Your preschooler: 4 years 9 months

On the cusp of five, your little one is experiencing many things, from eye care to stereotypes.

Street smarts

Depending on where you live, your child may have a little more independence on the road now. Maybe she’s allowed to ride her bike on the sidewalk down to the end of the block, or walk by herself to a friend’s house down the street with you watching from the doorway. Chances are you’ve already been teaching some pedestrian safety rules. But now is the time to really emphasize them, and to give her a chance (with you beside her) to show you how well she understands. Read our child’s guide to pedestrian safety.

Telling vs. Tattling

“I’m telling!” Four-year-olds like to mind everyone’s business, and that can make them enthusiastic tattletales. While you don’t want to encourage “tattling,” you do want your child to tell you when there’s a real problem or danger. And it’s not always easy for preschoolers to tell the difference. How do you rein in the tattling behaviour while making it clear that you do want to hear about the important stuff?

Eye-Q

If you haven’t already, you should get your child’s vision checked. Often, vision problems go needlessly undetected until children start school. You can watch for signs of problems like her sitting close to the TV, closing one eye when she’s reading, rubbing her eyes, or squinting.

Stereotypes R Us

“Boys wear pants and girls wear skirts.” Don’t be surprised if your daughter insists this is true, even on a day she’s wearing jeans. She might also state that boys have short hair (even if her own dad doesn’t). The gender gap doesn’t get much wider than it does in the preschool years. It goes along with the “rules rule” philosophy that four-year-olds embrace. Right now, they want to sort the world out into black and white, not shades of grey — and that includes the difference between male and female. She may only want to play with other girls and see boys as “yucky.”

You don’t need to correct every stereotypical statement, but do make sure she is exposed to lots of different roles. As her thinking matures, she’ll broaden her world view.

Your little scientist

Inquisitive kids (like yours!) make great mini scientists. Try these five easy science experiments that look like magic and introduce cool scientific concepts.

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