Your Playbook for Ages 4 - 5

A curated roadmap by developmental age for navigating the most essential skills and common hurdles of raising children. Evidence-based insights paired with practical tools from early childhood experts.

At-Home Learning Social Skills Challenging Behavior Life Readiness Emotional Intelligence Pre-Academics
At-Home Learning
How to Talk to Your Child About Back-to-‘School’

Language and scripts parents can use in their back-to-school conversations with children during this Covid-19 pandemic. Plus, answers to common...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Practical Advice for Parents – Structuring Your Child’s Daily Routine

How to structure the day at home with your child, specifically extended time periods at home is hard. Here’s our...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Structure Your Child’s Extended Time at Home

How to structure the day at home with your child, specifically extended time periods at home. Smart tips and a...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Sensible Structure for Slower Days

What do you do with your kids when they’ve got a big chunk of time and you’re looking for fun...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Social Skills
How to Teach 3 Key Social Skills

While some children inherently understand how to socially interact with others and are comfortable with basic social skills, others need more...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Gun Play – Understand the Myths and Realities

As parents and teachers of young children, we encounter ‘power play’ in a variety of ways – some children like...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Exclusion and Inclusion – Part 1: Why It Happens

Watching a child turn to you crying for the first time because “A friend said ‘I can’t play’”, is a...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Exclusion and Inclusion – Part 2: Do Something About It

Social exclusion is a main theme in a child’s development and there are many reasons why it happens. Empower your child to...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Support Self-Image and Self-Confidence

When your child starts demonstrating behaviors that show they are trying to ‘fit in’ or wants to ‘belong to a...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Tattling vs. Telling

Tattling is very common but it can be shaped by our responses to their tattling. Teach your child this simple rhyme to work...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Critical Thinking
Language + Literacy
How to Ask Your Child About Their Day

Our Top 10 favorite conversation starters can give you insight into what matters to your child, and deepen your connection...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Handle Sibling Fights (When You Have Time)

Siblings fight. They fight over people, things, physical spaces and so much more. They use their words and their bodies...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
3 Things to Say to Immediately Stop a (Sibling) Fight

Get unflustered in the heat of the moment? Three phrases you can use to stop a fight. Kids are often...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Sibling Love – Make It Happen with a Sibling Love Jar

We can’t end sibling fighting nor force our children to get along, but we can help them recall happy moments...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
10 Activities to Encourage Sibling Bonding

Siblings fight – it happens. But sometimes, stepping outside of the normal realm of toys and games can help kids...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Challenging Behavior
Whining – Make It Stop!

One of the most frequent complaints we get from parents is around whining. We get it – even as teachers....

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Tattling vs. Telling

Tattling is very common but it can be shaped by our responses to their tattling. Teach your child this simple rhyme to work...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Critical Thinking
Language + Literacy
Fibbing vs. Lying – Why Kids Lie

Around the ages of four and five, children begin to tell “tall tales”. They may also begin to tell fibs...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Creativity + Imagination
Language / Tone of Voice – Part 1: Why It Happens

At around age 4, you may see all sorts of dramatic language changes – talking back, harsh tones of voice,...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language / Tone of Voice – Part 2: Stop, Think, Re-Do!

It’s normal to hear your child experimenting with dramatic language at around age 4 (e.g., talking back, harsh tones of...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Discipline: Part 1 – Why Discipline (Not Punishment)

Understand the difference between discipline and punishment to change a child’s behavior in the future. Let’s focus on creating effective...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Discipline: Part 2 – Discipline in Practice

Discover how discipline and punishment differ in practice.

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Discipline: Part 3 – Logical Consequences

Punishment is imposed, discipline is instilled. Consequences must make sense – they must be logical.

Ages
4-5,
5-6
On Impulse Control: Part 1 – What Is It?

It may feel like a number of impulsive behaviors are seemingly normal for children. But what is ‘normal’? In this...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
On Impulse Control: Part 2 – What You Could Do

Brain differences make it hard for a child to control their behavior. Understanding your child’s impulsive behaviors can help you...

Ages
5-6,
6-7
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
*STOP!* An Easy Technique for Impulse Control

Empower your child to manage their emotions and regain control in heated situations with *STOP!*

Ages
5-6,
6-7
A Simple Exercise to Calm and Re-Center Your Child

A breathing exercise to help your child move through the rocky moments in their day. Easy to do, easy to...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Self-Regulation – Part 1: Optimize Your Child’s Learning

Including children in their own learning process about how to self-regulate is empowering and long-lasting. Here’s how it’s helpful to...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Self-Regulation – Part 2: Body Engine Checker System

Here’s a practical tool and script to support your child’s self-regulation and emotional awareness – it provides a shared language to signal...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Self-Regulation – Part 3: Recover from a Meltdown

Make a Cozy Corner or Helper Green Basket to help your child recover from an emotional meltdown – proven techniques...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Life Readiness
How to Create Family Agreements

