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Typical Childhood Development

Below is a list of skills you can expect your child to gain as they develop including language, cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, social and emotional skills.

2 Years Old
Language: Uses 50 words, 2 word sentences/phrases, some children may not
Cognitive: Asking and answering simple questions
Fine Motor: Uses spoon and fork, builds a tower of 6 blocks
Gross Motor: Kicks a stationary ball
Social/Emotional: Parallel Play

3 Years Old
Language: Dramatically increased vocabulary, most speech is understandable, may substitute beginning and ending word sounds
Cognitive: Can describe use of objects, sort objects by shape and color
Fine Motor: Beginning to develop pencil grasp, screws and unscrews lids, jars, nuts & bolts
Gross Motor: Balance on one foot for 3-5 seconds, walks backward and sideways
Social/Emotional: Building friendships

4 Years Old
Language: Speaks intelligibly, exhibits only a few sound substitutions, speaks in complete sentences
Cognitive: Understands big & little, short & tall, recognizes and repeats patterns, counting ability increased
Fine Motor: Cuts with scissors (not well), uses a pencil with control
Gross Motor: Hop on 1 foot, balance on 1 foot up to 10 seconds, displays complex ball skills
Social/Emotional: Identify similarities & differences in personal characteristics, shares 75% of the time

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What to look for in a Preschool

If your child is between the ages of 3 and 6 and attends a child care center, preschool, or kindergarten program, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggests you look for these 10 signs to make sure your child is in a good classroom.

1. Children spend most their playing and working with materials or other children. They do not wander aimlessly and they are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time.

2. Children have access to various activities throughout the day. Look for assorted building blocks and other construction materials, props for pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as matching games, pegboards, and puzzles. Children should not all be doing the same thing at the same time.

3. Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day, they do not spend all their time with the whole group.

4. The classroom is decorated with children’s original artwork, their own writing with inventive spelling and stories dictated by children to teachers.

5. Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. The natural world of plants and animals and meaningful activities like cooking, taking attendance, or serving snacks provides the basis for learning activities.

6. Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one hour) to play and explore. Worksheets are used little if at all.

7. Children have an opportunity to play outside every day. Outdoor play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.

8. Teachers read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just a group story time.

9. Curriculum is adapted or those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Teachers recognize that children’s different background and experiences mean that they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same day.

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10. Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel secure about sending their child to program. Children are happy to attend; they do not cry regularly or complain of feeling sick.

11. Always ask if the program is accredited by NAEYC. NAEYC-accredited program complete a rigorous self-study and external review to prove that they meet standards of excellence in early childhood education.

Help Your Preschooler Grow

Your preschool child can participate in certain activities that will encourage positive growth and development. You can encourage your child’s development by:
  • Speaking to your child in complete sentences using adult language
  • Allow your child to play with other children
  • Teach your children to share, take turns, and cooperate with other children
  • Play catch with using large, lightweight balls
  • Make faces and show photographs of different emotions
  • Ask me to identify different feelings and emotions
  • Instead of TV, read a story with your child
  • Monitor what your child watches on TV and how much time is spent watching
  • Take your child to parks, zoos, libraries and farms to explore and discover
  • Always give your child lots of encouragement and love

Your Kindergartener Likes to…

Your kindergarten child enjoys the following activities:
  • Lots of active activities
  • Dramatic and creative play
  • Matching objects and things
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  • Learning new things (discovery)
  • Coloring as well as drawing
  • Helping you around the house
  • Building things
  • Silly stories and music
  • Talking about them when they were a baby
  • Fit-together construction toys
  • Using and playing with hand puppets
  • Musical instruments
  • Using and playing with small vehicles
  • Playing simple board games
  • Playing simple matching games
  • Using pegs and peg-boards
  • Using and playing with art supplies, painting, art projects
  • Using magnetic alphabet letters
  • Playing with puzzles with 8-20 pieces
  • Reading books
  • Playing with balls, swings, and climbing toys

Have Questions About Child or Day Care?

If you have questions, please contact us directly at 248-347-6580 or email us at and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Schedule a Visit

If you would like to visit Sunny Pointe to see our programs first hand, schedule a quick visit at your convenience and allow us to show you what we have to offer your child.

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