These last couple of years before your child starts school is a precious time. Cherish it! You’re still very much the centre of their world, but at three, your child is becoming more and more independent. They will be spending a lot of time getting to know who they are and learning what behaviour is ok (and isn’t). Beginning at around their third birthday, this is an era of what experts call ‘consolidation’, when children start discovering ‘me’ and ‘what I can do’. An exciting time!
There is a lot for three and four year-olds to learn and master. As well as developing their physical skills, such as hopping and using scissors, children are rapidly expanding their vocabulary. They will go from a vocab of around 200 words at the age of two, to between 500 and 5000 words by the time they start school.
They’re also discovering more about the world, getting a rudimentary sense of time, identifying what gender they are, learning to socialise, and (usually, though not always) firmly putting nappies behind them. Children this age are imaginative and naturally curious. Standby for a lot of ‘Why?’ questions. Try to be patient; this is your child’s way of saying ‘tell me more’.
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Life with pre-schoolers
Thoughts on life with a pre-schooler from some familiar faces. What a typical day's like, what's to love, the challenging stuff, and musings in hindsight, from those who've been there.
Going to bed
Making bed-time a happy time.
Free range kids
Why letting go a bit is beneficial.
Turning stressful moments into teachable ones.
How to foster this important trait in your child.
Tips for coping with the downs that accompany the ups.
The birds and the bees and why it’s so important to talk.
Getting to grips with this heartbreakingly huge problem and where to go for help.
Kids in the kitchen
What better dish to start them on than spaghetti and meatballs?
Why preparation is key
Ben freshens a Kiwi classic for dinner.
Tortillas filled with salami, cheese and fresh veges.
Special occasion food
Iced treats - gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat.
Takeaways at home
An Indian-inspired ‘takeaway’ the whole family will enjoy.
Ben shares his kids’ lunch of choice - sushi.
Ben kick-starts the day with muesli and porridge.
Meals without meat
Ben puts a vegetarian spin on a couple of family favourites – bolognese and lasagne.
Garden to plate
Ben makes yummy tomato soup using fresh produce from his garden.
Why eating together is so important.
It’s about much more than learning to count.
How to build a strong foundation for reading and writing.
The value of early childhood education
What are the benefits of ECE?
Play is learning
Why play is a child’s work.
Transitioning to school
Make the transition from home to school a happy one.
Free-falling with our young scientists.
Impossible! (Or is it?!)
Vinegar + baking soda = fun!
Disgusting as it may sound, fake snot is educational and fun!
Growing greeblies and what it teaches kids.
Looking for something gloopy and slimy? Look no further!
Making a lava lamp
You have to agree … lava lamps are pretty groovy!
Bending water with static electricity
Did you know you can bend water without touching it? Strange, but true!
Blowing up balloons with air pressure
No need to huff and puff to blow balloons up; let an empty bottle do it for you!
Changing the colour of a flower
Transformation through transpiration!
The importance of being active
Why regular physical activity is essential for brain development.
Locomotion and crossing midlines
What’s next after crawling and walking?
Stability and manipulative skills
Getting to grips with balance and balls.
Moving to music
Turn up the music and get moving!
Getting ready for school
What do children need to have mastered on the physical front?
Learning to ride a bike
As a ticket to fun and freedom you can’t go past two wheels!
Being water safe
Tips on keeping children safe in and around water.
Team sport – using a bat
Getting kids off to a great start in team sports.
Team sport – using a ball
Tips for setting children up for fun and success.