Safe Exploring for Preschoolersenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-preschoolExplore-enHD-AR1.jpgKids ages 3-5 have tons of energy and are eager to walk, run, dance, and play. It's a great age for exploration too.safe exploring, preschoolers, safe play, games for preschoolers, outdoor play, games for kids, games, playing10/17/200509/26/201609/26/2016Mary L. Gavin, MD06/14/2015fe7d9003-85b5-475b-9af2-07a252dc2344https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preschool-explore.html/<h3>Ready to Explore</h3> <p>Kids ages 3-5 have tons of energy and are eager to walk, run, dance, and play. It's a great age for exploration too. Preschoolers learn a lot when given the chance to investigate their environments (with supervision, of course).</p> <p>There's much for preschoolers to explore. Now that they're older, they can focus their energy and tackle more complex activities like playing dress-up, riding trikes, planting seeds, or building something out of snow.</p> <p>With patience and some imagination, you can help your preschooler be a safe and happy explorer.</p> <h3>Encouraging Exploration</h3> <p>Here are some things to keep in mind:</p> <p><strong>Hang back.</strong> Resist the urge to give your child too many directions or too much correction. Try offering encouragement instead. If your child wants to use her shoe as a hat or a pretend teacup, so be it. The language you use can make a difference. Say, "That makes a great hat!" or "How does that tea taste?"</p> <p>If your child is doing something unsafe, gently correct or distract. For example, explain the real use of an object ("The pot is for cooking, not bonking your little brother"), then encourage exploration of&nbsp;more acceptable uses for it, such as getting a spoon and using the pot as a drum or to make a pretend soup.</p> <p>You can suggest ideas for play, but chances are your child may have a different activity in mind &mdash; or might stumble onto something intriguing. Allowing kids some time without intervention can help them develop their creativity and learn to master tasks on their own.</p> <p><strong>Mistakes are OK.</strong> Trial-and-error is a brilliant teacher. Letting go enough to let your child fail in a small way (like being unsuccessful at working a zipper) is good for both of you. When your child begins to do something incorrectly and gets frustrated, offer encouragement. You also can provide opportunities to keeping working at the skill that's being mastered. Then one day soon, your child&nbsp;will be zippering like a champ.</p> <h3>Activity Ideas for Preschoolers</h3> <p>You don't have to go anywhere special to encourage exploration. Here are some easy ways to do it:</p> <h4>Splash It Up</h4> <p>Kids at this age love water and wet sensations. Find safe household items or look for stuff in the yard that could be washed and examined. What happens to a leaf when it gets wet? What about a rock? Set them up in an area that can get wet &mdash; outside, in the bathtub, at a table with a waterproof cloth on it and the floor below &mdash; and let them wash, rinse, dunk, and splash! As always, be sure to supervise kids closely during water play.</p> <h4>Please Touch</h4> <p>Making "touch bowls" of things like corn kernels, flour, dried beans, rice, dry spiral pasta, or sand can give children interesting things to feel, grasp, dump, and pour. Be sure to supervise so no one tries to eat what's in the bowls.</p> <h4>Act It Out</h4> <p>Preschoolers also enjoy role-playing games. Provide safe props for everyday tasks like going grocery shopping, cooking dinner, or going to work. And give them a box of old clothes, hats, and other accessories so they can dress whatever part they're playing.</p> <h4>Create a Work of Art</h4> <p>It may end up being abstract art, but that's OK. Fill a "creation box" with drawing materials, stickers, clay, pipe cleaners, straws, and blocks. Lay down newspaper inside, or on a warm day, let them create outdoors.</p> <h4>Watch Nature</h4> <p>With child-safe binoculars and a magnifying glass, kids can explore the great outdoors. This can work in your backyard in&nbsp;or any nature-rich environment.</p> <p>When it's safe to do so, let your child lead the way. Stay a pace or two behind and let your child make the discoveries. It's fun when mom or dad points out&nbsp;a ladybug scooting across a leaf. But if you're a preschooler, it's even more fun when you can call out, "Hey, Mom. Look at this!"</p>
Cooking With PreschoolersIt may take a little flexibility and prep work, but time in the kitchen with your preschooler can be a culinary adventure you'll both enjoy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cooking-preschool.html/779d5fe1-703b-46ad-820f-dc0e122a9342
Helping Your Child Adjust to PreschoolThe more comfortable you are with placing your child in preschool and the more familiar the setting is for your child, the fewer problems you - and your child - will encounter.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/adjust-to-preschool.html/7ba2b44e-946a-400f-8f2b-29175260f2e9
Motivating Preschoolers to Be ActiveA preschooler's desire to move, move, move makes this a great time to encourage fitness habits that can last a lifetime.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/active-preschooler.html/fa6e5a6b-454c-4e7a-93e1-66a433f7d8da
Play & Learn CenterPlay is the building block of childhood. It teaches kids about their world. Here, learn what activities inspire and motivate, and which toys are not only safer, but smarter, too.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/play-center.html/63d65137-a20c-46c4-9dc9-ef5882c6a607
Raising a Fit PreschoolerPreschoolers have a lot of energy, and the physical skills and coordination to ride a tricycle or chase a butterfly.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fit-preschooler.html/1d6c46e6-fa63-4a68-b7d4-536cf20b7144
Safe Exploring for ToddlersToddlers are learning to talk, to walk and run, and to assert their independence. For many in this age group, "outside" and "play" are common requests.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/exploring.html/11fb4c70-542a-47f8-a498-8a85a5ef9a1e
Sleep and Your PreschoolerPreschoolers sleep about 11 to 12 hours during each 24-hour period, and it's important to help them develop good habits for getting to sleep.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sleep-preschool.html/895ac3ff-7a96-4c3f-8960-81cc1a07b511
Snacks for PreschoolersHealthy and well-timed snacks can help fill in nutritional gaps for preschoolers. But how do you turn yours into a smart snacker?https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/preschool-snacks.html/b55b5073-6588-49a5-b672-ccdd689616d8
Story Time for PreschoolersReading aloud to your preschooler is a great way to encourage learning development and to help prepare your child for independent reading down the line.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/reading-preschool.html/217a877b-7b43-412e-bd8d-bcf51f19843a
kh:age-preschoolerThreeToFivekh:age-toddlerOneToThreekh:clinicalDesignation-NAkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-developmentalMedicineLearning & Playhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth/learning/b874d6df-27b3-4baa-b568-b4317e071da2Staying Fithttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/staying-fit/e2c09005-3007-4117-9b82-1a2401cdf977