Preschoolers require a totally different approach than toddlers. Mighty Mommy has 5 ways to engage with your 3-5-year-old to develop their budding independence and foster a love of exploration, learning, and social connection.
Preschoolers are explorers, scientists, artists. They're learning how to be friends, how to engage with the world, and how to control their bodies, emotions, and minds. With a little help from you, these years will build a solid foundation for your son or daughter's entire childhood.
When you realize that your precious baby is no longer a baby and is eagerly turning the page from being a needy toddler to a headstrong 3–5-year-old, it’s time to let go of some of your control and embrace this new stage with open arms. One way to bring out the best in your preschooler is to engage in lots of fun and games, even for just a few minutes a day.
Mighty Mommy has 5 playful suggestions that can help you connect with your preschooler:>
Tip #1: Play with Your Preschooler
Children need to play—it’s their job and it’s how they learn new skills and to manage their big emotions. Just as important, however, is the opportunity for your preschooler to connect and feel an emotional bond with you. Play is the best way to foster this connection.
So, when your little guy wants to build skyscrapers out of blocks, get down on his level (yes, on the floor) and stack the blocks as high as you can alongside with him. Offer positive feedback for how well the building is coming out and be ready with words of support when the building comes tumbling down because it just can’t stand any taller.
If that seems too intensive or you’re both tired after a long day of school and work, grab a few books and snuggle on the couch and just talk to one another about your day. This is a great time to chat casually and make up silly stories.
Tip #2: Playfully Fight Over Your Child
If your child is having a bad day or you just sense that she needs a little extra attention, both parents can get involved by playing a game where you’re playfully fighting over who gets to read her the bedtime story or tuck her into bed.
Be sure you and your partner are in on this together and then one parent can jokingly say “I want to read to Katy so much tonight!” and the other parent will chime in “No way, it’s my turn to read her favorite book to her tonight, you’ll just have to wait!” and so on. Exchange playful banter for several minutes so she’ll hear and feel how much she is loved.
See also: 6 Ways to Help Kids Conquer Worry