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Autism Speaks

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Year Three – Post 2 | What activities can I do with my preschooler?

READING

Mommy reading

Studies have found that children focus and converse more with traditional books versus ereaders.

Reading is one of the most important activities to share with your child; you should continue to read aloud to her throughout her preschool years. At this age, it’s best to point to the pictures and some of the words as you read to her. Keep reading favorite storybooks together, and you will notice that she has memorized some of the lines. Choose books with bright pictures, rhyming words and/or simple sentences with a predictable outcome. You may need to create a routine time for reading (e.g. before naptime, after naptime or before bed time).

Studies have been done comparing electronic books and the traditional role of the parent reading to the child. Most of these studies found that less conversation takes place with the electronic book. Children focus better on a book when the parent is paying attention to the same book. Ask questions about your child’s story books and playtime activities while you play.

Reading develops your child’s language skills and provides preparation for early literacy skills.

 

BLOCK BUILDING

As your child’s fine motor skills continue to improve, she will be able to build with blocks in a more meaningful way. She will increase her ability to stack up to six to seven blocks. It is important to provide blocks that stack or interlock for easier handling. She may make garages for her cars, barns for her animals and furniture for her dolls.

This activity encourages your child to focus and use objects creatively that she can manipulate to understand numbers and spatial relationships.

 

PLAYING WITH PUZZLES

Shape sorters, puzzles and peg boards help your child understand shapes and perform matching exercises. Don’t be the boss, but the assistant in this activity. It is a great opportunity to name the shape, color or object in the puzzle piece and give her a choice of two to see if she can pick out the correct one. She should be able to complete an eight piece puzzle or equivalent shape sorter.

This activity encourages your child to increase her cognitive flexibility as she sorts different types of objects, colors and shapes. She must focus and use trial and error to accomplish her goal.

–          Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series

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