Developmentally Appropriate Materials for Preschool and Kindergarten Children (Ages 3-6)
Materials for preschoolers and kindergarteners should support their developing social skills and interest in adult roles, growing imaginations, increasing motor skills, and rapidly expanding vocabularies. Refer to the table below for examples of developmentally appropriate materials for preschool and kindergarten children.
|Type of Material||Appropriate Materials||Examples|
|Skill/concept||Books/records||Picture books, simple and repetitive stories and rhymes, animal stories, pop-up books, simple information books, wide variety of musical recordings|
|Games||Socially interactive games with adults, such as What If; matching and lotto games based on colors and pictures, such as picture bingo or dominoes; games of chance with a few pieces that require no reading, such as Chutes and Ladders; flannel board with pictures, letters, and storybook characters|
|Gross motor||Active play||Push and pull toys; ride-on toys; balls of all kinds; indoor slide and climber; rocking boat|
|Outdoor||Climbers, rope ladders, balls of all sizes; old tires, sand and water materials|
|Manipulative||Fine motor||Dressing frames; toys to put together and take apart; cookie cutters, stamp and printing materials, finger paint, modeling dough, small objects to sort and classify; bead stringing with long, thin string; pegs and small pegs; colored cubes, table blocks, magnetic board/letters/numbers and shapes; perception boards and mosaics|
|Puzzles and form boards||Fit-in or framed puzzles (for 3-year-olds: from 4-20 pieces, for 4-year-olds: from 15-30 pieces, for 5-year-olds: from 15-50 pieces); large, simple jigsaws; number/letter/clock puzzles|
|Investigative||Toys, globe flashlight, magnets, lock boxes, weather forecasting equipment, scales, balances, stethoscopes|
|Construction||Building sets||Small and large unit blocks; large hollow blocks; from age 4, interlocking plastic blocks with pieces of all sizes|
|Carpentry||Workbench, hammer, preschool nails, saw, sandpaper, pounding benches, safety goggles|
|Self-expressive||Dolls and soft toys||Realistic dolls and accessories; play settings and play people (e.g., farm, hospital)|
|Dramatic play||Dress-up clothes, realistic tools, toy camera, telephone, household furniture|
|Sensory||Tactile boxes; auditory and musical materials such as smelling and sound boxes; cooking experiences|
|Art/music||All rhythm instruments, music boxes; large crayons, paint, paste, glue, chalkboard and chalk, sewing kits, collage materials, markers, modeling dough, blunt scissors|
|Natural and everyday||Sand and water||Sandbox tools, bubbles, water toys|
|Old clocks, radios, cameras, telephones; telephone books; mirrors; doctor kits; typewriter; magazines; fabric scraps; computer; cash register and receipts; measuring cups and muffin tins|
© ______ 2006, 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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