In pre school children, the development of intelligence, emotions and social relations is very rapid. One may consider that its success largely determines the whole future. Many personal behaviours that pre school children develop in language, attitude, values, and even ways of learning often last them a lifetime.
Early childhood experiences by pre school children have distinctly great potency. So, the fact is that their consequences are often long-lasting and may be very difficult to alter.
Early childhood is the period when the major development is that of control over the environment. Having acquired a workable control of their body during the first two years of life, pre school children are now ready to know what their environment is, how it works and how they can be a part of it. Hence pre school stage is is a distinct stage and referred in various contexts such as:
- Pre-gang age
- Flowering of the self
- Age of exploration
- Foundation period
- Vulnerable period
Key Characteristics of Pre School Children
- During the years between two and six, children are transformed into symbol users, conceptual thinkers and functioning members of society.
- Children become aware of the social identities they have inherited: gender, role, nationality, religion, family and social class.
- Children begin to develop more distinct personalities.
- Individual talents may appear for leadership, for speaking well, for music.
- As they are becoming individual persons, they are also learning the typical ways of acting and thinking which comprise the roles, rules, and rituals of their cultural group.
- Children learn about adult roles and want to be like adults in many ways.
- Play is the characteristic activity of preschool children. They develop skills necessary to win friends and influence people in the early years.
- Symbolic or make-believe play is characteristic of this age.
- The physiological habits whose foundations were laid in babyhood become well established.
- Interests take root in this stage.
- Attitudes are formed about people and work.
- Aspirations start emerging.