Nowadays more and more parents are looking for appropriate care for their children. DAP gives an opportunity realize all wishes and expectation of parents. Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) is a care that takes into account each child's level of physical, social-emotional, language, intellectual, and adaptive development. Children provided with the opportunity to engage in DAP are better set up for success in school and society.
The topic of DAP is discussed in the book "Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Curriculum and Development in Early Education", by Carol Gestwicki. The book explains what DAP is and touches such topics as developmentally appropriate physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language environments. The methodic and program of DAP differ for every age group (Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, Primary-Aged Children).
The preschool age children develop learning activities that include language, motor physical activity and movements. Such activities usually include puzzles and blocks, wheel toys and climbers, dramatic play acting and story telling. Preschoolers enjoy different experiences and activities such as cutting paper and fabric some cooking and other art activities. Children of this age already can recognize shapes, colors; they can even use simple math and problem-solving skills. At this age children combine ideas, their memory is growing and their motor skills are improving. Children show a big interest in the written language. Kids also develop an interest in the world around them, are fond of special events and trips.
Adults should listen to children, encourage creative play, join them in activities, help to build self-esteem, and set consistent limits. Preschoolers need adults to encourage and support their creative play, join in their activities, help them to understand social norms, and set consistent limits with them. Three and four-year-old children should be given ample opportunities to gain experience with language, large motor physical activities, movement, and fine motor activities.
Adults who work with preschoolers should have warm, nurturing personality with appropriate behavior, willing to learn, be reliable, to understand the emerging need for the preschooler to establish friendships and have. Adult should accept different care giving methods and techniques, also read, talk and listen to the child.
Developmentally appropriate practices include social/emotional, cognitive, physical and language development.
Social and emotional development of preschoolers. It is very important for preschoolers to develop their skills in social and emotional spheres which are keys to their success in life, as well as, school. The studies of scientists explain how necessary social and emotional readiness is to a kindergarten activities, success in school, and their later adult accomplishments.
There are three key goals for social and emotional development. The first is the Sense of Self. It deals with a fact of how kids feel valued and accepted by the people whom they love. The second is the Responsibility for Self and Others. It deals with developing habits and character qualities such as responsibility, and independence, self-direction of a child, and following rules and routines. The third key is the Prosocial Behavior, which works with qualities such as empathy and sharing that that will help children to cooperate in the world.
Cognitive development of preschoolers is the process of learning how to think and find a reason. Such skills are connected with literacy and mathematics. Such spheres as science and social studies, are also includes the same as the arts, and technology. Such development is not just memorizing facts. Preschool children are "learning to learn." Such skill is important for future learning. The three goals are: learning and problem solving, logical thinking, representation and symbolic thinking activity.
Learning and Problem Solving teaches little children how they should information, resources, and materials they have. Kids learn how to think about their ideas, how to make predictions, and also how to test possible solutions. The qualities such as curiosity, persistence, and applying knowledge, make learning more important than just learning new facts about the world.
Logical Thinking helps preschoolers to understand the information they are gathering. Children try to compare and contrast things, to sort and classify. Also kids learn to count, measure and so on.
Representation and Symbolic Thinking help children to focus on how they use symbols in thought. Symbols can be objects, people or representations through drawings. Symbolic thinking also includes.
Physical skills are also very important for the improving skills in reading, writing, science, and math. Physical development affects social and emotional development because kids gain self-confidence while they learn what their bodies can do. The more kids can do, the more their wish to try new and more difficult tasks appear. The two goals for motor skills are: gross motor and fine motor.
Gross motor development involves the movements that are controlled by the body's large muscles while fine motor development pay attention to controlling, coordination, and dexterity of the small muscles in the children's hands.
Environment for activities should be clean and safe; the toys and materials should be displayed on open, low shelves. There should be areas for the following types of learning centers or space for children to play with the following types of materials: dramatic play, blocks, art: coloring, painting, drawing, gluing, etc. The area should include sand and water territory for playing games. Working materials should include books. Activities should include music and movements, while the manipulatives would be puzzles, pegs, small construction items science. There also need to be included some kind of large motor area for throwing, riding, climbing, jumping, running; are for separate cot/mat for individual sleeping; some private, getaway spaces. All areas ought to be soft.
The materials that are usually used in DAP with preschoolers are riding toys, balls/bean bags to throw, climbing equipment, books, blocks (different shapes, textures, weights, colors, sizes plus vehicles, animals). Such dramatic play materials as clothing, theme items (house, doctor's office, grocery store, etc.) are also used. Teachers and parents should use art supplies: various kinds of paints, crayons, markers, chalk, various kinds of paper, play dough, glue, paste, scissors, etc. while the writing supplies should include: pens, pencils, paper, stapler, paper clips, envelopes, tracing letters and numbers, etc.
Language development plays a great role in development of preschoolers because a foundation in language development gives kids skills needed to become successful learners. The researches show that children who have big language experiences in preschool are more willingly to make stronger their language and literacy skills. The ability of children to listen, write, read and speak is developed interdependently. The goals for language development are: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Listening and Speaking involves spoken language. Such skills as having a large vocabulary and ability to express oneself are important for children. Reading and Writing involves the help of adults to make sense of written language for children as they enjoy reading. Such development increases kid's ability to handle books and understand the purpose of book and how it works, it also teaches how to retell a story. Preschoolers learn the alphabet and words while playing games.
Developmentally appropriate practice for children should be unique for every child, because all children are different and have different abilities. Parents should know that the learning and development of their children depends on attentiveness to all aspects of a child's well-being. Attention should be paid to physical, social, emotional and cognitive dimensions of child development.