Parenting Technique 64 – If you have been watching the progression, you have probably noticed…
One in a million
And now here come the Fantastic Fours.
If you thought the skills of your three-year-old were amazing, just wait. You are in for a real treat.
Four Years to Five
Because you are now coming to the end of the developmental years, you will see fine motor development become quite advanced. Observe and encourage your child to cut on a line with scissors; print letters, both upper and lower case; write numbers up to ten; print his or her own name; fasten (if available), buckle, tie a shoe; catch a ball; color within the lines; and do more advanced puzzle skills. You will also see much facility with gross motor skills. Observe and encourage these as well—walking upstairs without holding onto a railing, skipping, riding a two-wheeler bike, roller skating, and doing somersaults.
– adapted from Constructive Parenting by Sally Goldberg, p. 64
Here is a sampling of activities that you and your four-year-old might enjoy together. They are explained further in Constructive Parenting, pp. 65-66.
- Playing Catch – Stand a comfortable distance from your child. Then carefully throw the ball back and forth to each other. Move farther and farther apart as catching gets easier and easier.
Play this your way at just your child’s level. This should go pretty smoothly at this time. The bigger the ball, the easier will be the activity. A small beach ball and a large rubber ball are recommended.
2. Getting on Wheels – Introduce these activities little by little, without pressure.
Since your child will probably show interest, it will be beneficial and successful to pick up on it at this time.
3. Copying Letters, Numbers, Shapes, Colors, and Words – Have a pile of 8 1/2” x 11” sheets ready. Take turns folding them in half once and then in half again so that you have at least five of them folded into four squares. Then you are ready to play all kinds of copying games. See Tip #74 (link) for instructions and how to get the most out of this activity.
June! The Month of the Dads
Here are two more activities to pass on to Dad. He just might like to have a couple up his sleeve for when he gets his own special “daddy” time with the kids.
Putting on Shoes
About the Activity: A good way for your child to practice tying, buckling, and fastening is to use real shoes.
How to Play: Bring out several pairs of shoes belonging to both of you. Take turns putting a pair of shoes on the other person’s feet. Complete the activity by appropriately tying, buckling, or fastening with Velcro the shoes.
About the Activity: This one incorporates coloring and the skill of doing a puzzle.
How to Play: Give your child a large sheet of paper and crayons. The only instructions to give are to cover the whole sheet of paper with any kind of creative design using lots of colors. Once the paper is fully colored, turn it over and draw simple puzzle piece shapes on the back. Then take the finished sheet to an office supply store or to another location where they have a copy machine and a laminating machine. Make a color copy of the colored side. Then have the original and the copy laminated. Then cut the one with the puzzle markings on the back into puzzle pieces. Use the color copy like the cover of a puzzle box, and use the cut-up one to match it.
NOTE: Send in your parenting question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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