“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”
And just like that, the summer is winding down, and we are headed back into the school year. We had an amazing summer, and as always, it went by way too quickly!
This month, we held our 2nd Annual Tot Trot to raise funding for Enrichment Programs at The Children’s Center. Thank you to everyone who gave to this campaign and to all who came out on event day to help us celebrate exceeding our goal of raising $20,000! These dollars will go towards building classroom gardens, incorporating new technology in the classroom, and purchasing classroom supplies.
Our Saturday School students and the Dragonflies had a blast working on some Tie Dye t-shirts this month! Pretty groovy right?
Our 2nd Annual Swing for the Future golf event is coming up on September 19th, and we want to invite you to golf with us! Last year was a huge success, and this year we are thrilled to be golfing Wexford’s renowned Arnold Palmer Signature Course. To learn more and to register for this event, visit our event webpage here.
The last few months, we have been focusing in on the SC Early Learning Standards, to help us better understand how we can best support the early development of the preschoolers in our lives. This will be our last installment of this series, and we will finish up by focusing on the various cognitive development milestones for infants and toddlers.
The SC Early Learning Standards state the following regarding the Cognitive Development of preschool children:
“For very young children, cognitive development is supported and encouraged through their daily activities, routines, and interactions with adults and children. Interactions with objects and people are foundational to cognitive development. Young children begin to understand simple scientific concepts by noticing, wondering, and exploring. As children grow older and move into the preschool years, their thinking becomes increasingly complex. They move from simpler to more complex cognitive skills and become more complex thinkers and begin to ask questions as they engage in increasingly more focused explorations. Children start to demonstrate effective problem-solving skills and to express themselves creatively using a variety of media. They also start to remember and use what they learn in the areas of science, creative expression, and social connections, the focus of three subdomains within the Cognitive Development domain.”
At this age, babies will begin showing wonder at objects and respond with silence or vocal responses when hearing songs. This age group will also pay a lot of attention to things that interest their senses such as new tastes and textures. Allowing babies to explore sensory things such as safe musical instruments, soft or squishy toys, or exposing them to songs that instruct them to dance and move their bodies are great ways of encouraging their cognitive development. Talking to infants is important too!
Younger toddlers will begin to enjoy arts and crafts such as painting and coloring, banging things together to make noises, and will dance to music on their own. Giving children access to things like dress up costumes, clay or play do, and taking them to children’s concerts or children’s museums are all great activities.
Similar to younger toddlers, older toddlers will enjoy stimulating activities such as book readings at the library and playing with musical instruments or doing arts and crafts. At this stage, they will also begin to describe different activities and professions, such as mimicing listening to your heartbeat like a doctor, or spinning around like a ballerina. Encouraging creative play both indoors and outside is important for toddlers.
Younger preschoolers may begin to show preference for different sports and activities such as soccer or dance, as well as interest in musical instruments. When possible, allowing children to participate in collaborative creative outlets like sports teams or to take music lessons is a great way to encourage their cognitive development. In bilingual homes, encouraging speaking in their native language at home and their national language at school and with friends is also a great way to encourage cognitive growth.
Older preschoolers will be more proficient in recreating things they have heard and seen such as singing their favorite songs or acting out scenes in their favorite movies. Introducing a variety of multi-cultural books, movies, and TV shows is important at this age, to teach an awareness of other people and other ways of existing in the world. Engaging with family members, friends, and even community members such as firemen and policemen can be great ways to teach preschoolers about the important roles different people play in society.
Thank you for joining us as we studied the various aspects of early childhood development! To learn more about cognitive development from birth to age five, click here.
As always, we want to thank you for your support of The Children’s Center! You are empowering us every single day to equip Lowcountry children to succeed in preschool, Kindergarten, and beyond. We wish you a wonderful end-of-summer!
Do you want to make a difference? We are looking for full-time and part-time employees! E-mail resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.