Parents often wonder if a preschool child is emotionally ready to attend a summer program or if they will benefit from the experience. To answer this question, we need to understand how a child of this age develops, what their interests are, and what milestones they will be achieving.
The main developmental milestones of preschoolers are:
- Children can use safety scissors.
- They begin to notice people other than family members.
- They start to explore their surroundings.
- Learning how to sing along to children’s songs and nursery rhymes.
- They notice that boys and girls are different.
- Story time becomes a favorite and they can begin to recall parts.
- They can usually ride a tricycle.
- They start playing with other children.
Tips For Parents And Child Minders Of Preschool Children
Preschool years are an impressionable age where children soak up the world around them, so parents and guardians must encourage activities that will allow the child to develop to its full potential. Some ways to accomplish this are:
- Make a point of reading to the child every day. Apart from many other benefits, this encourages a love of books from an early age, assists in developing language skills, and is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bond between the parents and children.
- Sing children songs, encouraging them to sing along and do the actions.
- Teach them and make them responsible for carrying out simple, age-appropriate chores. This will help them develop a sense of responsibility and accountability and offers an opportunity for generous praise when they accomplish the task.
- Arrange playdates with other children of a similar age. Playing with other children helps them to form friendships and also teaches them to share.
- Disciple them when necessary. Children of this age can understand right from wrong and need to learn that there are consequences to wrong behavior.
- Teach them how to resolve conflict and express emotions constructively. This is a life skill that they need to learn at an early age.
- Speak to them properly, using the correct language. Children grasp language easily and this is the right time to develop good language skills that they can build on later on.
- Teach them the important safety rules, especially safety near cars and water, and not to talk to or accept gifts from strangers.
- Limit TV and screen time, encourage outdoor play.
- Ensure they get a nutritious, balanced diet and enough sleep every day.
How A Summer Program Encourages Your Preschooler To Discover New Interests
Preschool children are at an age where they start to venture away from the familiar and explore the world around them. A summer program allows them to do this in a safe and structured environment and this leads to several other benefits.
Some activities that the preschooler may not normally have had access to but are offered at summer programs include:
- Arts and crafts
- Music, movement, and dancing
- Various sports and gymnastics
- Supervised water play
- Field trips to interesting places
- Nature walks where the child learns an appreciation for nature and the planet
A summer program not only encourages a child to explore and learn new things, but it also helps them grow and develop mentally and emotionally.
The reason this happens is:
Play Is Encouraged
Summer programs are designed around fun and play, not TV and screen time. Playtime is vital to a child’s growth and development and teaches them important life skills like:
- Conflict resolution
- Negotiation skills
- How to use their imagination and think creatively
It Develops Their Self Esteem
Unlike school where the primary focus is academics, every child is allowed to achieve at summer camp. There are no winners or losers, but the focus is on participation and exploration. Every child is given the same opportunities. Every milestone is celebrated. This attitude automatically builds the child’s confidence and self-esteem.
It Teaches Them About Teamwork
Children learn it’s easier to get the job done when you work as a team. This is especially true if you are trying something new and exciting for the first time.
By working together to accomplish a task, they learn to:
- Listen to each other.
- Respect each other’s point of view or opinion, even if it is different from their own.
- Recognize and work with each person’s strengths and weaknesses while recognizing and accepting their own.
It Teaches Them Independence
In a summer program, children are encouraged to think for themselves and to make their own decisions. All children benefit from this. If the child is very shy or has been very sheltered summer camps is the perfect opportunity for them to grow and develop a new life skill.
They Form New Friendships
Preschoolers love to play with other children, and a summer program exposes them to peers who may be very different from themselves. They learn to accept each other, learn from each other, and appreciate each other’s differences. Lifelong friendships form at summer camp.
They Get Exposed To A Healthy Lifestyle
Studies conducted by The United States Department Of Health And Human Services have shown that only one in three children are physically active every day.
Some life skills children learn at summer camp are:
- Encouraging them to play outdoors. Less TV and screen time .
- Children learn healthy eating habits. Additionally, they are fed a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Parkland Children’s Academy, The Summer Program Of Choice In Broward County
Parkland Children’s Academy offers a summer program that promotes and encourages fitness, healthy living, and the development of key life skills through fun activities and playtime.
Our caring and loving staff are very aware of the importance of safety and focus on making this a home away from home. For more information contact us at 954-688-5877 Monday to Friday between 7 am and 6 pm.