3 – 5 Years

3 – 5 Years

Support the knowledge, interests, and self-esteem of your preschooler

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Your child is a preschooler. As their self-esteem continues to grow, your child is interested in talking and can do a lot more on their own. This is an important time to sing, talk and read to help set your child on the road to success in school and life. If you don’t have one already, now is a good time to get a library card. Use it to access your local library.

Explore ways to help your preschooler learn and grow.

Your child learns and uses more words.

Point out words you see while you walk together and ask your child to repeat them. While shopping, have them help place items in the shopping cart and tell you what they are. Poetry can increase your child’s interest in words. Books with silly, made-up words help your child have fun with reading. Books with repeat words and phrases increase their interest in words.

Book Ideas

Read-aloud rhymes for the very young / selected by Jack Prelutsky Jamberry / story and pictures by Bruce Degen The napping house / Audrey Wood ; illustrated by Don Wood
Read-aloud rhymes for the very young
By Jack Prelutsky
By Bruce Degen
The napping house
By Audrey and Dan Wood

Your preschooler does more on their own.

Your child is proud when they can accomplish a task. While they help you pick up their clothes and toys, ask them to tell you the name and color of each item.

Visit the library and let your child choose their own books. Books, including those with no words that allow your child to make up or tell the story, are a great way to show what they can do. Some books allow your child to guess what happens next. This helps them understand the structure of a story.

Songs from the radio or songbooks like Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan and The Lady with the Alligator Purse by Nadine Westcott are good options for your preschooler. They can sing along with the repeated chorus.

Your child’s self-esteem grows.

As your child’s personality develops, it is important for them to hear and read stories that they can identify with. Share stories about your childhood or special memories about a grandparent. Choose books with human characters who look like your child or animals that act like children.

Book Ideas

Whistle for Willie / Ezra Jack Keats Hi! / Ann Herbert Scott Where the wild things are / Maurice Sendak
Whistle for Willie
By Ezra Jack Keats
By Ann Herbert Scott
Where the wild things are
By Maurice Sendak

Your preschooler learns harder concepts.

As your child grows, they learn letters, numbers, colors and opposites. Support learning about letters with books like Alphabetics by Suse MacDonald, LMNO Peas by Kieth Baker and Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin.

Write together with crayons on the Metro or while waiting to see the doctor. Help your child write their name using different colored crayons. Explore colors through books like Green by Laura Vacaro Seeger.

Choose books with harder content. Books about numbers like One Foot, Two Feet by Peter Maloney and books about opposites such as Dinosaur Roar by Paul and Henrietta Stickland are good choices.

Your child learns through play.

Pretend play helps your child learn. Have a pretend picnic with your child. Talk with him about the pretend food you are eating and talk with his pretend friends who are at the picnic. Read books that celebrate pretend play like I Stink! by Kate McMullan.

Book Ideas

Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel / Virginia Lee Burton Corduroy / Don Freeman
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel
By Virginia Lee Burton
By Don Freeman

Your child’s knowledge of letters increases even more.

When reading a book with your child, point out the words in the title and see if he can find them later in the text. Read books where words are repeated often, like Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberley. Encourage your child to write the letters.

Your preschooler is interested in the world around them.

As your child gets older, they become interested in the world. Talk with them about the butterflies or worms you see outside. Talk about the new homes or buildings being built in your neighborhood. Choose books about science, history, machines or dinosaurs.

Book Ideas

Goodnight, goodnight, construction site / Sherri Duskey Rinker Ballerina dreams : a true story / Lauren Thompson Lizards / Nic Bishop
Goodnight, goodnight, construction site
By Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
Ballerina dreams : a true story
By Lauren Thompson
By Nic Bishop