How Crafting Benefits Preschoolers

Arts and crafts are a common preschool activity that most young children love. There’s more to sitting a child down with construction paper, glue, and a project idea however. Learning arts and crafts have a range of benefits for your children, and can help them in other aspects of their life. Here are just a few of the ways crafting can benefit preschoolers.

Builds Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are important at every stage of life. Through crafting, preschoolers can learn how to cut, tape, glue and color their crafts. These skills are all ones they will use later in life. The same fine motor skills that are needed to apply a crystal to a foam crown are the ones need to grasp a pencil or write a letter.

Boosts Critical Thinking Skills
After the project has been cut out, what comes next? Assembling crafts is a great way to learn how to think ahead and solve problems. Critical thinking skills are another skill children will use their whole lives but will be especially useful when they’re solving word problems in elementary school.

These basic skills can be developed with something as simple as figuring out how to put together a craft.

Learning Shapes and Colors
A big part of crafting is choosing the colors you want your project to be, or discovering how shapes can be combined to make new things. As children are introduced to these new things during craft time, they can learn the names that go with them.
Learning that two triangles can be put together to make a diamond gives them the word for those shapes. Learning how to ask for the red crayon helps them learn those colors.

Counting and Patterns
Shapes and colors aren’t the only thing kids learn about while doing crafts. Stringing a beaded necklace for example, can teach children how to make patterns. It’s also a great opportunity to practice counting. When kids do crafts, they are frequently exposed to counting and patterns.
These opportunities to learn will help them build basic math skills they will need later in life.

Builds Confidence
When a project unfolds beautifully, it makes a child feel good about their skills. A well-made craft, or even one that’s a bit wobbly but still beautiful in your eyes, is a huge confidence boost for children. On top of this, being allowed to work with tools that are normally kept out of reach, such as scissors or glue, helps them learn how to use these items in a safe way.

Crafting is fun and engaging for children, but it’s also useful for them. The skills they learn when making simple projects will help them develop fine motor skills, learn basic math and critical thinking skills, and help them learn to follow instructions.

These skills will help them all the way into their adult life. The next time you put together a piece of Ikea furniture or create an advanced craft of your own, you’re using some of those skills you learned with your first craft in preschool.

Separation Anxiety and Development

You go to drop your child off at daycare, and the tears begin. Your child clings to you, cries, and begs you not to leave. Although it is heart wrenching to see in your child, separation anxiety is a normal part of development.

Kids usually start to experience separation anxiety as early as 6 months, and may continue as far as preschool. Although separation anxiety typically wains as a child grows older, it usually happens gradually. In the meantime, here’s how you can help your child.

Even if your child is very small, explain to them where you are going and when you will be back. At this stage in development, they may be worried you won’t come back at all. When they understand that you are leaving for work and will be back afterwards, it may help ease some of their worries.
Although it may be hard for you to deal with the drama, leaving without saying goodbye can cause separation anxiety to get even worse. Do your best to let them know you are leaving and say goodbye each time.

Another helpful tip is to help settle the child into a favorite activity before leaving, so they have something positive to do when you depart.

Let Them Bring an Object
If they’re going to a new place, bringing a familiar object from home may help with the transition. This might be something like a favorite teddy or a comfort blanket. It’s also helpful to spend time with your child at any new location you are leaving them before leaving them in the new location.

Stay Calm
It’s easy to get worked up when you see your child is upset. Unfortunately, this can also make your child feel more upset. Try to keep a smile on your face when you leave, and keep yourself as calm as possible. Separation anxiety can cause quite a bit of drama, but if you can remain calm yourself your child will likely calm down sooner.

Separation Anxiety in Older Children
Separation anxiety is a normal part of development, but it can stray into a disorder. If your child is older and still experiences separation anxiety, it may be a sign that they have Separation Anxiety Disorder. Other signs include:
• Refusing to go to school
• Obsessing about harm coming to a family member
• Anxiety going on for more than 4 weeks
• Refusing to sleep alone
• Being excessively clingy even at home

If you notice any of these symptoms, you may want to bring them up with your child’s pediatrician. While it’s possible these may be situational rather than a disorder, your pediatrician will be the best one to help address the problem.

For young children, separation anxiety is a normal part of development. Your child will likely grow out of it as they get older, but in the mean time you can help grow their confidence with these tips. By remaining calm, letting them bring a comfort object from home, and letting them know when you are leaving and where you are going, you can help ease the transition.

The Importance of Socialization for Preschoolers

After the rise of Covid, socialization largely fell by the wayside for many young children. Daycare centers closed, families seldom saw each other, and many parents worked from home to avoid putting their kids at risk.

While isolating during a pandemic is designed to help reduce the spread, it comes at a cost. Many young children have grown up without other young friends to help them socialize.

Why Socialization is Important
When young children are with others their age, they learn many valuable lessons they will carry with them throughout their entire lives. This includes things like taking turns, reading and understanding others’ emotions, and a development of their sense of self.
Although they may be able to learn these things later, it can be a shock to go to school and suddenly have to wait in line or not be first for everything.
Daycare provides the opportunity to understand other people and respond to their needs and wants.

Chatting It Up
Another benefit of being surrounded by other children is the immersion in language it provides. Kids love to talk. They talk a lot more than most adults care to listen to let alone responding in kind. When children are allowed to chat with each other, the number of words they hear in a day go up significantly.
Language immersion is an important part of language development. The more they hear, the more new words they experience. This can help them not only with vocabulary, but the elements of grammar as well.

