aged three to five years are all different in what
they can do and what interests them but they all
develop along a common path.
age is a time of growing independence and learning -
to use their bodies, talk, understand and make
things. They are busy, active people.
this age children's minds are like sponges. By the
time they go to school they will have formed their
own personality and ideas about life and learning.
children of this age:
through their senses, like to smell, touch,
taste, see and feel things
hold a conversation with you
ideas about how the world works
curious about everything
the company of other children
interested in others
to make things
games with friends
to know how to look after themselves
to join in and do what you do
back to toddler like behavior (thumb sucking,
crying, hitting, baby talk) when they are shy or
upset, especially in new situations.
children of this age like to go to child care, play
group, kindergym or kindergarten/preschool.
the ages of three and five children gain
greater control over their movements as
their bodies change.
don't like sitting or standing still for
long and learn from playing and copying
need some outdoor physical activity every
day. Make play safe and fun. You can provide
water, sand and mud. Go for walks, climb
trees, dig, bike ride and garden. Kicking,
bouncing and throwing a ball is fun.
children may seem a bit clumsy or
uncoordinated. Sometimes there is an obvious
reason. If you are concerned about your
child's physical development see your doctor
or child health nurse as soon as possible.
children grow older they learn more ways to
express their feelings. Instead of just
crying when they are afraid, preschoolers
may tell you they are afraid, be very quiet
or cling to you.
children learn new ways of handling
different situations by watching people.
Sometimes they don't cope or get stressed.
and They can behave like a toddler,
particularly if they are tired or becoming
can help them learn more positive ways of
expressing feelings by:
your child's feelings and letting them
know you understand what they are
feeling when you can
about how bodies feel when we experience
emotions, eg 'When I'm scared sometimes
my tummy hurts'
about feelings, being honest about them
and using everyday words to describe
playing, talking, playing games, saying
their names and saying goodbye are all
things preschool children learn to do and
like to do with others.
this age they need the company of other
children. They care what their friends think
and often have one or two special friends at
accept differences in others. They make all
sorts of friends, of all different ages,
backgrounds and abilities.
with others can help a child work out roles
for themselves, solve problems and work
can help your child's friendships and play
opportunities for them to be with others
them to share
to and then answering your children,
encouraging them to do the same with
them choices - 'You have three friends
and only two spades to play with so you
could share', 'You could find something
else to use', 'You could change the
game', 'What do you think?'
your child to say 'hello'.
how you behave with others will affect how
your child relates to others.
are good at talking and thinking.
These skills will rapidly increase
but each child will develop at their
want to learn. Providing stimulating
experiences which are real and mean
something in their lives will help
them learn. For example, a ride on a
bus can provide experiences about
transport, wheels, people, cities,
roads, advertising, bus drivers and
kind of experiences your children
have affects what they think and
talking and thinking skills you can
expect of a preschooler include them
being able to:
a short story
while others talk
instructions which have two to
four key words, 'Please put the
doll with the sunhat in the
connections between things, see
similarities and differences
a group of objects in order by
simple patterns - 'blue bead,
red bead, blue bead, red bead'
what things are used for 'Chop
sticks are for eating'
an understanding of big, little,
under, over, inside, outside, in
front, behind, heavy, light
things over a period of time
simple cause and effect
relationships 'The stove gets
hot because it is turned on'
alone on a task they like,
sometimes for up to half an hour
their own written names.
to watch for
your child has not developed
some behaviors by a certain
age don't worry on your own,
check with a health care
should check if, by the
fourth birthday, your child
so you can understand
them most of the time
and follow simple
their name and age
with an activity for
five to 10 minutes
up and down on the spot
should also check with a
health care professional if
by the fifth birthday your
child does not:
so other people can
interested in things
happening around them
to dress themselves
good bladder and bowel
control in the day time
with few accidents