Preschoolers continue to grow in their independence and their ability to do things for themselves. Preschoolers learn by doing and should have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities each day.
During the preschool years, children should participate in both active and quiet activities, as well as nanny-directed and child-directed play each day. Time for reading books aloud during the morning, afternoon and night and playing outside a few times each day should be incorporated into a preschooler’s daily routine.
Preschoolers should also have the opportunity to play with other children regularly and to go on outings to playgrounds, parks, museums, aquariums and other venues that provide age-appropriate opportunities for learning and exploration.
Preschoolers have the growing ability to focus on activities that interest them. They might engage in a self-directed activity, like playing dolls or doing arts and crafts independently. However, since they learn by doing, preschoolers should not be expected to sit for extended periods of time.
Preschoolers will thrive when their schedule is predictable and their routines are consistent. It is essential that a preschooler knows what happens when in her day and can anticipate the day’s sequence of activities. This allows the child to feel secure about knowing when she will eat snacks and meals, play outdoors and when her parents will return home.
Nannies can make a simple schedule for the preschooler to follow. It can have a picture list of daily activities. It can also include the year, month, day of the week to boost a preschooler’s familiarity with these concepts.
As preschoolers grow, so does their ability to engage in self-care activities. Three and four year olds can put on their own shirts and jackets and undress themselves. They can put on their shoes, but likely can’t yet tie shoelaces. They can wash their own faces and hands and brush their own teeth, but the caregiver should supervise and check to be sure they have been brushed thoroughly. During this stage of development children can begin to serve themselves simple snacks and meals. If a container is not too heavy or awkward they can even pour themselves a drink.
Four and five year olds can button, zip and snap their clothing. They can also help to care for their own things. Older preschoolers can complete toileting tasks independently, can brush and comb their hair, can wash their body in the bath with constant supervision and can use a dull knife to spread and cut soft foods.