Parent Resources for your 3 – 5 year-old child

+Literacy

Literacy

Preschoolers can understand and use nearly 1,000 words. They also begin to use correct grammar – you can hear these differences by listening to your child talk. Instead of seeing her point and say “doggie,” you will hear, “Look at the dog.” The more your child talks and listens to others, the more words and expressions she will learn and use.

Tips:

  • Get Ready to Read!  Research shows that children whose parents read to them have an easier time learning to read. Read your child fun and lively stories every day and encourage playing with books.
  • On the “Write” Path to Reading. Leave “I love you” or “see you when you get home” notes in a lunchbox, or have your child hold the grocery list while you shop to practice reading.
  • Take your child to the Library. Get into a routine of taking your child to the library for story time and to check out books. The librarian will also likely have recommendations.

Book Recommendations:

Freight Train, by Donald Crews

The Family Book, by Todd Parr

The Big Shiny Sparkly First Words Book, by Williable Tong

Resources:

  • Just in Time Parenting (JITP) is an outreach innovation that brings high quality, research-based information to families at the time it can be most useful and make the biggest difference in their lives. You can “ask an expert” and hear from other parents. www.extension.org/parenting
  • Internet safety Your child may still be mastering her ABCs, but she can probably find her way around her favorite Web site better than you can. Check out our tips for keeping your littlest Web-surfers safe from Scholastic’s Website.
  • There are lots of activities, story hours, and BOOKS at the library. Maine’s Libraries have a searchable database of every library with hours, activities, and links to each library’s website.

 

Parent Resources have been developed for the Alfond Scholarship Foundation (ASF) by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and are provided to you by the ASF, which is soley responsible for the Parent Resources content.

+Science & Math

Science & Math

Your child is building the foundation to their math and science skills every time you compare the sizes of two shapes and decide which is bigger. Keep up the important work by encouraging your child to experiment and explore. Ask a question, than help him take steps to find the answer. Try exploring with household items like soap and water or food coloring. Make a map of your neighborhood then do a treasure hunt. There are lots of ways to have fun and build math and science skills.

Tips:

  • I Spy with My Little Eye. Draw or trace two identical images for your child, then add a few small differences to one of them. Challenge your child to find the differences between the two pictures.
  • Create from Common Objects. Teach your child how to make their own stamps by cutting a design into a potato or dry sponge. Then dip the home made stamp into paint and allow your child to make their mark by pressing it onto paper.
  • Get Organized. Teach your child how to sort and organize objects like books, clothes, blocks or any other household object. Challenge your child to sort the objects in piles according to various characteristics such as color, size or texture.

Book Recommendations:

First the Egg, by Laura Vaccaro Seege

Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz

Big Little, by Leslie Patricelli

Resources:

  • Science experiment ideas and info about the human body can be found at this friendly family science website www.sciencewithme.com
  • Cool Math for Parents is a website is designed by a math professor and cartoonist. Games are designed for slightly older children, but it’s a great place for ideas.
  • Country Fairs are great places to learn about animals, automobiles, farms and more. The Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs has a list of state fairs on their web site www.mainefairs.org.

Parent Resources have been developed for the Alfond Scholarship Foundation (ASF) by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and are provided to you by the ASF, which is soley responsible for the Parent Resources content.

+Health

Health

Kids love the kitchen! Children can be wonderful helpers in the kitchen when given tasks that are a good fit with their development. Asking them to help in food preparation develops an interest in food and how it can be combined or prepared. It also teaches helping and counting skills, and cooperation. Try to allow enough time to prepare meals so that you are not rushed. Be patient and give your child a chance to help. Ask him for ideas of colors or foods to include in a meal, and then it can be a shared experience of planning, making, and enjoying a meal at home.

Tips:

  • Be on the Move. You can get moving right in your own home. Dance with your child while making music from maracas made with beans and plastic covered containers. Race up the stairs in slow motion to see who gets there last.
  • Stretch Out with Yoga for Kids. Yoga can be fun for kids and adults. Teach your child to do poses like “tree” or “cobra” – or get creative and make up your own moves. See www.yoga4kids.org for ideas.
  • All Scrambled Up. Encourage your child to choose colorful vegetables to put into an egg omelet, then talk to your child about the different flavors on the plate.

Book Recommendations:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip C. Stead

Fast Food, by Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers

Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss

Resources:

Look at nutritional needs for all the members in your family by using this new tool www.choosemyplate.gov. For preschoolers, you can put in your child’s height and age and activity level, and it will give you ideas for meals. The new recommendations are to make half the foods on your plate fruits and vegetables.

Learn how the body works at http://kidshealth.org/kid/. There’s information about sleep, food, and staying healthy. There’s also a parent section of the site with information about adult health and parenting.

Plant a garden at your home. You’ll grow your own veggies and get exercise at the same time. Many cities have community gardens, more information visit: http://extension.umaine.edu/gardening/ where you can find information about planting, harvesting, and storing all that you grow.

Parent Resources have been developed for the Alfond Scholarship Foundation (ASF) by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and are provided to you by the ASF, which is soley responsible for the Parent Resources content.

+Finances

Finances

Preschoolers are starting to understand the meaning of money, and this is the time to teach responsible saving and spending. At this age, you may decide to give a small allowance each week and your child may be doing some chores around the house like simple cleaning (picking up room, helping with dishes). Since chores are part of household responsibility – don’t tie allowance to chores; instead, give an allowance to teach responsible spending and saving. You can show a child how to save and purchase things with money that has been saved.

Tips:

  • Count Your Pennies. Coin sorting is a great activity for pre-schoolers. Teach your child about money by helping sort colors, sizes, and values.
  • Be a Financial Role model. Your child will learn about saving and spending from you. Talk about the things you’re saving up for, and show how the money you’re saving for college is adding up.
  • Take it to the Bank. Going to the bank can be a fun activity for your child. Most banks will even let a child have their own account if a parent signs them up. Help your child save and show how to make a deposit.

Book Recommendations:

Paddy’s Pay Day, by Alexandra Day

Max’s Money Machine, by Ken Wilson-Max

Just Shopping with Mom, by Mercer Mayer

Resources:

  • Kids’ Money is an interactive resource for parents, teachers and kids designed to help children develop successful money management habits and become financially responsible adults.
  • Preschool Children’s Understanding of Money. This fact sheet has ideas and activities you can employ on how to improve how your child understands money. Texas Cooperative Extension
  • Personal finance information including articles about kids and money can be found at http://www.extension.org/personal_finance. Includes a searchable database of questions like: “are gift cards wise presents for kids?”

Parent Resources have been developed for the Alfond Scholarship Foundation (ASF) by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and are provided to you by the ASF, which is soley responsible for the Parent Resources content.