The preschool child (3–5 years):

  • Is eager and excited about learning new things and making new discoveries
  • Is interested in finding out how things work, what things change into, and how they can be transformed
  • Is interested in nature and natural phenomena
  • Is discovering how things are alike and different and what things belong together
  • Is interested and ready to learn about counting and creating sets of objects up to 10
  • Is able to understand concepts and make generalizations and is ready for a thematic curriculum
  • Enjoys sorting things and making collections
  • Tries out different ways of making objects move, change, and fit together
  • Learns from watching adults and other children and imitates what he sees
  • Remembers things that happened in the past and anticipates what will happen in the future

The caregiver:

  • Provides opportunities for children to learn through hands-on experience
  • Provides children the time and space to manipulate, explore, and experiment
  • Provides opportunities for children to learn about things outside their immediate experience
  • Allows children to try things in their own ways, to make mistakes, and to try again
  • Provides children with a variety of experiences with plants and animals
  • Provides children with opportunities to learn about counting, measuring, and arranging items into sets by size and shape
  • Introduces familiar themes, such as transportation, families, weather, and building things