D is officially 4 years old, I have no idea how that has happened quite so quickly. It doesn’t feel like it was long ago that I was typing out D at 3 years old. This last year seems to have escaped us and so much has changed over that short period of time!
One of the really big things that has happened over the last year is that D started nursery! Late last August was his first day and honestly we got a bit worried in the run up that he would get over whelmed by it all. D has been an only child and we never really attended mother and toddler groups or anything of that nature. So going into a classroom for 3-4 hours a day with over 30 other people was daunting (to us!). D however took it in his stride and after his first day simply wanted to stay there forever!
He is doing really well and has been meeting all of the expectations placed on children of his age. He is keeping up with all those little learning milestones they need to reach to follow the developmental milestones. The only issue we have had come up is that there are some sounds within words that he will skip. We know he can say the sounds as he uses them in other words. We are currently waiting for a speech therapy appointment.
He is still following along the lines of learning new words and phrases as he should be for his age. It is just that he isn’t pronouncing some of the sounds properly in some of his words. D is now also able to full express his feelings as well as predict how others are feeling just from the expressions they are showing. He is able to explain why he is feeling how he is at nay moment and can ask questions which would help him to understand why someone else is feeling the way they do. He is still a very loving and caring person. If someone is sad or upset he will try to make them happy if he can or he will be compassionate and share a hug if they are people we know.
Over the last year D has really taken an interest in reading and the words that are inside the books we read. Before he would have just loved looking at the pictures and listening when either Simon or I was reading the story. He started to make up stories for himself when he would sit looking at a book. Each of the stories he would make up would be relevant to the pictures on each page. However they did very rarely make any sense. We did try some spot the difference and Where’s Wally type exercises to see how he would do as these can be used as signs that they are ready to learn how to read! D did wonderfully with all the exercises we gave him and was able to find Wally pretty easily alone. To start of we did use books aimed towards baby’s. Those little books with one or two words per page that simply say what is on the page. D really enjoyed these types of books and was very interested in the words and the letters he could see and recognise from practicing his phonic sounds. To add another element and a bit of fun into his first stages of reading we starting doing some rhyming word activities and using a Say it, Make it, Write it board for sight words. D adores doing all the activities and can happily sit for over an hour doing activity after activity! We try to do them at least 3 times a week and he still gets so excited! He is now starting to recognise the common words we see in books all the time which is really encouraging. He can recognise words like the, it, and, is along with the word names for numbers and colours.
Over the last 6 – 9 months D has really developed a sense of adventure. He has become pretty curious about all the places we go and areas where he isn’t allowed to be. When we are out and about he will tell us all about how we need to check his map to see where to go next and what we need to do. He now seeing going to the shop for milk or bread as a great adventure in the wild. I love that his imagination has developed so well over the last year. I enjoy getting sucked into his little world and having fun with him. We use everything around us including our hands which can go from being binoculars to a list of important items we need to find.
D has also started to enjoy playing dress up and pretending to be someone else. Last year it would have been a straight up no the minute dressing up at home was mentioned. He had a few outfits for playing dress up but refused to wear them. Now it is totally different and we all regularly have sword fights or go off on a rowing adventure in search of treasure. D really enjoys dressing up with everything he can. He has even started playing with my jewellery and my scarves which I regularly find in the dressing up stand.
It isn’t just the dressing up side of pretend play that D has really started to love but all kinds of pretend play. He enjoys playing with his little characters and making up stories or lines for them all to play out. He can happily sit and play out what is happening in his imagination either on his own or with other children. I love walking past and hearing him blasting the bad guys in outer space or taking a fireman to the emergency so he can save the day.
D really enjoys maths! All things related to numbers and shapes we must learn about. He is now able to count all the way up to 36 alone. He does miss out the number 16 occasionally however it is getting to be less and less often. He counts everything now and tells is about the numbers on signs, doors and anything else he can find! Now that he is able to count up pretty high we have started to learn all about addition and subtraction. He is able to add up numbers that equal a number below 6 and he can subtract below the number 5 and tell us the right answer to sums we make up with those numbers. As he gets better we will expand on the sums and advance up to those that equal 10 or below. However I do think that D is doing really well. Another aspect of maths that D really enjoys is shapes. He loves learning about shapes and drawing them out. He has been learning about how many sides each shape has and even asks about how many corners there are in each shape. He know about circles, semi circles, squares, rectangles, diamonds, triangles, hexagons, pentagons and even asked about the octagon shape on a sign recently. He gets so excited when we are outside and we see signs with shapes on or things that have shapes hiding inside them like windows or shop displays.
The final thing I think has really changed in D over the last year is that he has really started to show his sense of humor. He loves to tell us things he finds funny or to do silly things that make people laugh. He is certainly becoming quite the little entertainer. His laugh is also very infectious and when he really laughs you just can’t help but laugh along with him!
I am really looking forward to finding out all the new things that will change in D over the next year! I just hope it goes a little bit slower than the last one.