HAPPY HEALTHY READY FOR SCHOOL: Quick Tips for Parents and Caregivers

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Helping children become strong learners before they enter the classroom.

        Quick Tips for Parents and Caregivers


        Try to plan snacks ahead of time. Cut up celery, carrots, and cheese, and keep fruit-flavored yogurt on hand.


        Jumping rope, swimming, and playing catch are great ways to help your child build muscle and improve coordination.


        Drawing, puzzles, and toys that call for sorting and stacking help your child develop eye-hand coordination and fine-motor skills.


        Make sure your child gets plenty of rest. Children ages 3–5 usually need about 10 hours of sleep each night, and an afternoon nap.


        Help your child learn to follow directions. Play Simon Says, or ask him what might happen if directions are not followed exactly: "What would this soup taste like if we added a cup of salt instead of a teaspoon?"


        Promote empathy by asking your child to look at situations from another person's point of view: "How would you feel if Jenny took the truck away from you?"


        Encourage sharing. Try to help children resolve conflicts themselves: "I know you are both having trouble sharing your blocks, but can you think of a way you can use them together?"


        Preschoolers love to ask "Why?" Encourage critical thinking by asking your child, "Why do you think this is so?" or "I'm not sure. How can we find out more about this and figure it out?"


        Boost your child's language and math skills during a trip to the grocery store. Encourage him to name the items you put into your cart and to point out numbers on signs.


        Help build your child's vocabulary by using different words to describe the same thing, such as, "That truck is really big. It's huge. It's enormous." Ask your child to try it, too. (For lots of word ideas, check out Sesame Street's "The Word on the Street" Podcast!)