Four stages of a child’s development – 3 To 5 Year Olds
The world is an exciting place for the preschool and kindergarten age group. They can be superheroes one minute, and shopkeepers the next. This certain belief that they can be anything they want is something we never want them to lose.
This post is the final part in our series which explores the development of children in their first years of life, leading into school. Read about the earlier phases, including infancy
and 2 to 3 year olds
on our blog.
How 3 to 5 year olds learn
Between the ages of 3 and 5 is when children expand their horizons. They open their world to more people and form wider friendship groups where they can learn from each other and test ideas together.
Being challenged by different points of view helps children build stronger problem-solving skills, and being exposed to diversity helps them learn to negotiate with others. They learn a lot through observation and direct communication now, and will often ask “But why?”.
This inquisitive approach is a crucial element of their development though, and answering the ‘why’ as much as possible gives them essential information to help them make sense of the world around them.
Ways to encourage learning
There are many skills and traits to encourage through this developmental stage. Your child’s preschool or kindergarten teacher will ensure your child is thinking, exploring, questioning, and learning how to learn, while also developing language, literacy, numeracy and communication skills.
Social skills are also built upon, with children learning to relate to others, developing empathy, resolving conflicts, managing emotions and feeling a sense of belonging.
Children at this age learn all of these skills by engaging in dramatic imaginative play, observing adults and other children, examining objects and systems in the world around them and experimenting with cause and effect.
You can build on their development by involving them more in the daily aspects of your family life. Discuss things like choosing and paying for groceries at the supermarket, or invite them to help pack their bag and recognise when items are missing.
By mastering basic social, intellectual and emotional management skills, your pre-schooler can enter the next stage of their life with confidence and a healthy self-esteem, setting them up for success throughout their schooling years.