Optimize the Development of Children Aged 4-5 Years Old
Oleh: Morinaga Platinum
Parents would be proud of each development phase of the children. When the children enter the age of 4-5 years, their development will happen fast. What do the children can do during this age? If they receive an adequate amount of nutrition and stimulation, they can do these things:
- Standing on one foot for 6 seconds
- Hopping on one foot
- Drawing a cross sign
- Buttoning clothes of a doll
- Mentioning their full name without help
- Eager to ask questions
- Answering questions with a correct sentence arrangement
- Able to distinguish an object from its size or shape
- Mentioning numbers and counting fingers
- Brushing their teeth without help
Rough Motor Development
Even though your children are getting older, they still need stimulation. Of course, the stimulation difficulty level should be adjusted according to their capability. You could ask them to play a ball, jump on one foot, walk on a narrow board to train their body balance, swing, etc.
Here are some simple games that Moms could do with the children to exercise their rough motor:
- Sack Jump. Take a sack or sarong that is wide enough to cover the lower part of the body and the feet of your children. Show them how to wear the sack or sarong and how to do this activity. The target is for the children to reach the finish line.
- Hopscotch. Draw the hopscotch game on the floor. Teach your children how to play it and Moms could also have fun by playing together!
- Rope Jump. When the children are playing together with their peers, ask 2 other children to hold the rope (1 meter long), set the distance from the ground, not too high. The rope can be made from braided rubber bands so it will not hurt the children’s legs. Show them how to jump over the rope and start playing the rope jump game.
Fine Motor Development
To support the fine motor development, children can be introduced to puzzle, drawing, grouping, cutting, and sticking images. Do these simple activities below so the children’s fine motor development is stimulated optimally.
- The Concept of “a half or full”. If your children are able to arrange some puzzles, ask them to make a circle and rectangle from a piece of paper or carton, then cut it into two parts. Show them how to unite the two parts to be one part.
- Drawing. Do your children like to draw? Try to pay attention whether their drawing is incomplete. Ask them to complete their drawing by adding a shirt to a drawing of a person or adding a tree when the children are drawing a house.
- Matching and Counting. If the children are able to count numbers, Moms could make a set of cards with number 1-10 on each of the cards. Place those cards consecutively on the table. Ask your children to count small objects in the house like peanuts or pebbles according to the number on the card. Then ask them to place the same amount of objects near the card with respective number.
- Scissoring. No need to worry to teach your children to scissor. Now there are many special scissors for children in the bookstore. Teach the children how to cut a folded paper and make a shape like tassel or person.
- Comparing Large/Small, A lot/A bit, Heavy/Light. Get your children to arrange three different sized plates or three glasses filled with different amount of water. Ask them to sort it from the smallest to the biggest size or from the smallest amount to the largest amount or from the heaviest to the lightest object. If your children are able to do these three things, add the number of object to four or more.
Speech and Language Development
Enrich the children’s vocabulary and language skill by doing the following stimulations:
- Get your children to tell you what they see or hear. Moms could also throw some questions that will stimulate them to answer and then make it into a Q&A session.
- Ask your children to read book together.
- Limit their time to watch the television to two hours a day. Adjust the movie according to their age and accompany them when they are watching the TV.
What kind of fun activities that Moms could do with the children to stimulate their speech and language skills? Check out the guides below:
- Stimulating Their Memory. Put a number of objects or toys in a bag. Ask the children to watch as you take 3-4 items out of the bag. Place them on the table and ask your children to name the objects one by one. Then, ask them to close their eyes and grab one of those objects. Ask your children to mention the missing object. If they have mastered this game, add the number of objects to be placed on the table.
- Recognizing Letters and Symbols. Moms could write names of objects in the room in a piece of paper and then stick each paper on the respective objects. For example, stick a paper with “table” written on it on the table, paper with “chair” word on the chair, and so on. Ask the children to read the word in the paper. Teach them to recognize signs along the way.
- Recognizing Numbers. Help the children to recognize numbers and to learn counting. Get them to play cards with numbers. For starters, Moms could use cards with number 1 to 10.
- A Book of Family Activities. Do you like to do some family activities? Don’t forget to capture every activity by taking photos. This can also stimulate the children’s speech and language skills. Get your children to make a family activities book by collecting pictures of family members, objects from various places, and so on. These pictures of memorabilia can be put in a special book.
- Completing a Sentence. Make a statement sentence about the activities that you did with your children, but don’t make a full sentence. Have your children to finish the sentence. For example, when discussing about your visit to the zoo, Moms could make a phrase, “Yesterday we went to …”. Let your children to finish the sentence.
The Development of Social and Independent Aspects
Among the four aspects of development, these aspects are often not stimulated optimally. Make sure that Moms do the following things to optimize the development of children’s social and independent aspects:
- Give them a routine task during their daily activity at home.
- Let them play with their peers.
- Ask your children about their feelings.
- Schedule a family activity as often as possible.
Here are some simple activities that Moms could do with the children to exercise their social and independent aspects:
- Shaping Independence. Let your children to visit a relatives’ house without your companion, then ask them to tell you about the experience.
- Making a Family Album. Let’s do a little bit of creativity, Moms. Get your children to make a family album by attaching the photos of each family member on a book and write their names under the photos. Don’t forget to decorate it.
- Following the Rules or Instruction of a Game. Get your children to play and learn how to follow the game rules or instructions. At the beginning of the game, instruct the children, such as “Walk 3 big steps forward or walk back 5 steps on tiptoe”. Each time they want to do the instruction, teach them to ask, “May I start?”. If they have been able to play the game, you could take turns in giving instructions.
- Play Creatively with Their Friends. Invite two or three kids to play at your house. Teach them to play while singing, make a doll from paper or socks, or ask them to take turns in imitating the behaviors of animals that they know.
Well, how is it, Moms? It’s not that difficult, right? So, even though your children are getting older, they still need stimulations in order to grow optimally. Don’t forget that you also have to be a part of their activities, so they will have a pleasant learning moment.