Children in this age period begin to play with other children and this experience is very important for them. They are now using the conversation skills and social skills they have been learning in the early years with the support of the caregivers around them. They play games with movement and simple rules, like running and catching but also love to play act being parents or teacher. Children are able to use objects creatively to symbolize various things in the environment and love playing games like what shape you can see in a cloud or how many ways can we use a stone (to stop the bike from rolling, to smash a cockroach, to draw ). Games like this build their thinking skills as well as language and vocabulary.
Children love to listen to stories, especially when it is about themselves or someone they know. They can also understand a simple story about an imaginary person or animal and will often ask for the same story again and again. This helps them process the language, remember and recount the entire story in the correct sequence. Add illustrations and have them join you in drawing as a fun way to develop their creativity and practice hand skills.
Give children numerous opportunities to create things – give them a space outside that they can decorate everyday with flowers, stones and drawings; give them old pots to paint or old newspapers that they can cut and paste to make a collage. Ask them to make a shelf from boxes or an envelope for a letter. In doing these things, they will learn about size, weight, quantity and measurement. They are preparing for their school years as their play will develop good ability to estimate, to concentrate and to use their hands effectively.
Children should be quite independent in self-care by the end of this period. Show them how to do things that are difficult for them, so they can watch and imitate, but also talk through the steps so they can use language to guide themselves through the sequence of the activity.