Will children who are three years old on December 31st enter pre-kindergarten programs?
The rule in Early Intervention is that children are about to age out. Given that COVID19 is here and that the “aged-out” age group of toddlers have no current vaccine of which to take advantage at the writing of this blog post, there are some parents who will be opting to keep them home. They will not have their children in school and remote treatment options may not be available. If you are a parent of a disabled child who may be in this position there is something that you can and should be doing, Research shows that 90% of the brain develops in the first five years of life.
What Can Be Done????
The whole basis of the early intervention, no matter where you are located is that activities can be embedded into daily routines. Hopefully, if your child was enrolled in the program you came to understand that you as an adult are your child’s first teacher. You have learned the “tools” for how to teach language within the context of daily routines.
Toys! These are the tools for children to learn from so if you have blocks, balls, boxes, unisex doll houses, mini brooms and dusters, babies or action figures, teach your children how to use them in imaginative ways.
I personally loved blocks, as a child. You can learn so much from them (and don’t forget the wooden family figures too!!) Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and blocks teach children counting, balancing, colors, size concepts, prepositions so they know where things are in space
Board games can teach basic concepts
Guess Who teaches children to use descriptive terms and answer/ask questions. It facilitates problem solving and reasoning.
Hi Ho Cheerio teaches preschoolers (three years and up) turn taking, counting, following directions.
Chutes and Ladders: When playing this game, your child is working on counting, prepositions, turn-taking, social skills, and following directions.
Reading Skills – preschool aged children learn phonics. Phonics is essential for children to become successful readers and spellers/writers in the early years of schooling and beyond. Introductions to phonics through engaging learning experiences can start from the ages of 3 and 4.
They can also look at magazines and should be exposed to “real” (non-electronic) books. Some resources, aside from the public library are Books Scholastic book Highlights Magazine
I hope that these suggestions are helpful. The situation we are faced with due to the pandemic is nobody’s fault; but it has its consequences. I hope that this blog will empower you and leave you with knowledge of some ideas for helping your child grow. If you have any questions or additional ideas that may be helpful to share, please leave them in the comments section below. Stay well!