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Preschool - Growth and Development



It's so amazing to watching our children grow and develop, especially during the preschool years when they are changing so quickly. The articles below will help you understand more about this process and will help guide you during this time.

Our rating system for these Growth and Development articles is:

Child Health Guide - Put Prevention into Practice

This is an outstanding 30 page guide from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that has information on preventative care and on good health habits. Use it as a permanent record to help you keep track of your child's health and care through the years. This guide contains many great growth charts, immunization tables and other quick-reference information that can help your child get a healthy start on life.


Helping Your Child Be Healthy and Fit

To enjoy good health now and in the future, children must learn how to eat, exercise, sleep, control stress, and be responsible for personal cleanliness and reducing the risk of disease. Your child's ability to learn these skills, and the chances for a longer and more productive life can be greatly improved by developing and following good health practices. This article contains many practical suggestions and has a wide variety of activities for children aged 4 through 11.


Joy and Loss: The Emotional Lives of Gifted Children

As Ellen Winner explains in her outstanding book, Gifted Children, there is a myth that gifted children are better adjusted, more popular, and happier than average children. The challenging reality is that more frequently, nearly the opposite is true. For most gifted children, childhood is more pleasurable and more fulfilling because they derive joy from challenge and reward from work. At the same time, it is a childhood that is more painful, more isolated, and more stressful because they do not fit in with their peers and they set high expectations.


Continuing on Track...As Your Child Grows and Learns (Ages 5 to 8)

This article outlines specific traits and skills, by year for children ages 5 to 8. It's a great way to see how your child changes as he or she gets older!


Biters: Why They Do It and What to Do About It

Although biting isn't "abnormal" in the sense that one out of ten toddlers and two-year-olds does it, it is a disturbing and potentially harmful behavior that parents and educators must discourage from the very first episode.


Creativity for Emotional Intelligence: Ideas and Activities

One key component of emotional intelligence is creativity. What is creativity and how do parents foster it in their children? In this article you'll find activities that you can do with your children to foster a creative spirit. You'll also find some thought provoking questions that your children will enjoy puzzling over.


Sizing Up Kids' Nutrition and Fitness

Sound nutrition and fitness habits developed during childhood have the potential to last a lifetime. To examine how today's youth measure up in terms of diet and activity, the International Food Information Council Foundation and the International Life Sciences Institute-North America recently convened a conference, drawing on experts in pediatrics, nutrition, exercise physiology and education.


How To Recognize And Develop Your Children's Special Talents

This Parent Guide from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education provides families with information on how they can develop their children's talents at home, as well as how they can work with schools toward the same goals. A section on multicultural gifted programs is also included.


Brain development research-What it means for young children

New insights into brain development affirm what many parents and caregivers have known for years, 1)good prenatal care, 2)warm and loving attachments between young children and adults, and 3)positive stimulation from the time of birth, really do make a difference in children's development for a lifetime. This article is taken from Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development by the Families and Work Institiute.


Early Childhood Growth Chart

An Early Childhood Growth Chart for families and caregivers which gives age-appropriate activities to promote language development for young children.


Spoken Language Problems

It is important to identify children whose language is not developing normally so that more specific stimulation and actual intervention can begin as early as possible. In young children there are many known milestones that can be observed by parents and preschool teachers. In this article from the Learning Disabilities Association of America, these spoken language problems are discussed and a great list of language milestones and activities to encourage language development is included.


Questions and Answers about Articulation Problems

Written by the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association, this is a thorough set of questions and answers about articulation problems. These problems may result from physical handicaps, such as cerebral palsy, cleft palate or hearing loss, or may be related to other problems in the mouth, such as dental problems. However, most articulation problems occur in the absence of any obvious physical disability. The cause of these so-called functional articulation problems may be faulty learning of speech sounds.


Assessing the Development of Preschoolers

Parents often wonder if the development of their preschooler is going well. This article focuses on the question of individual growth - is the preschooler's development going so well that he or she can be described as thriving? As parents look at their own children's behavior and achievements in the categories given, they can determine if any aspect of their child's development needs special encouragement, support, or intervention.


