sometimes take patience, but doing so is important for encouraging them as learners. If you don’t know the answer, it’s best to be honest. At times asking them ‘What do you think?’ in response to a question can help develop their problem-solving skills.
Your child needs you to set firm but reasonable limits. These limits offer security and protection from getting overwhelmed by too much responsibility before she or he is ready.
It’s easy to forget that young children are still trying to learn many things that we take for granted, such as understanding what is said to them. For example, you might think your child is simply not listening to you, but he or she may just be trying to figure out what someone said five minutes ago.
Young children are very interested in the world around them. This means that they often get distracted.
Some tips for helping your child learn to behave in acceptable ways include :
Make the most of the early years of your child
Develop the habit of reading and love of learning in your child
Utilize the amount of time that your child spends at home more productively
Prepare your child for increasing competition
Raise a well-rounded, happy and successful individual