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What Children Can and Cannot Do

Shakin Bones Time…I was invited to visit a preschool program to observe a child in their setting that the staff thought was disruptive. During my observation I saw this child push another child who came to close to a tower he was building, grab a truck that another child was playing with and during story reading stood up and walked away frequently. When I had a chance to talk with the staff, they were surprised that I didn’t see anything the child did that was not typical for that age.

My concern is that we might have forgotten what children can and what they are unable to do yet. Here are some reminders that might help.

· Children don’t share well – they are very egocentric and believe that everything that is provided in our program belongs to them.

· Children frequently don’t recognize that someone else has the same needs and wishes they have – they often take objects that another child is playing with because they think that child wants them to have it.

· Children only remember what is relevant to them – if it is not relevant it will be forgotten, (“Walk” “Listen” “Stop”)

· Children can’t sit for very long – a preschooler’s body is crying out for movement; sitting is unnatural

· Children have a hard time expressing themselves using words – they often use physical means of communication (Pushing, Shoving, Hitting)

We need to step back sometimes and rethink what children can and cannot do based on their stage of development. Does that make sense?


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