By the time your toddler turns into a preschooler, they’re not exactly little anymore, but big school is still a while away. These are such wondrous and important years for your 3 to 5-year-old, and it turns out they’re learning a lot more than just numbers and letters.
Here are some of the amazing life skills they’re learning at preschool:
1. Making friends is fun
The playground can be a jungle, for sure, but learning how to make friends is one of the most important skills your child can master before they head to kindergarten. Preschool is the perfect place for children to figure out the essentials that go into making a good friendship. They’ll figure out who they like, what makes a good friend, and also get some invaluable exposure to classmates who have different backgrounds and interests.
2. Sometimes you sit still and listen
This one takes time – lots of time, so starting to figure out how to sit on the mat and listen to your teacher is essential in the lead up to big school. It’s pretty amazing to see your once uncontrollable toddler sitting quietly and listening (actually listening!) to their teacher. Even more amazing is seeing them absorbing facts and communicating with their peers.
3. It’s okay to make mistakes
When young children are interacting with each other on a day-to-day basis, they get lots of opportunities to learn from their choices. Sometimes things work out well, sometimes they make mistakes. Preschool is a safe place to learn that you can fall down, mess a few things up, but get back up again. And that’s okay. Grasping how to move on and learn from mistakes is a major life skill that will help your child become more resilient in the long run.
4. You can do things for yourself
The early classroom setting is also ideal for young children to figure out how to do things themselves and develop self-confidence. This could be as simple as using the bathroom on their own, or pouring themselves some water – but these small things definitely set the groundwork for kindergarten later on, when children are expected to look after more significant things like their school bag, lunch box, and homework.
5. You can also help others
While preschoolers tend to have a natural inclination to help each other out, qualities like compassion and empathy are learnt over time. In a dynamic preschool setting, kids get to see their classmates helping one another, and they usually give it a try too. This kind of behaviour modelling is such a great way for children to learn how things work on and off the playground.
6. Sharing is actually a good thing
Something amazing happens when our toddlers transform into preschoolers – they actually start to figure out sharing. Where once they would fight over that toy car, they learn that you can give as well as take. Fancy that. Preschool naturally creates this opportunity to share – whether it’s crayons or colouring books or blocks. This kind of cooperation also sets the stage for taking turns, developing patience and working as a team.
7. There’s a big wide world out there
Casting the net wide and exposing your child to lots of new friends and inspiring teachers shows them just how wondrous and exciting life can be. Before long, they’ll be putting on their school uniform for the first time, and with all those invaluable skills they learned at preschool, they’ll be ready to take on the world.