Pre-schoolers are programmed to learn and explore through play; it’s the fastest way for them to learn. Even Einstein said that play is the highest form of research! Providing opportunities for your child to explore and experiment, e.g. through mixing paint colours or cooking ingredients, encourages them to be a curious learner.
Encourage your child to ‘keep on trying’ in their play. It’s sometimes tempting to take over if they are struggling but if they can do it themselves, it will motivate them and give them self-belief. You will know when your child becomes too frustrated and that’s the time to offer support. However, when they’re happy to keep trying, they are developing their concentration and problem-solving abilities. You may end up with a soggy painting that takes days to dry but if it is all their work, your child will feel more motivated and positive. Playing also provides rich opportunities for talking. Encouraging speech & language skills, independence, curiosity and a love of learning will all help your pre-schooler to be ready for school.
Pre-schoolers have great imaginations; encourage them to be truly creative. When you value the process rather than the end product you are showing them that they are capable and that they matter. You may end up with a soggy painting that takes days to dry but if it is all their own work, your child will feel more motivated and positive.