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Supporting your Preschooler

Partnering with Families

Supporting your Preschooler

A remarkable amount of learning occurs during the formative preschool years.  Throughout those learning experiences, it is important for families to know and understand that YOU are your child’s most important teacher.  Every conversation you have, every story you read, and the love you give to your child helps them better understand themselves, their world, and to meet their potential as a learner.

Throughout the school year, your preschool student will develop in many ways.  The information on this webpage will help families understand the development of preschoolers and provides TIPS for families to help build these skills.  In the classroom, we will work on these same skills through play.

"At the end of the day, the most overwhelming success to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents." -Jane D. Hull

Areas of development and tips for families to support growth



Language skills: 3- to 5-year old children may be able to:

Tips to support Language development:

- Respond to their name

-Answer “yes/no” questions

-Verbalize basic wants and needs

-Name common objects

-Listen and respond when someone speaks to them

-Follow simple directions

-Speak using at least 3-4 word sentences

-Answer who, what, and where questions

-Speak clearly enough that familiar listeners can understand them

-Be present and talk with your child as much as possible

-Expect your child to use words to get needs met

-Give the names of common items to build their vocabulary

-Respond to your child in a positive verbal manner  

-Make comments to encourage




Social-Emotional skills: 3- to 5-year old children may be able to:

Tips to support Social-Emotional development: 

-Manage routines with occasional reminders

-Demonstrate confidence in meeting own needs

-Manage separation without distress

-Begin to identify basic emotions

-Use strategies for entering play groups

-Play with one or two preferred playmates

-Take turns

-Find an adult when they need help

-Provide opportunities to play with peers

-Show warmth and affectionate consistently

-Play games and model “my turn…your turn”

-Discuss upcoming separation, reassure child of your return, and make the good-byes quick

-Accept and reflect on child’s own feelings



Academics (Reading, Writing, and Math)

Academic skills: 3- to 5-year old children may be able to:

Tips to support Academic development:

-Show interest in books

-Answer simple questions from stories read

-Identify letters in their name

-Develop muscle strength in hands and fingers

-Sort and compare

-Count items

-Identify basic shapes

-Follow directions related to positions (in, on, under, between, beside, next to)

-Read aloud daily to your child and ask questions about a story read (“What will happen next?” What was your favorite part?”)

-Talk about letters in environmental print (signs, ads, labels, etc…)

-Offer clay, playdough, and scissors in supervised settings

-Sort items around house (silverware, socks, loose change)

-Count the number of items

-Ask your child to bring you a specific number of items (“Bring me 2 apples.”)

-Look for opportunities to show comparisons (“This glass has more juice.”)

Support Your Child Preschool students may become frustrated at times when learning new skills. Help them label how they are feeling (frustrated, discouraged, overwhelmed) and provide them with encouraging words to keep trying. If you have concerns, feel free to discuss more specific strategies with your child's teacher.

Promoting Independence

Encourage your child to do more tasks independently.  It may be faster for an adult to do things for the child, but it doesn't help the child learn to do things for themselves.  Take a few extra minutes to teach children things like:

  • Putting on a coat, hat, or gloves
  • Zipping/buttoning
  • Using the restroom independently
  • Washing hands appropriately
  • Drinking from an open cup
  • Covering his/her mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Putting on shoes
  • Using eating utensils

The D11 Preschool Program wants to develop independent students with self-confidence.  We ask for support from our amazing families.