Your child is now just a few months from celebrating her fourth birthday! Her physical abilities are amazing these days. On the playground, she is a daredevil, and watching her play will no doubt cause you to wince at times. Although her gross motor skills are quite advanced now, she may still stumble and fall quite often. However, your child can now gallop, hop on one foot, tiptoe, spin in circles, do somersaults, run well, pedal a tricycle, and manage all the playground equipment with style and grace!
At this age, your child should have at least one hour of physical activity each day to promote health and fitness. A child who gets the recommended amount of physical activity per day stand a better chance of avoiding chronic diseases like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Taking your child to the playground is your best bet to get the required amount of physical activity.
There are several added benefits of having an active child. Research has shown that children how get sufficient exercise are better behaved, sleep better, have a better appetite, and are better students than children who do not get the recommended amount of exercise.
Other types of play that are necessary at this age include more organised games that help your child develop better balance and coordination. Games like hopscotch and kick-ball are ideal opportunities for your child to practice these skills. You can also help your child set up an obstacle course. Climbing, going around or under obstacles, and running through paths teach your child about spatial awareness. To make her play time even more fun, join in and show her how to manipulate the course yourself.
At this age, your child is also starting to understand the concept of time. She already knows that she eats her dinner in the evening and goes to preschool in the morning, but now she is trying to learn about yesterday and tomorrow. To help your child grasp the concept, you can use a calendar. Explain the days of the week and place some special activity or something that she is really looking forward to on one day of the week. Each day, review the calendar explaining that, “Today is Tuesday. It is the second day of the week. Tomorrow is Wednesday and that’s the day that we get to go to Grandma’s house!” Don’t forget to explain what a day is. Children tend to forget this. So, explain that one day means that you go to sleep at night and when you wake up, it will be the next day.