Preschool sets the stage for a child’s future academic and social development, offering a wealth of experiences and opportunities that shape their abilities and personalities.By providing a safe and nurturing learning environment, preschool helps prepare children for the exciting journey of learning and interacting with the world by helping them build everything from numeracy and literacy skills to social and communication skills.
In this article, we’ll explain what children learn in preschool and explore how these valuable skills developed through play-based learning help children grow and succeed.
Preschool is an important step in your child’s life
To understand what children learn in kindergarten and preschool, it’s important to recognise that preschool is so much more than just a place to spend time.
Preschool is a crucial step in a child’s social and emotional development. In preschool, children are introduced to a structured routine that prepares them for the expectations and demands of a classroom setting. Through purposeful preschool activities, they learn the importance of following a schedule, participating in group activities, and respecting the authority of teachers and adults. These early lessons in structure and foundational skills lay the foundation for future learning, helping children transition smoothly into school and life beyond kindergarten.
Preschool provides an inclusive and supportive environment where children have the opportunity to interact with their peers, teachers, and other adults. These interactions play a vital role in the development of crucial social competencies, such as effective communication, language development, cooperation, empathy, and emotional intelligence.
The importance of play can’t be overstated as a fundamental aspect of preschool education. Children engage in collaborative activities, games, and projects that require teamwork. They learn the importance of taking turns, sharing resources, and resolving conflicts in a respectful manner. These experiences instil in them the essential skills of compromise, negotiation, and cooperation, which are vital for building and maintaining positive relationships.
Preschool also fosters empathy and emotional intelligence. Through various activities and discussions, children learn to recognise and understand the emotions of others. They develop the capacity to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, fostering a sense of compassion and consideration. This empathic understanding helps children navigate conflicts and build supportive relationships based on kindness and respect.
Effective communication is a fundamental skill for every aspect of life, and preschool plays a vital role in enhancing children’s language development. Through group discussions, storytime, show-and-tell activities, and creative expression, children expand their vocabulary, listening skills, and the ability to express themselves verbally.
Non-verbal communication is another crucial aspect of communication skills that preschool helps children develop. Through observation and practice, children learn to interpret and use body language, facial expressions, and gestures to convey messages and understand the intentions of others. They develop an awareness of the importance of eye contact, posture, and appropriate physical cues in effective interpersonal communication. These non-verbal communication skills are essential for forming connections, understanding social cues, and building positive relationships.
Preschool introduces children to basic concepts of literacy, numeracy, science, and other subjects through age-appropriate activities and games. Children engage in hands-on learning experiences that promote curiosity, critical thinking, and a love for learning. They learn to ask questions, make predictions, and draw conclusions.
In addition to specific subject areas, preschool provides a holistic approach to cognitive development by promoting general cognitive skills. Children are encouraged to think creatively, use their imagination, and develop problem-solving abilities. They engage in puzzles, building blocks, and games that challenge their thinking and reasoning skills. These activities enhance their cognitive flexibility, spatial awareness, and logical thinking, enabling them to approach challenges with confidence and adaptability.
Preschool is a crucial period for the development and refinement of both fine and gross motor skills in children. Through a range of early childhood education activities and experiences, preschool provides plenty of opportunities for children to enhance their hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, balance, and overall physical abilities.
Fine motor skills involve the coordination and control of small muscle movements, particularly those of the hands and fingers. In preschool, activities such as drawing, painting, playing with building blocks, and using scissors require children to manipulate objects and tools with precision. These activities help strengthen their hand muscles, refine their finger movements, and improve hand-eye coordination. As children engage in these tasks, they develop the ability to control their hand movements with increasing accuracy, enabling them to write, draw, and perform other fine motor activities with greater proficiency.
Gross motor skills, on the other hand, involve the coordination and control of larger muscle groups and the whole body. Preschool provides ample opportunities for children to engage in active play, constructive play, outdoor activities, and organised games that promote the development of gross motor skills. Running, jumping, hopping, balancing, climbing, and playing ball games are just a few examples of activities that contribute to the development of these skills.
Life skills encompass a wide range of abilities that are essential for success in everyday life. As well as the foundational literacy and numeracy skills, these skills include self-help skills (such as dressing, eating independently, and personal hygiene), problem-solving, decision-making, time management, and resilience. Preschool helps children develop these life skills through age-appropriate tasks and responsibilities, encouraging independence and self-reliance.
Responsibility is another key life skill that preschool fosters through tasks and responsibilities. Children may be assigned roles such as line leader, classroom helper, or cleanup crew member. These responsibilities instil a sense of accountability, cooperation, and contribution to the classroom community. Preschoolers learn to take ownership of their actions, fulfil their duties, and understand the importance of being responsible members of a group or community.
By acquiring these skills early on, children gain confidence and become better equipped to navigate the challenges they will encounter throughout their lives.
Find a preschool that teaches life skills
When choosing a preschool for your child, it is important to consider one that not only focuses on academic development but also emphasises the teaching of life skills. Look for a preschool that provides a well-rounded curriculum, incorporating social, communication, cognitive, motor, and life skills development into their daily activities. A preschool that prioritises these aspects understands the holistic nature of a child’s growth and is dedicated to nurturing their overall development.
At Aurrum Kids, we understand the importance of fostering social, communication, cognitive, motor, and life skills in young children. Our early childhood education curriculum is designed to provide a nurturing environment where children can thrive and develop these essential skills. To book a tour at one of Aurrum Kids’ childcare centres in New South Wales and Victoria, please contact us today.