Preschool childhood is a period from 3 to 7 years. At this stage, there are such mental neoplasms that allow professionals to judge the norm or deviations in the mental development of children. For example, in the process of overcoming the crisis of 3 years, there is initiative, the desire for independence in self-service, gaming activities. The child begins to master these or other social roles. He develops the foundation of self-awareness – self-esteem. He learns to evaluate himself from various points of view: as a friend, as a good person, as a kind, attentive, diligent, capable, talented, etc.
With a young child, perception is not very perfect. Perceiving the whole, the child often poorly captures the details.
The perception of children of preschool age is usually associated with the practical handling of relevant objects: to perceive an object is to touch it, touch it, feel it, manipulate it.
The process ceases to be affective and becomes more differentiated. The perception of the child is already purposeful, meaningful and is being analyzed.
In preschool children, visual-effective thinking continues to develop, which is promoted by the development of imagination. Due to the fact that the development of arbitrary and mediated memory occurs, visual-figurative thinking is transformed.
Preschool age is a point of reference in the formation of verbal-logical thinking, as the child begins to use speech to solve various problems. There are changes, development in the field of education.
Initially, thinking is based on sensory knowledge, perception and a sense of reality.
The first mental operations of the child can be called the perception of the events and phenomena occurring by him, as well as his correct reaction to them.
I. Sechenov called this elementary thinking of the child, directly connected with the manipulation of objects, actions with them, the stage of objective thinking. The thinking of a child of preschool age is visual-figurative, his thoughts are occupied by objects and phenomena that he perceives or represents.
His analysis skills are elementary, the content of generalizations and concepts includes only external and often not at all essential features (“a butterfly is a bird because it flies, and a chicken is not a bird, because it cannot fly”), the development of thinking is inseparably linked and language development in children.
The child’s speech is formed under the decisive influence of speech communication with adults, listening to their speech. In the first year of a child’s life, anatomical, physiological, and psychological prerequisites for mastering speech are created. This stage of speech development is called pre-verbal. A child of the 2nd year of life almost takes possession of speech, but his speech is agrammatic in nature: there are no inclinations, conjugations, pretexts, alliances, although the child is already building sentences.
A grammatically correct oral speech begins to form at the 3rd year of the child’s life, and by the age of 7, the child has a good command of spoken speech.
At preschool age, attention becomes more focused and sustainable. Children learn to manage it and can already direct it to various subjects.
A child 4-5 years old is able to hold attention. For each age, the sustainability of attention is different and is determined by the interest of the child and his capabilities. So, in the 3-4 years of the child attracts bright, interesting pictures, the attention on which he can hold up to 8 seconds.
Fairy tales, puzzles, riddles that can hold attention for up to 12 seconds are interesting for children 6-7 years old. Children of 7 years of age are developing rapidly the ability for voluntary attention.
The development of voluntary attention is influenced by the development of speech and the ability to follow the verbal instructions of adults directing the child’s attention to the desired subject.
Under the influence of play (in part and work) activity, the attention of the older preschooler reaches a fairly high degree of development, which ensures him the opportunity to study at school.
Children begin to memorize randomly from the age of 3-4 years due to active participation in games that require conscious memorization of any objects, actions, words, as well as thanks to the gradual involvement of preschoolers in self-help and self-service instructions.
Preschoolers tend not only to mechanical memorization, on the contrary, meaningful memorization is more characteristic of them. They resort to mechanical memorization only when they find it difficult to understand and comprehend the material.
At preschool age, verbal-logical memory is still poorly developed; visual-emotional and emotional memory is of primary importance.
The imagination of preschoolers has its own characteristics. Reproductive imagination is characteristic of 3-5-year-old children,
The first manifestations of the imagination can be observed in children three years old. By this time, the child accumulates some life experience, giving material for the imagination. The most important in the development of imagination are the game, as well as constructive activity, drawing, modeling.
Preschoolers do not have great knowledge, so their imagination is sparingly.