Try having ‘Family Agreements’ instead of having ‘rules’. Family Agreements can be powerful yet simple tools for encouraging baseline behavioral...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Raise Responsible Children – Introduce Chores

We may have grand intentions when it comes to involving our kids in chores. But how do you know which...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Why Parents Should Talk About Race

While we may agree that it is important to speak about issues of race and racism, these layered and personal...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Talk to Your Child About Race

Parents are often unsure of how to talk to young children about race. But it is real and it is...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Talk About Other Children’s Challenges

Questions and comments from children about other children’s challenges are normal; they illustrate the broad spectrum of learning, ability and...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Talk to Your Child About Death

Speaking with a child about death is an important, impactful, and often dreaded, teachable moment. Whether prompted by an actual...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Talk to Your Child About Someone Who is Sick

There are times when it becomes necessary to speak to children about people in their lives who are very sick....

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Teach Your Child About Personal Safety

As your child matures, there will come a time when you’ll need to have a conversation about personal safety. Many...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Community Engagement – How to Talk About It

Answers to our most popular questions on a heavy subject. From “How do I explain…” to “How do I teach…”...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Community Engagement – What You Could Do

Tricky topic that’s filled with layers of good intentions and ambitious learnings. It takes effort from both you and your...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Emotional Intelligence
How to Teach Your Child to Identify Their Feelings and Emotions

Learn why it is important for your child to be able to identify their emotions, and help them build their...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Helpful Ways to Praise Your Child

A simple tip sheet for how to praise your child. Something more than “Good job” or just commenting on process and...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
What is Mindfulness and How is it Helpful?

Mindfulness…for kids? Yes, indeed! How can you help your child practice it naturally? Tune in….

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Take a Mindful Minute

Help your child to control their thoughts by making Mindful Minutes a routine. Your step-by-step guide on why, how and...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Get Your Child to Practice

Research-approved. Reframe how you think about ‘practice’.

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Critical Thinking
The Super Power of *YET*

*YET* – 3 letters that may change your child’s life. (Thanks Janelle Monae and Sesame Street for making it memorable...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Grow Your Brain – Apply a *Growth Mindset*

Let’s double-down on how to translate *growth mindset* into something tangible with your child. We’re focusing on how to teach...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Set ‘Intentions’ (vs Resolutions)

Any opportunity for a fresh start to refocus and reset (the New Year, the start of the academic school year,...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
How to Teach Gratitude

“Gratitude is not just a feeling outside your control that arrives willy-nilly. It’s more like a radio channel: you can...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Pre-Academics
On Writing Backwards

Is writing letters backwards OK, or is it an early warning sign of a learning difference? Let’s tackle this very...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Language + Literacy
Fine Motor Skills, Handwriting and How to Hold a Pencil

Learning to write is a hallmark in a child’s education journey. It empowers them to express themselves and their talents....

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Common Handwriting Problem #1 – Weak Grasp

Little hands often struggle to hold a pencil, especially when their muscles need some building. Fortunately there are many fun...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Common Handwriting Problem #2 – Weak Handwriting Strokes

Sometimes, a child may have an efficient grasp and sufficient hand strength, but their handwriting strokes still do not produce...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Common Handwriting Problem #3 – Poor Control and Precision

When all the other pieces – like grasp and strength – are in place, it may be time to practice....

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
Common Handwriting Problem #4 – Too Much Hand Pressure

If a child is too forceful with their grasp, the pressure used will lead to quick fatigue. To help prevent...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor + Gross Motor
How to Ask Meaningful Questions During Story Time

Increase critical thinking and curiosity when you read aloud. Take story time to a new level.

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
How to Teach Reading – Part 3: Use a Cueing System

“Does it make sense? Does it look right? Does it sound right?” is a helpful cueing system to help your...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Creativity + Imagination
Language + Literacy
(Academically) Teach Reading in 6 Steps

If you’re looking for a didactic list, here’s a theoretical, academic sequence for teaching your child to read. Just remember...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Creativity + Imagination
Language + Literacy
What to Do if Your Child Doesn’t Want to Learn to Read

Your child may not want to learnt to read – *yet*. It’s completely normal and natural. Reading is hard. Reading...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Creativity + Imagination
Language + Literacy
Kindergarten Readiness 101

“Is my child ready for Kindergarten? What does that even mean?” Here’s my high-level perspective as a parent + teacher...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 1 – Social + Emotional Skills

“OK, I think I have a sense for Kindergarten readiness, but how can I support my child to get there?” Read...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 2 – Pre-Academic Skills

ABCs, colors, numbers, sight words…parents have heard of the “push-down” of academic skills – that Kindergarten has a lot of...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Language + Literacy
Critical Thinking
Kindergarten Readiness: Part 3 – Parent Readiness

Kindergarten is a meaningful adjustment – for parents too. We’ve got simple tips for parents for a not-so-simple transition –...

Ages
4-5,
5-6
Kindergarten Readiness: Bonus FAQs

It’s hard to know what you don’t know as your child embarks on their learning journey and enters Kindergarten. Sure,...

Ages
4-5,
5-6

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