Questions and Answers about Stuttering

This article from the American-Speech-Language Hearing Association, answers the main questions that parents will ask if their child stutters.


Pragmatic Language Tips

There are several ways parents and teachers can help children use language appropriately in social situations and this social language use is known as pragmatics. In this article from the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association (ASHA) you'll find suggestions that will help foster appropriate pragmatic language skills with children who might otherwise be at a disadvantage during social interactions.


Helping Children Eat Right

Susan L. Johnson, Ph.D., is a post-doctoral fellow with the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. For the last 10 years, she has designed and conducted research on the relationship of nutrition and behavior, with a focus on the regulation of energy intake in preschool-age children. Here, Johnson focuses on the issues of parental influence on children's eating habits and the development of childhood obesity.


The Nature of Children's Play

In play, children expand their understanding of themselves and others, their knowledge of the physical world, and their ability to communicate with peers and adults. This digest discusses children's play and its relationship to developmental growth from infancy to middle childhood. The digest also suggests ways in which educators and other adults can support children's play.


Child's Play

Who are your children’s heroes? What are their favorite play themes? Favorite toys? Are they similar to your own childhood heroes, play themes, or toys? After a study of children's play from different eras, the results are talked about in this article.


Can you see what I see? Cultivating Self-expression Through Art

This publication from the National Association for the Education of Young Children discusses the importance and the benefits of developing a child's involvement in art. Some 'useful tips to inspire the Picasso in your child' are included.


Violence and Young Children's Development

In the context of this digest, the term VIOLENCE is used to refer to child abuse or other domestic conflict, gang aggression, and community crime, including assault. One of the most pernicious consequences of violence is its effect on the development of children. This digest examines the developmental consequences for children who are the victims of, or witnesses to, family and community violence.


AAO: Hand Eye Dominance

For years, students of baseball believed hand-eye dominance was an important factor in determining a baseball player's batting performance. In an effort to answer the question of dominance patterns, Drs. Laby, Kirschen, Rosenbaum, and Mellman of the Jules Eye Institute at UCLA studied 410 members of the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team during the 1992-1995 baseball seasons.


"I can do it myself": Encouraging Independence In Young Children

From an early age, a child's search for independence is fueled by the desire to make things happen and to feel competent. A young child's opinion about her capabilities is, to a large extent, based on her parent's response to her. As an adult, your role in fostering independence is to provide love and support, encourage exploration and curiosity, teach skills, and allow the child to make appropriate choices.


Childhood Obesity

Between 5-25 percent of children and teenagers in the United States are obese (Dietz, 1983). As with adults, the prevalence of obesity in the young varies by ethnic group. This article talks about the definition, problems, prevention, and treatment of obese children.


When Children Imitate Superheroes

Keep in mind that this type of play gives children the chance to face their fears and show off physical feats. When supervised by adults, 'superhero play' can help children improve their language skills and teach them to work together to solve problems; not to mention how it encourages creativity. When children begin pretending they are superheroes, adults can help them make the most of it. Here are some tips.


Toys Aimed At Young Girls Can Damage Self-Esteem

Are parents buying toys that are detrimental to their daughters' self esteem? An expert at the Renfrew Center says "yes." In a survey conducted by The Renfrew Center, clinicians found that 90 percent of the toys and dolls surveyed for girls ages two to 10 years emphasize beauty, shopping, and dating.


Early Ways To Predict Poor Readers

The article describes how children who have trouble reading often have underlying speech and language problems. Being able to predict which children will have trouble reading would allow speech-language pathologists and others to begin to work with them before they fail.


Music Beats Computers at Enhancing Early Childhood Development

A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reports that music training -- specifically piano instruction -- is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math and science.


Understanding Behavior: A Key to Discipline

Teachers, parents, and caregivers all struggle with some behaviors and actions of the children in our care. Wouldn't it be nice to have a magic formula--a specific bit of advice or strategy to work in all situations? Of course there is no magic formula, but it helps to remember that children's behaviors do not occur in a vacuum. Instead, they are driven by five basic issues or possibilities that help explain a child's actions.


