What is a sight word?
Something I get asked quite often is what is a sight word? And while I’ve done a post before on helping your pre-ker with sight words we didn’t really talk about what a sight word IS.
So then….What IS a sight word?
Sight words are words that make up 75% of words used on beginner levels when reading, they are words we want your child to recognize instantly, at first sight. Hence, sight words!
They are words that do not typically follow basic phonics. Meaning they usually cannot be sounded out. Sight words are different for each grade level and build upon one another.
Sight words can be used to help encourage confidence in reading. A child mastering their list of sight words can now recognize at least HALF a sentence! Which then inspires the child to keep pushing forward while reading a book. It can even help encourage them to pick up another 🙂
Preschool friendships look a little…ok a lot…different than friendships in older children. And that’s simply because your preschooler is still learning how to be a friend! Check out how preschool friendships evolve:
- They play together, instead of just side by side.
When children are first learning to make friends they merely play NEXT to each other rather than WITH each other. However, that changes once your child is around 3 years old.
2. They CAN share, but are still practicing.
Children don’t just know how to share. It’s something they must learn and practice. So while preschool friends CAN and do share, sometimes, they won’t. And well. *shrugs* that’s just how it goes.
3. They have a “best” friend.
Around this point children will have someone they prefer to play with. And it can (and does!) change on a daily basis. That’s totally normal!
4. They prefer their friends over Mom & Dad.
Sorry parents! As your child grows and learns how to be a friend, they will slowly become more independent from you. But don’t worry! It’s a good thing!
5. They can be loving and hurtful at the same time.
Kids are this age are exactly that. Kids! They are still learning how to be friends, how to share, and how to be kind. Children at about 3 years old can still be very egocentric (which is normal BTW!). So they can and sometimes are, hurtful to their friends without realizing it. So use those times as a learning opportunity. You’re preschooler will be a better friend for it.
Socializing During a Pandemic
Children and socializing go hand in hand. And for good reason! Socializing with other kids around their own age is needed for your child’s social-emotional development. Socializing is also good for their mental health. Without it your child may begin to act out due to frustration.
“But we are in the middle of a pandemic!” I hear you! I really do! But socialization is so important for your child! There ARE SAFE ways to socialize during a pandemic. Try out these ideas:
- Go Digital!
– Seriously, thank goodness for technology! Let your child Facetime, SnapChat, play online games, etc. with their friends and family.
- Scavenger Hunts.
– Try a neighborhood scavenger hunt! Kids get to work together for a common goal while staying socially distant.
- Go old school.
– Write or draw pictures to snail mail to friends and family.
No matter how you choose to socalize just remember to avoid the 3 C’s:
- Closed Spaces
- Crowded Places
- Close Contact
And of course…..Don’t Forget To Wash Your Hands!
Fostering Independence In Preschoolers
Opportunities to develop independence are immensely important for building a sense of self and self-esteem–not to mention frustration tolerance and perseverance. Sure, letting children carry out tasks often means the task will take twice as long (and be twice as messy), and it can be hard to watch your child try, fail and feel frustrated or disappointed, but it’s a good thing for them! How can you help your child develop independence? Well…
Set predictable routines.
Establishing a consistent routine is important for nurturing independence. Just like us adults, when children can anticipate their day, they are better equipped to take on responsibilities. Now, don’t confuse a routine with a schedule, while they may overlap, a routine is any sequence of events that occurs throughout the day. Such as brushing teeth, because it has multiple steps that always go in the same order.
As children experience these routines over and over they will learn to anticipate what comes next and start to take on more responsibility with less help. If you let your child do some of the prep work (like putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush) they will increasingly take on more of these steps on their own. You are also communicating to them that you have faith in their ability to do these things without you but you are there to help if they need it.
Let your child choose.
Give your child choices. Involve them in deciding what to wear, play, or what to eat. Now this doesn’t mean they have free rein! Provide them will 2 or 3 choices, and then praise their great ability to make a choice! Even if your child is upset and having a tantrum, choices will often help them regain a sense of control. For example, if you’re child is upset because they cannot cross the street by themselves offer them the choice to either hold your hand or be carried. They get to feel in control, while you get to keep them safe.
Let your child help.
Children love to help! Not only does it build independence, but it is also a great way to calm a tantrum or redirector a behavior by giving the child a sense of control. When you allow your child to help, you are fostering their confidence and giving them an opportunity to learn something new. You are communicating to your child that you trust them and these moments provide an opportunity for a back and forth conversation.
Give your child chores.
That’s right. I said it! Even a preschooler can help with chores. Of course chores for your preschooler will look different than your chores for older children, BUT they are important for building up to larger tasks. Research supports chores for children as a way of building their confidence, teaching teamwork, and responsibility.
Let your child solve problems.
Allow your child to try things that are hard and to solve small problems on their own. When children are first learning to crawl or walk, we must let them fall. Well, when children are learning to put on their shoes, we must allow them to put them on the wrong feet first. Wait for your child to ask for help or provide a small hint to get them to the next step. Don’t do it for them!
Nurture free play.
Independent and unstructured play is so important for fostering creativity, problem-solving, and autonomy. However, most preschool children will still need (and want) engagement from parents during unstructured play. Offer your child a variety of things and see what they are drawn to. Use these observations to guide and extend their play. As you watch though, try not to intervene. Comment on what they are doing and praise their efforts, but again don’t do it for them!
What to say.
Children need to know that you see them. You see their efforts, persistence, bravery, and growth. By commenting on these things you are giving positive attention to the qualities you want to foster and making it more likely that these behaviors will continue.
A balanced diet & your child
We all know how important a balanced diet is for us as adults, but it’s even more so for children. But why? And what do pediatricians recommend for a balanced diet?
Children who are a balanced diet experience so many health benefits like…
Brain Development: Poor nutrition has been shown to restrict brain development and IQ levels in children. It may also cause issues with attention span and behavior.
Growth: Children grow so quickly! And that takes lots of nutrients and energy to do so. A balanced diet helps ensure your child is getting what they need to grow.
Lower Obesity Rates: Obesity affects 1 in 3 children. A balanced diet (along with exercise) helps lower that risk for your child.
Healthy Choices: Children who eat a balanced diet and are encouraged to make healthy choices are more likely to continue to throughout their lifetime.
What is a balanced diet for a preschooler?
Grains: 3 to 5 oz. a day. Preferably half of them as whole grains.
Veggies: 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups a day.
Fruits: 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups a day. Try to limit juices to 100% fruit juice, and only 4 to 6 oz. per day.
Milk – 2 to 2 & 1/2 cups a day.
Protein 2 to 4 oz. a day.
Limits sweets and excessive sodium as well.
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