Developing thinking skills in preschoolers
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Q: Our daughter is
still in preschool. She's a very social child and loves to play. I'm
wondering, though, about her thinking skills. Is there anything I
should be doing at home to prepare her for school? Should I just let
Preschoolers are curious and want to know everything! You are your
daughter's No. 1 teacher, so as you go about your daily routine, use
your activities as occasions for learning. Let her observe and guess
at how things work. Let her ask questions. Listen actively and
respond to her questions seriously without being judgmental.
Encourage her curiosity by asking your
- "Why do you think I do it this
- "What do you think is the next
you're in the produce aisle, talk about:
- How foods grow. For example,
oranges grow on trees, blueberries grow on bushes, and carrots
- Colors and shapes. Mention the
different colors and shapes you see, such as red apples, yellow
grapefruit and round grapes.
to make predictions -- and test them out:
- In the sandbox. What will happen
when we add water to the dry sand?
- In the kitchen. What will happen
to this egg if we beat it? What will happen to rice or pasta when
we cook it?
means let her play. Here are ways you can boost your daughter's
thinking skills as she plays:
- Create a special place for your
daughter to explore. Fill a low cabinet with interesting and safe
objects for her to play with.
- Allow your child to make
mistakes. Give her plenty of time to figure out how to use a new
toy before stepping in to help.
- Let her try new things, such as
looking through a magnifying glass or shaking a tambourine.
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together and ask your daughter to imagine what will happen next in
the story. For example, after you read a story such as "Goldilocks
and the Three Bears," you can help develop her thinking skills by
asking some basic questions about the story:
- "What was the story about?"
- "Why did the bears leave their
gets older, you can encourage a higher level of thinking by asking
her to analyze information from the story and to express her
opinions. Ask questions such as:
- "How were the bears alike and
- "Which bear is most like your
friend Emily? Like you?"
To succeed in school, children have
to know how to think. You can help her develop good thinking skills
at home and give her lots of practice.
* * *
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question to The Learning
Advisor, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
© Copyright 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
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