Bonding with Others
The closest bonds most kids have are with family. While this will likely be the strongest bond they’ll ever have, becoming too dependent on family for connection can be a problem. Without other bonds, they may struggle when left without their family for school.

Preschool is a wonderful opportunity for young children to learn about friendship. They can become friends with other children their age, and also form bonds with teachers and other caretakers.

When they know there are other people outside their family they can depend on, it will help them become more confident when they finally leave for school.
Learning to work as a team

Play is the ‘work’ of childhood. While it’s possible to imagine whole worlds as a child, when two or more get together, that world can change with the imagination of other kids. Playing with others helps children understand to work as a team.

Whether that is deciding what happens to the dragon and the princess or building the world’s largest block tower, learning to work as a team is a useful skill. Children quickly learn that they can do bigger and better things when they work together.

Even if you work from home, sending your preschooler to a child care center, daycare, or preschool can help them develop valuable social skills that will benefit them their entire lives. Social skills are a critical part of how we live our lives, and are a necessary part of every age.

Early Childhood Education in Nevada

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, Nevada is falling behind in its targets for Early Childhood Education. In the 2018-2019 school year, 3,070 children were enrolled in preschool education—a modest increase over the year before.
Unfortunately, in the 2020-2021 school year there was 30% or greater decrease. This is likely in part due to Covid-19 and other related issues, but it is no less a serious problem. Other states, such as Washington and North Dakota, at the same time have managed to level off or even show a modest increase in rates of preschool enrollment.

Nevada also missed 3 out of a total of 10 checkpoints available in the report for quality. This makes them fall towards the middle of the states in terms of the quality of the average preschool. It’s important to remember that preschools vary in quality. It’s best to visit a preschool yourself to see that they are well staffed, have educated personnel, and run a warm and welcoming environment.

Why Early Childhood Education is important
Nevada currently has an initiative aimed at improving the education of 3–4-year-olds, as well as kids already in formal education. They also took steps to try and solve the lack of quality preschool education with a $50 million dollar investment into daycares and preschools.

This is because an investment into childhood education is an investment in the future of the state. At risk children who attend preschool are more likely to get the high school diploma than those who don’t.

It also helps give back to the community. $1 invested into early education can yield as much as $17 an hour more in the child’s adult earning life. The more children that enroll in education, the better their lives will be, and the more the community they live in will benefit as well.

Early childhood education benefits parents as well
Statistics show that children are not the only people in a family who benefit from preschool. Preschool also allows parents back into a work setting. Many parents are forced to put their careers on hold after having children, and preschool can help change that.
When both parents can work, it may also improve the child’s life indirectly, through more stable income. The added financial boost from two parents working can help add to food security, among other benefits.

How to find a great preschool
Nevada has many areas that are childcare deserts. It can be difficult to find a quality preschool that cares about the children and has childcare workers who have the credentials to help children grow. Great preschools will have a whole child approach to learning, and keep things play based as much as possible.

If you’re hoping to give your children the best opportunity possible for their future, preschool is the way to go. Ask for a tour of your local preschool and ask them what they do to help educate children. A high-quality preschool can make all the difference in their life—and yours too.


The Benefits of a Strong Start in Early Childhood

The first five years of a child’s life can make a difference on how well they do for the rest of their lives. It is a time of rapid brain development for children, and part of a huge jump in learning ability. Study after study has shown that children who take advantage of this time for learning, such as those enrolled in an early learning program, do better than those that don’t.

Children who have enrolled in early learning do better in high school and are more likely to earn a college degree. Early learning can also help them improve their math skills, socialize better, and become a more competent adult.

The benefits of early learning for children are enormous. Children who get a strong start in early childhood also:

• Score higher on intelligence tests
• Less likely to skip school
• Less likely to repeat grades
• More likely to attend higher education
• May earn more as an adult

Why early learning helps
Most of the educational benefits of early learning tend to fade out as your child grows older. Even if your child goes into kindergarten knowing their ABC’s before their peers do, that advantage is over by the time they reach first grade. With such a short term boost to learning, why do children tend to do so well throughout the rest of their lives?
The answer is that children learn so much besides academics in early learning. They learn how to socialize with other peers in an appropriate manner, how to access help from teachers, and that learning can be fun.

Working with others, getting the help you need, and recognizing that you need help at all are core benefits that will last a lifetime.
Getting a temporary boost in academics can also help by making the transition to grade school less stressful. When children already know what to expect and a little about the work, they can transition into school life a little better.

Benefiting the community
Early learning benefits children in nearly every aspect of their life but they’re not the only ones who benefit. The community these children grow up in also benefit from that child’s early learning too.

Children who attend early learning tend to be healthier than those that don’t, which can lead to less strain on the medical system. They also tend to reach higher education, which means more taxes going back into the community, and a better financial situation for that family.
In some cases, preschool can immediately help that child’s financial situation, by allowing a parent who was previously a caretaker to get a job during the hours the child is in school.

With so many benefits, there’s no reason your child shouldn’t attend a preschool. Early learning allows your child to expand their world and help them satisfy their growing brains and thirst for knowledge. A great early learning program can help provide your child with a great future, and benefit them for decades to come.