Preschool (3-4 years)
780 weeks until graduation . . .
What’s this phase all about?
Although there may still be a lot of emphasis on potty-training and continued physical independence, the preschool phase is full of mental and emotional growth. Preschoolers are beginning to figure out the world around them. Their verbal skills are taking off, and many are replacing tantrums with a continual barrage of, “Why?”. When you give an answer, your preschooler will probably respond to that with another, “Why?”. Close behind “Why?” follow “Where?”, “When?”, “Who?”, and “How?”. Some days your child may resemble a Pulitzer-winning, investigative journalist more than a preschooler!
What blessings can you find in this phase?
Imagination, games, and fun! Preschoolers love to play, and they’re eager to learn. Games are a great way to go about this. Whether they’re learning to say the alphabet, repeat a Bible verse, or clean their own room, if you can turn it into a game, your preschooler will be all in. Preschoolers lead the pack when it comes to imagination. They still can’t entirely distinguish between reality and fiction, so the worlds they create in their heads are very real to them. Imaginary friends might make an appearance during this phase. Fears, even irrational ones, may be very real to your preschooler. He is old enough to understand that sharks are dangerous, but not quite old enough to reason that a shark can’t actually swim up the drain into the bathtub to eat him!
How can you leverage this phase?
Let their natural curiosity work for you. Tell Bible stories. Teach them consistently about who God is and what He does. Make it fun. Play I-Spy for bugs in the backyard. Then, marvel with your child that God created caterpillars that turn into butterflies or bees that make honey out of flower pollen! Kids may ask some pretty deep questions about God during this phase. Don’t be afraid to answer them. Just remember they are still concrete thinkers, so even deep questions are satisfied with fairly basic answers. And, when you are weary of answering questions? Keep in mind that showing your interest in what your child has to say now will matter when she is 13 and wondering if you really care about what she has to say. Preschool is a phase where your child loves to learn and is sure you know everything! Leverage that!