Your preschooler is learning like a sponge soaking up water. She is learning to use her senses, move her body, regulate her behavior, and engage you in conversations. When she learns while combining more than one of these activities, her nervous system gets a better workout.

Preschoolers do well to have several ten- to fifteen-minute physical workouts each day. Motion supports the development of many parts of the nervous system, so games that exercise motor skills are very beneficial. A sense of well-being comes from muscles working well together. For a child, this sense is similar to the way adults feel when our golf club, tennis racket, or bat connects to a ball “sweetly.” Add your approval, verbal support, and exchanges to that physical sensation, and you are teaching different parts of your child’s brain to work together.

To work brain and body together, how about creating an imaginary treasure hunt with your preschooler? You can start with one clue at a time and work up to four- or five-step clues. Verbal directions will hone your child’s auditory and sequencing skills, and talking about the story of the treasure will light up her imagination. If you create a little map of the treasure hunt, you add a challenge to her spatial skills. All of this learning while you are having fun together!

When you challenge your child on more than one front simultaneously, you will be helping her develop a healthy body and mind.
More to consider: Slow motion . . .

If your preschooler has a hard time modulating her behavior because she gets too excited during play, make a shift so part of the game is in slow motion. She can then learn how to regulate herself while still having fun.