And suddenly, your Piccolini is now three years old! The intensity of the toddler stage has passed. Your three year old is immensely articulate, capable and increasingly independent!
The key to this stage (as with every stage) is balancing your child’s need for independence with the emotional support, freedom of movement and loving boundaries that he needs in order to thrive.
As with the previous two stages of early childhood, your Preschooler is still absorbing his world through his subconscious mind. His brain activity has moved from delta state (newborn to two years) to theta, a slightly higher level, nonetheless his character is still being unconsciously programmed through his experiences in his Environment. In theta state children mix the real world with the imaginary world, hence the magic of pretend play during these years.
Your Preschooler needs first hand experiences as much as in the earlier years. He needs time in nature, unstructured, unscheduled, free play, alot of time to move, explore and discover in his own way.
His appreciation of music, art, poetry and dance begins to grow during this period. You can encourage him to feel with his whole body as you listen to and make music together. Have musical instruments (a simple percussion set is sufficient) always available for him to pick up and make a rhythm whenever he wants to. A bang on a drum or strike of the claves easily releases tension when needed!
You will notice that your 3-6 year old becomes increasingly capable at dressing, all elements of self care, food preparation and cooking, and care of the home environment.
He will be able to do the vast majority of tasks that you, as an adult, can do, but he will often do it better than us! This is because there is such pleasure in all that a Preschooler does; he is careful and considered in his work and joyful all at once, it is humbling to see that we have so much to learn from him!
Creating an environment in which your Preschooler can learn and practise new skills is vital. Give him the tools, time and support he needs to complete the things he can do themselves like dressing, food preparation, gardening, care of pets. Guidance on how to prepare your home in this way can be found here.
Many children start to attend nursery from age three; their lives will be busier with friends, playdates, birthday parties- a full social life! With their increased social life comes a busier schedule for us, as parents, so it becomes even more important for us to set up our homes as a place of refuge for ourselves and our children. We protect the home environment as their world expands.
The scene is set for the teenage years in the 3-6 period. If we can maintain an open, harmonious home environment; with plenty of fun and laughter within the safety of ground rules and loving boundaries then we will have a strong connection and bond to rely on in later years.
Five ways in which to support your Preschooler:
- Ensure that you let him do all that he can do by himself. This means preparing your home so he can access what he needs when he needs.
- Nourish their love of learning new skills then practising and refining them.
- Cherish free play outdoors in nature every single day.
- Nurture his growing love of music, dance and art. Musical instruments should be always available.
- The Preschoolers’ brain is still unconsciously absorbing everything from the world around him, keep your home a sanctuary from the consumerism of our fast paced modern world.