Teaching Littles

I’ve seen many questions about what younger kiddos need to learn – those who are 18 months to 4 years old. Now’s a critical time to start learning, but maybe not how you’re thinking!

Here’s a quick excerpt from my new eBook about teaching preschoolers 🙂

Teaching Littles

What do preschooler’s need to know!?

Everything to a preschooler is learning! They’re learning how to walk, how to talk, how to use the toilet, how to greet friends and family, to control their emotions, they’re learning to listen and respect boundaries, and they’re learning to share – All of this is learning, and it is SO important at this age!

Don’t forget to take the time to actively (and patiently 😉 ) teach them all of these skills that they’re learning about at this critical age. It may not seem like much, but they’re learning about how to interact with you and the family and with others.

What should be learned at this age?

  • Be Kind
  • Listen to Mommy and Daddy

You don’t have to have a huge group of other kids to learn to share with, or even other siblings. This happens between kids and parents and when they interact with other people of all ages.

But if you’re reading this book and have littles, I’m also assuming that you’re also wondering what they need to know academically.

Most importantly, now’s the time to instill the love of books in them. Read with them. Look at the pictures together. Bring books with you to appointments. Keep books in the car. Keep books in their room. Make books fun (because they are)!! Of course, the TV is always more entertaining, but if they can learn to love books now, that will stay with them for their life and make school and learning so much easier.

Even if you don’t love books yourself, pretend for your child 😉 Keep books around the house. Go to the library. Buy them books for birthdays and Christmas. Read out loud! All of this is so important to developing early literacy. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Other skills preschoolers should learn are:

  • Sorting – these are the same, and these are different
  • Categories – these are farm animals, these are wild animals
  • Describing – tell me about the animal? It’s fuzzy, it’s big, it’s brown (color /  shape / size/ texture)
  • Retell – super simple at this age, but let them retell the story to you. Ask them what happened. Re-read the story 20 (or more!) times because they’re learning the story structure
  • Asking Questions – Yes, this is important. This is why they do it so naturally 😉 Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How!

Academic Knowledge

  • Identify letter names and sounds at this age, knowing the sound is just as much of a win, if not more so, to learning to read later. I like to practice the format: “A says /a/ like apple, B says /b/ like bear).
  • Focus on LOWERCASE letters  
  • Knowing the ABC song is cute, but not necessary
  • Count 1-10 (Rote counting, just saying the numbers)
  • Identify and count objects with one-to-one correlation (I touch one bear, and I say one, I touch the next bear, and say two, one at a time). If they can only count to 3 or 5 this way (depending on their age) that’s ok!
  • Practice nursery rhymes – pick your favorites! Adding in stories and hand motions makes it so much fun for the littles

It’s OK if they can’t do everything right away. Keep practicing, be encouraging, and do a little bit at a time. One day it will click and you’ll be amazed at what they’ve learned!!