Block play is so fun for our preschool friends and there is so much learning going on at the same time. The hardwood unit blocks we have come in exact sizes and shapes which helps the children learn math concepts such as how many blocks fill a certain space. They explore heights of their buildings and learn about geometric shapes. When they stack, lift, move, and shove clocks they are exploring weight and size. When children use blocks they make decisions about how to build a structure or solve a construction problem.
Children like to replicate the world around them through block play; a road, a house, a school etc. The children work together cooperatively and make friends. The children are encouraged to talk about what they are constructing to promote language development. Asking questions is also great way to expand on their block play.
Questions like: Would you like to make a sign for your building? Where do people park their cars when they come to the store?
You can encourage your child at home in block play as well. Make sure they have a space where they can play with the blocks safely and include props such as clothespins, small plastic animals, cars and trucks; that help extend your child’s play.
Other ways to encourage block play: When out driving in the car, or on a walk, point out roads and interesting buildings. You can get creative and make blocks with food boxes and old milk containers; this can add a whole new set of ideas for your child.
ASKING FOR HELP
ASKING FOR HELP
Social skillstreaming are prosocial skills that children learn with others of how to get along in a classroom of other children and adults. In a group setting children engage in activities with peers, sit close to each other at group times, change routines through the day following a schedule, follow directions, and interact cooperatively with others in various settings. Being in the classroom brings new skills and behaviors that the children will be exposed to and learn to use accordingly.
Each week in our lesson plans we incorporate a skill for the children to learn. These skills help the children learn how to communicate with others appropriately, and they also help build confidence to do so. These are skills that are important to others in the children’s environment. The skills are taught in simple 1-4 step directions that are easy for the children to understand. We introduce the skill and model how the skill is used, and then we practice the skill with role play.
One skill we are currently working with the children on is Asking for Help.
The steps for asking for help:
1. Try it – talk about the importance of trying on your own first. Sometimes people ask for help instead of trying something difficulty by themselves but doing something difficult on your own can give you a feeling of pride.
2. Say, “I need help.” Acknowledge that sometimes it’s frustrating when something is difficult to do but stress the importance of using nice talk.
• Remind your child to use the skill when you see a time the skill can be helpful.
• Respond positively to your child’s skill use (allow the skill to be successful).
• Reward your child’s use of the skill (you may use a parent award and have your child return it to school).
• Ask your child to teach you, or brother or sister.
Do you know when your 3-year old’s language development may be reason for concern? Look and listen for the following signs:
• Drools or has unclear speech
• Unable to complete a sentence with more than 3 words.
• Uses me and you inappropriately
From 3 to 4 years your child’s language development continues to thrive and this is what will be happening:
• Your child can answer simple questions
• Their vocabulary grows using 250-500 words
• Can tell stories by age 4
• Understands and can start to use positional words correctly such as on, on top, in and under.
• Can say his/her first name, age and sex.
• Uses words I and me and begins to add plurals to vocabulary such as dogs, cars, trucks, boats etc.
• Can name friends he/she plays with.
Now, there’s no need to panic if your child is not fully meeting these language abilities, each child’s development goes at a different pace and enough through simple daily talking with your child to model how language works, will aid in their language growth. There are also many activities and games you can find on Interest that will help build these skills in a fun and meaningful way.
If your child does show some concerning delays in their language development that you have noticed, and/pr your child’s teacher has noticed; there are plenty of resources that can benefit. You can ask your pediatrician for a referral to get your child’s speech screened. You can also talk to your child’s teacher(s) and you can work together to seek outside resources. The center can make referrals as well.
Welcome Arlo from the Older Toddler Classroom!!