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What should I be *doing* with my 4-year-old??? - Page 2

post #21 of 26
Everything I was going to say has already been said--except

Oh, boy! Am I in for it when my boy gets bigger!
post #22 of 26

It depends on the four year old, really.

Mine is almost five, and things have changed. Until recently (like the last couple months):

He didn't like drawing, colouring, or anything involving fine motor skills.
He didn't like playing with playdough for more than about 3-5 minutes.
He didn't like being read to.
He didn't like nature, except water....except as something to stomp (actually, he liked to stomp water, too, but he doesn't hurt the water).

He did like:
Making messes.
Peeing on the carpet.
Hitting people.
Throwing things.
Breaking things.
Playing with water (usually involving mud puddles up to his belly button, in the cold or flooding my kitchen).
Running into parking lots without looking.

I didn't "do" much of anything with him, except try to limit the damage, keep him alive and...yeah...that's about it, really.

Now, he likes to draw and paint and colour, and has become interested in sounding out words and things. He's also hitting less, and has completely stopped peeing on the carpets (Hallelujah!!).

I don't worry about the learning stuff at that age. If they're into it, great. If they're not...no biggie.
post #23 of 26
another thought:

somethings I have been making an effort to do with my 4.5 yo --

1. expanding his "stories" and Imaginary play /..."what color is your pet dragon" "what did the Dino do next"

2. Asking HIM "WHY" "why do you think that mail car has a flashing light on it" "What do you think that work man is doing"

Nothing earth shattering, but just pushing him to think a bit more and talking about it all with him.
post #24 of 26
My 3.5 yo ds began "homeschool" this January. Our philosophy is thst he's too young for much formal learning and should have most of the next few years to play. We set aside 2 mornings a week for "homeschooling" which usually includes art, letter writing practice and coloring sheets centered around a theme ("Gardens" this week). The rest of the time, we read to him and provide workbook pages, puzzles, games and blocks to him at his request only. He colors. He draws letters in the dirt outside. He watches a couple of PBS shows daily and nothing else. We take him to the library for 14 books a week. About once a week we go on a field trip to a cow barn or recycling center or something. All of this is very relaxed and at his own speed. We were afraid we were being too relaxed, until he wrote "Happy Birthday Gramma, Love Aedan" on a homemade card last month. He asked me how to spell the words. He also reads "Very Hungry Caterpillar" to me occasionally. So he's just fine.

My best advice is, keep the worksheets to a minimum until he's older. Give your kid time and supplies to create stuff and experiment. Once in awhile plan a fun (and informative) adventure. And yes, read until you're blue in the face. That can't be repeated enough.

Best of wishes.
post #25 of 26
Another thought: Winnie the Pooh (the original) and The House at Pooh Corner have been big hits here. They have vastly improved dd's ability to listen and understand a story. Also, she has really picked up on the subtleties of language (including puns and sarcasm) from these books. I highly recommend these for this age, as well as Beatrix Potter.
post #26 of 26
IMO you should be:

reading daily and discussing what you read.

You should be encouraging vocabulary development, by using rich vocabulary yourself and having conversations often with your child.

Working on large motor skills, coordination, and playing outside as often as you can.

Work on small motor skills in a fun, for your child, way. cutting, tearing, sewing, tracing, mazes, dot-to-dots, clay, etc.

exploring nature in your environment, even if all you have is ants in a sidewalk crack.

Encourage self help/basic hygiene skills

Give them access to art supplies

Involve them in your day. Let them help cook, pick items out at the grocery store, match socks, etc.

Play with words and letters, come up with silly rhymes, play letter/sound eye spy, etc.

Limit media and provide quality toys (lego, puzzles, blocks, dress ups, play mobile, etc)

Have fun!
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