Establish a rhythm of quality time with your child

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In this phase, everything is fun, and anything can be a game. Your curious preschooler is full of joy as they learn more about the world around them. You can make learning irresistible when you make it fun. Your 4-year-old isn’t always looking for deep, philosophical answers.

Their literal brain wants to know how things work, and they have a desire to know more. They want to categorize things, name things, and put everything together like a puzzle. As soon as they learn something new, one hundred more questions arise. You don’t need to have all the answers, but you can foster their curiosity through your positive tone and body language.

Make the most of this phase by creating a regular rhythm of spending quality time with your child. It’s not just quality time, it’s the quantity of quality time that is needed. Spending consistent, meaningful time together opens the door for honest communication and reinforces trust.

How Your Child Is Developing In This Phase

  • Physically: They can manipulate more with their hands (e.g. cutting paper, stringing beads). They can throw and start to catch a ball and can draw simple shapes and people.
  • Verbally: They can keep a conversation going and tell a short story. They may struggle with some sounds and adjust their speech based on the listener.
  • Mentally: They sort things and ideas into categories. They can argue, explain, and rationalize. They live in the present but enjoy retelling past events. They’re concrete thinkers and will be until about 5th grade.
  • Emotionally: They are optimistic despite failure. They enjoy humor and simple jokes. They deal with fear and anxiety by distracting themselves. They can learn relaxation techniques (e.g. take a deep breath).
  • Socially: Their highest form of learning is imaginative play alongside an adult. They begin to formulate conflict resolution skills with their peers.

The Primary Question Your Child Is Asking In This Phase

“Do you enjoy spending time with me?”

Your Best Next Step During This Phase

Establish an intentional rhythm of spending quality time with your child. Once a quarter, schedule one on one time with your child to do a fun activity of his/her choosing. Be fully present (staying off your phone) so that you can have purposeful conversation and deep connection.