Why Preschoolers Need Repetition

Another wonderful question has come our way: I see repetition in Mission Friends materials. Why do you repeat activities?

While adults crave variety, preschoolers thrive on repetition. In doing things over and over again, preschoolers develop and master new skills and construct new understandings of their world. Think of how people develop the ability to play a musical instrument or master a sport. It takes repetition and practice. As preschoolers repeat and practice a variety of skills, they build their proficiency in those skills, which in turn leads to greater self-confidence.

In addition to helping preschoolers master new skills, repetition helps them predict what is going to happen next. In books with repetitive text, preschoolers love to chime in with the words that are repeated. As preschoolers successfully predict what will come next, they are learning sequencing skills, such as before and after.

Repetition also helps preschoolers learn about cause and effect. If I tip this cup over again, the water is going to pour out, or, If I drop this ball on the floor, it is going to bounce back up to me. As preschoolers begin to understand cause and effect, we can teach them that our actions have consequences.

Repetition increases preschoolers’ sense of security. Preschoolers who are allowed to repeat activities soon learn that they can foresee what will come next. Making successful predictions leads preschoolers to understand that their world has order. I have really noticed this benefit of repetition in my Mission Friends class this year. Our preschoolers love to play concentration games over and over again. I adore seeing the gleam in their eyes when they figure out where matching cards are located.

Each month, activities for Mission Friends are carefully chosen to build preschoolers’ understanding of the missions area, the work of the missionary, and the Christian concept area. Because each preschooler is uniquely and wonderfully made, each session includes a variety of activities that will appeal to the different learning styles of your preschoolers. While some activities may seem repetitive, we do tweak them to ensure that we are giving preschoolers the opportunity to use different motor skills and different levels of thinking.

Never feel compelled to use every activity that is listed in each session. Choose three or four that will fit your preschoolers’ needs. Be sensitive to your preschoolers’ requests. If they want to play a game over and over, this means that they are engaged in and enjoying the learning experience! Success!! Pray for wisdom and watch for teachable moments that occur as preschoolers are playing. Enjoy these fleeting moments with your littlest learners.

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