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NAN: Creating an Environment for Preschoolers

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Three and four year olds are on the move. They can run, climb, dance, ride a tricycle, throw a ball overhand, catch a ball that is bounced to them, and can balance with steadiness and ease. While it can be tempting to micromanage a preschooler’s playtime, preschool children need time to play without intervention to be creative and master tasks on their own.

Nannies can create learning centers in the home to provide opportunities for exploration. If a designated play area is available, creating a reading nook with a bookshelf and beanbag chairs, an art area with an easel and drawers of age-appropriate non-toxic art supplies, a pretend play area with kitchen or homemaker supplies, an area for blocks and building and a dress-up area can encourage creative and independent play. 

Nannies can look at the environment from the preschooler’s level to determine how appealing the environment is. Pictures and children’s completed art work should be hung at their eye level, toys and materials should be within reach and stored in a system preschoolers can manage and the environment should be inviting and encourage safe exploration and learning. 

As preschoolers continue to gain independence, they can become frustrated when they are unable to accomplish desired tasks. For example, a preschooler may want to throw a ball and hit a target but be unable to.  Providing opportunities and encouragement for preschoolers to take safe risks, like throwing a ball at a target, will lead to skill mastery. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Creating an Environment for Preschoolers