Room 14 is a busy group of 15 three turning four year olds. You’ll see lots of different activities open as children choose to work and play in different areas. There’s often lots of conversation and visitors are usually greeted by a child who wants to share what they are doing. The children may look like they are playing but play is their work and they are learning at a fast pace. Teachers guide, support, and augment the learning going on by creating explorations, activities and group times that inspire and motivate children to want to learn and experiment. This age group is not shy about telling you what they are interested in and what they want to do.
A snapshot of the room would show 3 tables of activities that could include activities like painting, drawing and writing, manipulatives and free art. The big rug has building blocks, Handwriting without Tears toys, cars and/or trains. The free play area hosts a large box for imaginative play, small stools, a sensory table and an opportunity for children to design and plan play on their own. Teachers lead yoga poses, singing and dancing and lots of themes chosen by children.
The routine of the day allows for busy and quiet times, snacks, lunch, rest, and outside time in the morning and afternoon. We have music, Spanish, book time, and dancing.! When we can’t go outside because of inclement weather, we go upstairs to play in the big hall. At the end of the day, children are happy, tired, ready for that family love and usually hungry! They have had a day full of adventure and fun and need a good night’s sleep before school starts again tomorrow!
Here are some developmental milestones that we use to assess growth and development in Room 14. Remember, each child is unique and develops at their own special rate. All children go through more or less the same stages; they do it in different ways. Some will learn one new skill very quickly and seem slower at another. Some will seem to stand still with one area of development while they are concentrating on something else.
What is important is not how your child compares with others or with a standard for her age, but that she is moving forward at her own pace and that she is well and happy. Providing a caring, encouraging environment with opportunities to explore and try things is the best way for parents to provide the best development opportunities for your children.
Language Milestones: By 4, your child should be able to:
- Say his or her name and age
- Answer simple questions
- Speak in sentences of five to six words, and speak in complete sentences by age 4
- Tell stories
Cognitive Milestones: Your 3- to 4-year-old should be able to:
- Correctly name familiar colors
- Understand the idea of same and different
- Pretend and fantasize more creatively from their own imagination
- Follow three step directions
- Remember and retell parts of a story
- Understand time better (for example, morning, afternoon, night)
- Count and understand the concept of counting
- Sort objects by shape and color
- Complete age-appropriate puzzles of up to 24 pieces
Movement Milestones: Your child should be able to:
- Walk up and down stairs, alternating feet — one foot per step
- Kick, throw, and catch a large ball
- Run more confidently and smoothly
- Hop and stand on one foot for up to five seconds
- Walk forward and backward easily
- Bend over without falling
Hand and Finger Skills: Your child should be able to:
- More easily handle small objects and turn a page in a book
- Use age-appropriate scissors and cut on lines
- Copy circles and squares
- Draw a person with two to four body parts
- Write most capital letters
- Build a tower with ten or more blocks
- Dress and undress without adult help
- Screw and unscrew jar lids; open their own lunch containers
Emotional and Social Milestones: Your child should be able to:
- Be a kind and attentive friend; show care and concern
- Show affection for family and friends
- Understand the idea of “mine” and “his/hers”; share easily
- Show a wide range of emotions, such as being sad, angry, happy, or bored and express those emotions appropriately.