Why the Games 3-Year Olds Play Matter

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Toddler clapping

The most in-demand professional skills are abilities most people start developing while they are in diapers.

According to LinkedIn, the top five skills employers look for most are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Time Management

Even before the age of five kids start to develop skills that will serve them for a lifetime. In fact between birth and age five, kids are learning faster than at any point in their lives. Research shows that a child’s brain develops 90 percent of its full capacity before a child even enters kindergarten.

It might be hard to tell kids are learning so much before they enroll in school, but they are constantly taking in information.

How are kids learning the skills they’ll need in the future? Here are a few examples:

  • Reading: When kids read or are read to they’re learning to think about the world around them as well as imagine new worlds. This can help develop their creativity. Exposure to books also helps kids learn new words, expanding their vocabulary for the day they might have to persuade someone else about their idea. 
  •  Playing a game: Playing a board game or simply following the rules another child has set in a game can help kids learn collaboration as well as self-control (an important aspect of time management). Kids take turns, listen to their friends and share toys preparing them to be conscientious professionals in the future. 
  •  Free play: When kids are allowed to play without instructions it gives them the chance to express themselves, strengthening their creative skills. They are also developing social-emotionally and building language as they create their own games and have fun in an unstructured environment. 

That’s why United Way of Champaign County invests in quality early childhood education programs in our community. We provide tools and resources that teach parents and caregivers facts and best practices for different ages and stages of a young child’s life. From engagement ideas and using everyday moments as learning activities to ways to spark language and learning skills we provide information that helps ensure all kids get a strong start. 

Here are a few resources we've put together for parents and caregivers:

When you give to United Way, you help kids build the skills they need to create a bright future for themselves.

Mother and daughter