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Read Your Little Artist’s Mind: How Preschoolers Think

To lead well, we must grow in understanding preschoolers. Preschoolers think like artists and blend reality with imagination!
Understanding Preschoolers and How They Think Like Artists

All kids ministry leaders want to grow in understanding preschoolers. It would be great if we could just read their minds sometimes! The truth?

Your preschooler thinks like an artist. And “Read their minds” is just another way of saying: Every leader needs to understand what’s changing mentally and physically.  

When you know what can be expected of a phase, you are able to give kids the right amount of success. 

In Deuteronomy 6, Moses addressed the nation of Israel and made a passionate plea to “impress” on the hearts of children core truths that relate to God’s character. Some translations use the phrase “teach diligently.” The phrase can also be translated to mean “to cause to learn.” He wasn’t advocating a lecture-based, Torah literacy program where a teacher’s responsibility ended once the teacher presented the content.  

What Moses knew was this: The role of a leader is not to simply present accurate information. The role of a leader is to keep presenting, to keep translating, to keep creating experiences until someone has learned what they need to know.  

So, your job is simple. 

Know what can be expected of them; and know how they think, so they will hear what you say and know what to do. Preschoolers don’t think like adults.  

Preschoolers think like artists. 

Understanding preschoolers means understanding this key fact. You see, artists experience the world through activities that stimulate the five senses. Preschoolers blend reality with imagination and learn through participation.  

A baby’s brain has more neurons than at any other time in life, and those neurons are forming two million synapses every second. In this phase, they are mildly aware of everything in their environment; and they take it all in at an unfathomable pace. Preschoolers learn by experience, through their senses, and from someone’s responses. In their world, there is no real distinction between what is real and what is imaginary. Like artists, they learn best when they can make it with their hands. This is why movement, music, and art are critical for learning in this phase. 

Just remember, when you understand the way a kid’s mind is changing, you stand a far better chance of identifying clues that help you know what they are thinking–conveying a message they can understand and laying a foundation for later learning. 

This content was contributed by Phase. Discover all the resources available for your preschoolers in the Phase store.

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