Activities for Cognitive Development: Three to Four Years
The famous first three years are now over. Hopefully, you will see an alert preschooler with a solid foundation of cognitive skills. Research tells us that a child's being well developed by the time he or she is 3 will be predictive of being successful when he or she starts school. This is a year for building on the foundation and learning many skills that will lead to becoming ready for school. Your child will build on the concepts in the previous stage and be able to engage in more purposeful play. You will notice a whole new level of understanding. You will see an increased depth of experience. Because of this advancement, you will be able to take some of the basic play ideas from the 2-year-old stage and enrich them with rules and instructions for play with other children.
About the Activity: Advancing from cards and pictures, you can take the matching idea all over the house. The focus now is on objects that are the same.
How to Play: Collect one of a set of objects that has a matched pair and ask your child to find the other one. Some examples are a sock, a shoe, a barrette, a candlestick, a pencil or pen, and more. A variation of this game is to match big items with their smaller versions. Suggested items are a pencil, a shoe, a shirt, a sock, a pillow, and more.
About the Activity: Beyond the ability to string beads or pasta, the activity is now about making jewelry. Your child can end up with a necklace and/or a bracelet to wear. These can be made out of store-bought beads, the home equivalent of plain pasta, or pasta dipped in food coloring. Other ideas for stringing are Cheerios, popcorn, and cranberries.
How to Play: Collect beads or pasta the right size for stringing or other materials if desired. Cut the strings larger than necessary to make necklaces and bracelets so that they will still fit after being knotted on one end and tied on the other. Rigatoni is the largest size pasta recommended for younger children who have beginning fine motor development. Patterns can be part of this activity, either with colors, shapes, or Sizes.
© ______ 2002, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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