What should your child do on the eve of entering kindergarten? Is it more important that he knows a few letters and math concepts or that he knows how to dress and go to the bathroom alone?
In fact, all of this learning is necessary. To be ready for school, your child must develop both cognitive skills (knowledge) and social skills (coming into contact with others). He must also continue to learn in other spheres of his development, that is to say, motor, emotional and language skills.
Cognitive skills include all the knowledge that a child acquires over the months and years. They affect thinking, reasoning and intelligence. We found educational toys such as magnetic tiles helping a lot in improving cognitive skills and we have highlighted the complementary role of educational toys in preschool education.
It’s, for example, its ability to:
group and categorize objects (by size, color or preference);
compare objects two by two (make pairs);
create and imagine (characters, stories);
make sequences of objects (from the smallest to the largest);
reasoning and find solutions;
associate the words with what they represent, understand the meaning of the words he hears and says them when he wants to express something.
By stimulating your child’s cognitive skills, you are helping them develop their mathematical reasoning or interest in reading and writing, two skills that will help them succeed in school.
How to prepare it
Around 2 years:
Have fun counting and measuring your child’s body parts: toes, fingers, arms-length, head circumference or waist. Then compare them with yours.
Around 3 years:
When you read a book, follow each word with your finger. By this simple gesture, your child learns that history is written (and that it is not invented), that each letter has a sound and that we read from left to right.
Play with nestable Russian dolls or a series of measuring cups. You will be able to explain the different dimensions to it by placing them from the largest to the smallest.
Make him discover the letters of his first name and point them out often (in the street, in the newspaper …).
Around 4 years:
Fill a pitcher with water and place the glasses on a table. By pouring water from the pitcher into several glasses and then using the contents of the glasses to fill the pitcher, your child will become familiar with mathematical concepts such as division and addition.
Your child can learn additions and subtractions by eating pieces of fruit at lunch. “I have 4 orange wedges. Mom gives me 2. I now have 6. If I eat one, there are still … 5! ” And so on.
Make sheets and crayons available to your child so they can draw when they want to. This activity stimulates hand-eye coordination in the same way that writing can do. He also learned to handle the pencil with greater ease.
Around 5 years:
With a die, have fun getting a “6”. Throw it in turn and, as soon as you get a 6, draw a small line on a sheet. In the end, count the little lines together.
Teach him to say and write the letters of his name.
Learning to live in a group, to come into contact with others and to function together is as important as the development of cognitive skills.
When he makes friends and plays with them, your child develops an interest in group activities. Later, it will make him want to go to school. That’s why social skills are important to academic success.
Social skills also include autonomy, expression of feelings and relationships with others. In school, this means in particular:
know how to express your needs and emotions in words;
know how to wait for their turn to speak or play, get in touch with another child to do an activity, take account of the other, know how to share;
being able to get dressed, put things away, choose an activity or go to the bathroom on your own.
How to prepare it:
As a parent, you can help by emphasizing the importance of social skills and facilitating their interactions with others. Since the taste for learning is part of the realm of emotions, it develops above all in the family.
At home, promote mutual support between your children. For example, ask them to set the table together. If you have only one child, this learning can be done with friends at the park. You can then ask him to put the sand toys with them before leaving.
Ask him who he played with during the day and discuss the qualities he likes about this friend.
If your child goes to daycare, help him recognize the lockers of his friends at night.