These days, there seems to be a huge focus on milestones. Many parents track ages and milestones to ensure their kid is on the right track developmentally. However, there are thousands of milestones, and knowing which ones to truly focus on can be confusing. While there are several milestones preschoolers in childcare are meant to reach, these are a few of the most important ones.
What Are the Types of Developmental Milestones in Children?
There are four types of developmental milestones. They are physical, cognitive, social and emotional, and communication. Examples of physical milestones include walking, running, and jumping. Cognitive milestones focus on problem-solving skills and thinking while doing.
Social and emotional milestones are noted when a child has a better understanding of their emotions and the emotions of the people around them. Communication milestones focus on children learning both verbal and non-verbal language.
5 Milestones to Look for Preschool-Aged Children:
- Identifying & describing
- Solving problems
Identifying and Describing Colors and Shapes
Learning shapes and colors is a crucial milestone for preschoolers in childcare. It allows them to start explaining what they are seeing, enhancing their vocabulary, and beginning to distinguish between objects.
As they learn their shapes and colors, they also begin to recognize them outside the classroom. Learning colors also helps them start to understand what those colors are used to signify the outside world. For example, the color red is generally used to indicate danger or stopping. Start asking your preschooler if they can point out shapes and colors when you are in the car or at home.
Telling stories is an important milestone for preschool-aged children for several reasons. For starters, it promotes brain development and imagination while developing language and emotions. As preschoolers learn to tell stories to their parents or teachers, they develop and improve their focus and social skills, communication, and curiosity.
While storytelling is a major milestone for preschool-aged children, it doesn’t begin in preschool. Preschoolers in childcare generally start storytelling as early as two-years-old, and as they transition into preschool, their stories become more evolved and include more details.
Showing and Understanding Emotions
Learning how to navigate emotions as a preschooler in childcare can be tricky. Milestones for preschool-aged children around emotions include using words to describe basic feelings, including happy, sad, angry, and excited. Preschool-aged children should also begin noticing and understanding how those around them are feeling.
Other emotional milestones for your preschooler include showing affection for those other than family by drawing a picture for a friend or mentioning them when they see something they both enjoy. Next time your preschooler is having a moment, ask them to use their words to describe how they are feeling.
Preschoolers in childcare are quick to learn when presented with several opportunities to solve problems. If you are looking to test your preschooler’s problem-solving skills, make sure you’re asking meaningful questions that pertain to your kiddo’s day-to-day life. Thinking about a problem they would solve throughout their daily activities will allow that knowledge to transfer to real-life situations.
Jumping and Running
While jumping is not a milestone that’s generally top of mind, jumping takes a lot of practice for our little ones. Preschool-aged children can usually jump in place but begin jumping on one foot and even hopping from foot to foot around this time. Physical milestones for preschoolers can vary by child but running, jumping, and climbing with ease and without assistance are what you should be looking for. Before you know it, your kiddo will be showing off their American Ninja Warrior skills!
It’s important to remember that milestones are a guide. Each child is unique in their own way, and not every child will hit their milestones at the same time.