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Older Preschoolers (45-60+ months)

Older Preschoolers are eager to learn! They learn through play and are busy developing muscle skills, language, and working toward gaining inner control of emotions and behavior. They typically have a rich imagination and may not have a full understanding of what is the truth or made-up. Preschoolers need clear and simple guidelines so they learn the boundaries of desirable behavior. They may have fears of new people or experiences and difficulty separating from trusted adults. Lots of questions give great opportunities for rich discussions, learning more complex words, and understanding of increasingly complex concepts and reasoning skills.

Engaging activities for your 45-60+ month child.

About the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines

The Early Learning Guidelines are designed to be useful to a broad range of educational professionals, including parents. In this document, adults can refer to anyone who works with and cares for children: teachers, caregivers, early childhood educators, early interventionists, home visitors, parents, etc. The document also refers to “children” generically, which is intended to include infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children.

Domain Introduction – Each introduction provides a description of some of the most important ideas related to the domain. This introductory information aids in understanding what aspects of children’s learning and development are included in the domain.

– Each domain is further organized into sub-areas of children’s development. This makes it easier to find the goals related to specific areas of children’s learning.

– Statements describing a general area or aspect of children’s development by domain.
•Approaches to Learning includes 9 goals
•Social Development and Emotional Development includes 6 goals
•Communications, Language and Literacy includes 11 goals
•Cognitive Development includes 13 goals
•Health and Physical Development includes 7 goals

Developmental Indicator Continuum
– Each continuum includes the expectations for children’s learning and development at particular age levels. These are not requirements for what children should know or be able to do at the end of each period. The continuum is divided into overlapping age levels in each table format.
•Infants: Birth – 12 months
•Younger Toddlers: 8 – 21 months
•Older Toddlers: 18 – 36 months
•Younger Preschoolers: 33 – 48 months
•Older Preschoolers: 45 – 60+ months

Strategies of Components
– At the end of each component sub-areas, strategies are included to provide ideas for how adults can enrich the environment and support children’s development and learning described in the Developmental Indicator Continuum. At the end of each domain section, there are specific adaptions for working with children who have disabilities and those who are Dual Language Learners.

– More detailed information is provided in Appendix A: Supporting Children who have Disabilities and Appendix B: Supporting Dual Language Learners.

The “heart” of the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines are charts that describe Goals and Developmental Indicators for children’s learning and development. The Goals and Developmental Indicators describe expectations for what children will learn prior to kindergarten, starting with infancy and covering all ages through kindergarten entry.

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Approaches to Learning

Children are born with an inclination to learn. This is reflected in behaviors and attitudes such as curiousity, problem-solving, maintaining attention, and persistence.

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Communication, Language & Literacy

From birth, children are learning language and developing the ability to communicate. Talking, singing, reading, and responding effectively when children express themselves are great investments supporting learning.

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Cognitive Development

This fascinating area of development includes understanding how children aquire, organize, and use information in increasingly complex ways. Through play, skills are developed as the foundation for exploring and understanding more sophisticated concepts.

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Health & Physical Development

Physical growth, muscle development, nutrition, self-care, health and safety practices are included in this area. Safe and healthy practices suppport the ability to learn more effectively in all areas.

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Children's areas of development are all integrated. While organized among five domains, each with different components, no one area is more important than another and are interrelated. These guidelines provide understanding for how children develop and why it is important to provide playful activities and experiences that support early learning.

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