Lakewood Childcare Center

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One of the most important ways that children learn language skills is by listening to others around them, from parents, from teachers and from their peers. This aids in building their vocabulary and putting words together to form sentences. This also strengthens their listening skills.

How adults talk to children models appropriate forms of communicating with others. Children learn by seeing and doing and bring what they have learned into their play and communication with their peers.

It is also typical for 3’s and 4’s to test adults, showing difficulty listening and seeing how far they can push the limits. This is when it can be hard for the adult to show patience, but also a good reminder of how the adult reacts is another form of modeling how to respond and communicate in a way that teaches the child in a positive or negative way.

The following article offers tips on how to communicate in ways to help your child listen, and it reminds us of how to communicate positively.


This month we are working on the social skill for following directions. The steps for this skill are:

  1. Listen
  2. Think about it.
  3. Ask if needed.
  4. Do it.

Copies of this skill, that include picture cues, will be available in the classroom by the daily info sheet.

Some ways to practice this skill at home are:

  • When practicing this skill use the picture cues to help your child remember the steps until they are familiar with the steps.
  • Remind your child to use the skill when you see a time the skill could be helpful.
  • Respond positively to your child’s skill use (allow the skill to be successful).
  • Reward your child’s use of the skill.
  • Ask your child to teach you, or brother or sister, the skill.
  • Some skill supporting activities are:
  • Play the treasure hunt game, giving your child verbal directions to fins a special treat or activity (walk to the bookshelf and look on the bottom shelf under the big book).
  • Read the book, Strega Nona by Tomi de Paola and discuss the consequences in the story when Anthony did not follow directions and then discuss how not following directions could affect your child’s life.



Being 3 and 4 can be tough at times with so many emotions. Wanting and seeking attention from others, not getting their way, or not wanting to try and do something independently. So many things in a young child’s life can bring an array of emotion and it is not always easy for children to express how they are feeling or explain what makes them feel a certain way and they can have tantrums, act out, show signs of anger, show frustration, or may hurt others.

When a child is showing signs of any type of emotion, sometimes their brain just needs a break, or a time way from others to calm down. There are many ways to provide a child the opportunity to do so, and once the child has calmed down, that’s a good opportunity to talk about how they are feeling. The following is a list of calm down tools you can provide for your child:

  • Puzzles
  • Crayons and paper to color
  • Music-nature sounds, or audiobooks
  • Book of yoga poses or yoga activity cards
  • Play dough
  • Stress balls
  • Rubik’s cube
  • Crafts
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Look and find books
  • Water bottles with glitter inside, or any type of object to move back and forth