In fact, all these learnings are necessary. To be ready for school, your child needs to develop both cognitive skills (knowledge) and social skills (get in touch with others). He must also continue his learning in the other spheres of his development in the motor, affective and language skills.
Cognitive skills are all the knowledge the child acquires over months and years. They affect thought reasoning and intelligence.
It is, for example, its ability to:
- Group and categorize objects (by size, color or preference);
- To compare objects two by two (to make pairs);
- Create and imagine (characters, stories);
- Make sequences of objects (from the smallest to the largest);
- Reason and find solutions;
- Recognize forms;
- To associate the words with what they represent, to understand the meaning of the words he hears and to say them when he wants to express something.
By stimulating your child’s cognitive skills, you are helping him to develop his mathematical reasoning or his interest in reading and writing, two skills that will help him succeed at school.
How to prepare it
Around 2 years old :
Have fun counting and measuring your child’s body parts: toes, fingers, arm length, head circumference, or waist circumference. Then compare them with yours.
Around 3 years old:
When reading a book, follow each word with your finger. By this simple gesture, your child learns that the story is written (and that it is not invented), that each letter has a sound and that we read from left to right.
Play with nestable Russian dolls or a series of measuring cups. You will be able to explain the different dimensions by placing them from the largest to the smallest.
Make him discover the letters of his name and make them notice him often (in the street, in the newspaper …).
Around 4 years old :
Fill a pitcher with water and place glasses on a table. By pouring water from the pitcher into several glasses and then using the contents of the glasses to fill the pitcher, your child will become familiar with mathematical concepts such as division and addition.
Your child can learn additions and subtractions by eating pieces of fruit at breakfast. “I have 4 orange quarters. Mom gives me 2. I now have 6. If I eat one, there are still … 5! ” And so on.
Make available to your child sheets and pencils so that he draws when he wants. This activity stimulates hand-eye coordination in the same way that writing can do. He also learns to handle the pencil with greater ease.
Around 5 years :
With one die, have fun getting a “6”. Launch it in turn and, as soon as you get a 6, draw a small line on a sheet. In the end, count the small strokes together.
Teach him to say the letters of his name and to write them.
Learning to live in a group, to connect with others and to work together is as important as the development of cognitive skills.
When making friends and playing with them, your child develops the interest in group activities. Later, it will make him want to go to school. That’s why social skills are important to academic success.
Social skills also include autonomy, expression of feelings, and relationships with others. At school, this means in particular:
- Know how to express your needs and emotions with words;
- Knowing how to wait for a turn to talk or play, to get in touch with another child to do an activity, to take into account the other, to know how to share;
- Being able to get dressed, tidy up your belongings, choose an activity or go to the bathroom alone.
How to prepare it:
As a parent, you can help by emphasizing the importance of social skills and facilitating interactions with others. Since the desire to learn is part of the realm of emotions, it develops primarily as a family.
- At home, promote mutual help between your children. For example, ask them to put the table together. If you have only one child, this learning can be done with friends at the park. You can then ask him to put the sand toys with them before leaving.
- Ask him with whom he played during the day and discuss with him the qualities he likes about this friend.
- If your child goes to daycare, help him recognize his friends’ locker lockers by looking at each other’s clothes. Children often have a small image associated with their name to help them better recognize their belongings at the daycare. You can use these pictures to help your child recognize the lockers of each of the friends in his group.