“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
– Frederick Douglass
It is hard to believe that we are halfway through the summer! Our summer camp is in full swing, and we have had a couple water days with the children as well as a weekly visit from Kona Ice in an attempt to beat the heat. We have also been thrilled to have our volunteers back on-site after a long year without them. Thank you to every volunteer who gives generously of their time to help us in our mission to provide high-quality early education services to children in the Lowcountry. We appreciate you!
(Virginia Rotella, long-term volunteer)
(EveryHeart Ministry, short-term volunteers)
We are doing all we can to ensure we build mentally, emotionally, and physically strong children and prepare them not only for Kindergarten, but for life. In our final post on the exploration of the cognitive development of children, we examine the mind of a four or five year old child, and how parents can ensure they are active participants in the developmental process.
What is Going On in my Child’s Brain?
According to the CDC, between the ages of four and five, children should be hitting cognitive milestones such as playing make-believe, understanding the idea of counting, starting to understand time, counting to ten, drawing a person with at least six body parts, and knowing about things used regularly in their homes such as money and food. Queensland Department of Early Education says, “by the age of three, a child has around one trillion brain connections (synapses), the most they will ever have in their life, as these are ‘pruned’ in later development”. These connections are the building blocks of your child’s cognitive development. Here are several ways parents can engage in this vital process:
Kids Health encourages parents to interact verbally with their children, as talking to your kids is sure to increase their vocabulary and listening skills. The site encourages discussion around the activities you and your child participated in during the day, shows or movies you watched together, or even family photos. Listening to what your child has to say and responding to questions they ask or stories they tell is also helpful in teaching them how to engage in conversation.
Scholastic encourages parents to begin reading to children long before they start school. They encourage parents to lay the foundation for reading by pointing out letters, numbers, and words as they appear in everyday life. Teaching your child to recognize words and numbers in daily life is a great building block to literacy. Scholastic offers books and games accessible on your phone or tablet to help encourage preschoolers to read. Here are some books your preschooler may enjoy:
Very Well Family lists several types of play that are integral to the cognitive development of your child. Some of the types of play listed are unoccupied play, independent play, onlooker play, parallel play, associative play (developed around four years old), and cooperative play. Cooperative play is the culmination of the previous types of play and involves engaging with another/other individual(s). This type of play involves activities such as putting a puzzle together, a group activity, or a game. Here are a few activities to participate in with your child:
- Imaginative play, such as dress-up. This type of play allows your child’s imagination to take flight and you can teach them important social skills such as taking turns and cooperation.
- Physical play, such as tossing a ball or riding a bike. This teaches various motor skills and is great exercise for children.
- Artistic play such as drawing, singing, or coloring. This teaches children self-expression as well as motor skills.
The investment you make in your children will benefit them mentally, emotionally, and socially as they grow and develop into amazing young men and women. As the quote at the beginning states, it is much easier to build healthy young men and women, than to heal broken adults. We are honored to play a part in building healthy young men and women!
Before you go, take a moment to get to know our Tadpoles Teacher Mrs. Michelle Mitchell. She is an important part of the TCC team and we are thankful for her! Be sure to let her know you appreciate all she does the next time you are at the center.
Staff Spotlight: Michelle Mitchell
Mrs. Michelle has been at the Children’s Center for the last four years but has always loved working with children. “My mom remembers me playing pretend with baby dolls as a child, and I began babysitting at a young age”. It is no surprise that spending time with the kids here at The Children’s Center is her favorite part about the job. She enjoys being able to contribute to their educational foundation by teaching them things like their ABCs. When she is not at work, she enjoys going to the park with her eight-year-old son to play catch. Thank you for all you do here at TCC Mrs. Michelle!
Do you want to make a difference? The Children’s Center is looking for amazing teachers with a passion for children. Do you know someone who wants to help make a difference? We are looking for full-time and part-time employees! E-mail resumes to email@example.com.