Advice for new parents

Me and my child

Baby Steps | 3-5 ετών

Baby Steps | 3-5 years

Now becoming a real little person with the ability to question and discuss own wishes and frequently a more accommodating and obliging child. The emotional outbursts may become less prevalent as the child’s language increases. Getting more inquisitive about learning as he or she approaches 5 years old.


What the child can do
• Normally toilet trained during the day and can use the proper toilet with a step. However, may still have ‘accidents’ when engrossed in play.
• Still needs 10 to 12 hours sleep per night.
• Routine is important but the child can be flexible (will wait, less demanding).
• Can count to 20 and know most colours.
• Understands measuring, shapes, ‘more or less’ (and other of mathematical terms), as will be frequently used during play e.g. with sand and water at nursery or school.
• Some 4 year olds will have started formal schooling but may find this extremely tiring.
• Practical skills are very important for confidence at school e.g. being able to dress and undress for PE, go to toilet alone, wash/dry hands and fasten school shoes (Velcro very helpful to teachers and parents).
• Friendships are starting to be very important. The child will worry about not making friends and this will continue on and off for many years!
• At 5 can enjoy a joke with parents or carers. 

• Learning to write their own name and hold a pencil correctly (the holding of a pencil correctly is most important). Learning about reading by exploring phonetics with nursery staff and teachers.
• Phonics are proven to be the best way for children to learn to read, learning how to spell by the sound of the letters.
• Keen to know and follow rules e.g. taking it in turns and likes to play games with rules.
• May now be able to kick and control a football.
• If encouraged, will use cutlery well.
• Extra activities outside of school and nursery may now be important – swimming and dance or music etc.

Routine and parenting
Routine and parenting very well established by four years old, and sometimes more brothers and sisters have arrived and are now part of the family group. A balanced diet and regular sleep are still extremely important for young children. Socially, birthday parties and religious festivals bring great excitement and enjoyment for children. School or nursery is a big part of this age group’s routine and all this entails e.g. making new friends and learning new skills. Holidays can be another great adventure and children love being independent and might like their own rucksack or mini case on wheels. Will still appreciate some familiar toys or own bedding when somewhere new, to feel secure and reassured. Loves to copy and play with adults.

What items may be required at this stage?
bedroom accessories e.g. first desk and additional storage for books, crayons, pens and other school items. Shampoo for head lice will most likely be needed at some stage at primary school. This is a major problem for most primary schools.
Clothing schoolwear, shoes and bags. Warm clothing is required, which is easy to put on and take off. They may get hot quickly and do not like any scratchy fabrics on skin, like wool or labels which stick out and itch.
Toys – more outdoor toys for the garden and more physical/social play. Building and construction plus imaginative toys are all excellent for this group e.g. dolls’ houses, farms and garages. Imaginative play needs to be greatly encouraged as this allows children
to understand their world and digest what they have learnt that day by playing in a quiet room or bedroom setting. Playing alone for short periods is to be encouraged to help increase the child’s concentration skills and independence. Dressing up clothes and accessories, pedal bikes, footballs, pencils and felt pens, paints and books are also to be encouraged.