Maya Angelou National Institute for the Improvement of Child and Family Education

The implications of the recently established Maya Angelou National Institute for the Improvement of Child and Family Education are that the institute positions the university to become a major force on child development issues and a partner in developing stronger family support systems. By creating an effective child development model -- one that supports the value of education, self-esteem, and family support -- children may be better armed to resist the negative influences that can rob them of their potential which may lead to teen pregnancy, suicide, or alcohol and drug abuse among others. Current research shows that certain behaviors in children that occur from birth through kindergarten may affect a child's life-long achievement.


Look Beyond the Obvious for Telltale Signs of Child Abuse

The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the face offers the most telling glimpse behind the closed doors of child abuse. In a comprehensive study of 371 children who were suspected of being abused, injuries to the head and face accounted for 28% of 892 soft-tissue injuries.


New Poll Shows Few Understand Bed-Wetting

Five to seven million children wake up every morning in a wet bed. A new survey of 9,000 families found that despite the prevalence of the condition, only some parents understand that bed-wetting, medically known as primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE), may be a medical --not behavioral-- condition that can be treated.


Why, How, and When Should My Child Learn a Second Language?

Most experts agree that the earlier a child is introduced to a second language, the greater the chances are that the child will become truly proficient in the language. In addition, children may derive other benefits from early language instruction, including improved overall school performance and superior problem-solving skills. Knowing a second language ultimately provides a competitive advantage in the work force by opening up additional job opportunities.


What Should Young Children Be Learning?

Recent research on intellectual and social development and learning is rich in implications for curriculum and teaching strategies for early childhood education. The data on children's learning suggests that preschool and kindergarten experiences require an intellectually oriented approach in which children interact in small groups as they work together on projects which help them make sense of their own experience.


Pull the Plug on TV and Video Game Violence Week

Parents who are concerned about the effects of violence on TV and in video games on children, need to read this article. In it you'll find suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics that will help you limit the effects of these forms of violence on your children.


How Can We Strengthen Children's Self-Esteem?

Most parents want their young children to have a healthy sense of self-esteem. Experts generally agree that parents and other adults who are important to children play a major role in laying a solid foundation for a child's development. The points in this article may be helpful in strengthening and supporting a healthy sense of self-esteem in your child.


School Readiness and Children's Developmental Status

Teachers must maintain the interest and promote the growth of children who have already demonstrated signs of early literacy and numeracy while simultaneously encouraging the development of these behaviors in children who have not yet acquired them. Similarly, they must meet the needs of children with difficulties while reserving sufficient attention and effort for those with few or no difficulties. Although there has always been variation in the characteristics of children entering kindergarten, the commitment to meeting the educational and developmental needs of all children in an increasingly diverse society presents great challenges to teachers, schools, and communities.


Creativity in Young Children

This digest explores factors that affect creativity in children and techniques for fostering this quality.


Appropriate Public School Programs for Young Children

Many public school districts are making changes to ensure that curricula are responsive to children's developmental needs and programs are responsive to the more comprehensive needs of children and their families. Each district needs to consider certain issues in its efforts to provide high-quality early childhood education. A discussion of these issues follows.


An Important Bond: Your Child and Caregiver

Have you ever seen a child cling to a caregiver when his parents arrive to pick him up at a child care center? How about a child who greets her parents happily then returns to her activity, in no rush to go home? While such close attachments to caregivers and child care settings may make some parents initially uneasy, these bonds are an important part of children's development and learning. Working together, parents and caregivers can ensure that children see their educational settings as safe places where adults other than their parents support and care for them.


Understanding and Facilitating Preschool Children's Peer Acceptance

Children's understanding of emotional expressions and situations has been found to relate to how well peers like or dislike them. Not only does this article explain these issues, but provides parents and teachers with coping strategies to help preschool children interact and communicate more successfully with his or her peers.

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