4,5 years: fantasies and fairy tales
By four and a half years, the child is changing greatly externally. Usually, by this time, there is no trace of children’s puffiness. This is due to the fact that after four years, subcutaneous fat deposits practically disappear, and muscle tissue, on the contrary, develops very actively.
In addition, bone tissue builds up, and the baby seems to stretch. The cranial bones also develop, so do not be surprised if suddenly at some point it seems to you that the child’s head has grown disproportionately.
Large muscles grow very quickly, and small ones (feet, fingers, intercostal muscles) are inferior to them and, accordingly, require increased attention. The more you develop the fine motor skills of a child, the better.
By this age, the child should already have all the deciduous teeth. Do not be too lazy to count – there should be 20. If not all teeth have come out yet, consult a pediatric dentist. The reason may be a lack of calcium or phosphorus, and the doctor will prescribe special drugs.
A huge role in the mental life of a child of this age is played by the imagination. Children fantasize in different directions: try on the most unexpected roles (“I will be a guitar, and you – play on me”); treat objects as living beings and attribute human qualities to them (“the book was offended because I left it”); easily create a game environment, turning the room into a dense forest, and a closet into a high mountain.
The child happily composes stories, including with himself in the lead role. The plots of these tales can be quite original – space travel, adventures in the world of insects, reflections on behalf of a leaf or flower.
Imagination is clearly manifested in drawing, even if the technical side of the drawing is still not perfect, and adults can hardly guess what the child really wanted to draw. The author himself always knows what he is portraying, although in the process of drawing the idea can change many times: a butterfly suddenly turns into a cloud, a cat into a centipede, and a house into a train. The kid often comments on these transformations and practically composes on the go.
In this case, the child actually believes in what he comes up with. Imaginary images have personal significance for him. Kolobok is sorry for the baby to tears, he sincerely “drives away” the cloud that covered the sun, but he is also sincerely afraid of some monster under the bed. Adults should keep this in mind and in no case should they intimidate the child with all sorts of “bogeyman.”
In the minds of children, the imaginary and real world are not separated from each other by a clear boundary, so even the thought of some events (“someone is sitting in a dark room and can grab me”) can cause tears and panic. Adults need to be very sensitive in this matter.
Try not to introduce invented negative characters into your child’s life, even for educational purposes. Children’s imagination is characterized by increased emotionality and can provoke numerous fears.
How to communicate
Children of this age are characterized by a pronounced craving for communication with peers. The company of other children is becoming more attractive to the four-year-old than solitary play or talking with adults. Now communication with other children for him is a necessary condition for the harmonious development of personality.
At this time, the role-playing game becomes collective, the children learn to collaborate with each other. They must coordinate their actions, take into account the activity of all participants in the game. The common cause comes to the fore.
In the process of close interaction with peers, the child has a need for respect on their part. It is important for him to see that other children pay attention to him, recognize his successes, reckon with his opinion. “And you will not play with us” – this phrase may become an occasion for the deepest resentment.
Often in the communication of children there is a competitive beginning. Children closely monitor the behavior and achievements of their comrades, sometimes even rejoice at their mistakes and are upset if praised. There is nothing shameful about this. This only indicates that a qualitative restructuring of the child’s personality is taking place.
By comparing himself with other children, the child tries to establish himself as “successful” or, conversely, “incapable”. Such concepts as “friendship”, “sympathy”, “mutual assistance” will open for the child a little later.
How to deal with a child
Everything that was interesting to the child before – drawing, modeling, application, design, of course, remains relevant at this stage.
If you have not done this before, you need to introduce the child to the letters, however, learning to read is not necessary yet. By the age of 4.5, in most children, the functional systems of the brain are not yet ripe for effective reading instruction.
However, one can engage in the development of logic, attention, memory, spatial thinking and imagination. To help parents – a lot of board games and manuals: lotto, dominoes, mosaics, puzzles, various puzzles, for example, tangram, Nikitin cubes, Voskobovich squares and others.