Your preschooler: 5 years old

What a great age! Your five-year-old is probably very sociable.

Snapshot of a five-year-old
Your five-year-old is probably very sociable, thrilled to have a good play with his friends, or with a “best friend.” He has tons of energy, and needs it for building, pretending, riding, running. His imagination drives much of his play ― a five-year-old can imagine that a pine cone is an enchanted jewel, that a twig is a potential magic wand.

Your child is developing many new skills. Perhaps he’s even riding a two-wheeler! He can use scissors and other handy gadgets for projects and crafts. He comes up with interesting questions about the world around him. And these aren’t idle inquiries ― he’ll want to know the answer because his ability to understand and remember your explanations is growing in leaps and bounds.

He also likes to be with you, helping out with little jobs, sharing jokes and stories. In a way, this is a special time for parents. A five-year-old’s focus is still firmly on his home and family ― the allure and excitement of school, friends and outside activities are yet to come. Enjoy!

Rules are rules (but not for him?)
Your five-year-old has a growing sense of fairness and might get upset when other kids “break the rules” or do things “wrong.” At this age, he’s into structure and control (although he still struggles to control his own behavior sometimes) and is also trying to see how much he can control others’ behavior.

And maybe the rules don’t always apply to him? If your child comes home with something he “borrowed” from a friend without asking, it can come as a surprise. While he understands and can repeat the rules, he hasn’t yet fully developed a conscience that guides him. Instead of shaming him, talk about why it’s wrong to take things. Support him in returning the item and reassure him that he’s not a bad person. Now is also a good time to explain that an apology is more than just words.

School days
Is your five-year-old off to kindergarten? Some kids will love it right off the bat, while others have an adjustment period. And if your child is in full-day kindergarten, it might be tiring at first. Do your best to ease the transition by wandering over to the school together (and checking out his classroom, if you can), and talking about what new things he’ll be experiencing.

Remember to be extra patient in the first few months; your child will likely be a little stressed and emotional as he absorbs all the changes in his life.

Junk-bots
Is your recycling bin overflowing with junk? Before you take it out to the curb, let your child go through it and find materials for making a junk-bot. It’s a great way to reuse things and have fun, especially on a rainy day.

1.    Pull out pieces that might be useful for making your child’s junk-bot. Baskets, spools, egg cartons, tubes, boxes, packing materials, and foil tart tins are all great.

2.    Find ways to put the materials together: twist ties, masking tape, yarn, and wire.

3.    Build your junk-bot however you want, using whatever materials your child likes best.

4.    Don’t forget the finishing touches. A paper punch, scissors, glue, tape and paint might come in handy for this step.

FILED UNDER: