Curriculum Goals for 3-5 Year Olds

Social/Emotional Development

Sense of Self

  • Shows ability to adjust to new situations
  • Demonstrates appropriate trust in adults
  • Recognizes own feelings and manages them appropriately
  • Stands up for rights

Responsibility for Self and Others

  • Demonstrates self-direction and independence
  • Takes responsibility for own well-being
  • Respects and cares for classroom environment and materials
  • Follows classroom routines
  • Follows classroom rules

Prosocial Behavior

  • Plays well with other children
  • Recognizes the feelings of others and responds appropriately
  • Shares and respects the rights of others
  • Uses thinking skills to resolve conflicts

Physical Development


Gross Motor


  • Demonstrates basic locomotor skills
  • Shows balance while moving
  • Climbs up and down
  • Pedals and steers a tricycle
  • Demonstrates throwing, kicking, and catching skills


Fine Motor


  • Controls small muscles in hands
  • Coordinates eye-hand movement
  • Uses tools for writing and drawing


Cognitive Development


Learning and Problem Solving


  • Observes objects and events with curiosity
  • Approaches problems flexibly
  • Shows persistence in approaching tasks
  • Explores cause and effect
  • Applies knowledge or experience to a new context


Logical Thinking


  • Classifies objects
  • Compares/measures
  • Arranges objects in a series
  • Recognizes patterns and can repeat them
  • Shows awareness of time concepts and sequence
  • Shows awareness of position in space
  • Uses 1-1 correspondence
  • Uses numbers and counting


Representation and Symbolic Thinking


  • Takes on pretend roles and situations
  • Makes believe with objects
  • Makes and interprets representations


Language Development


Listening and Speaking


  • Hears and discriminates the sounds of language
  • Expresses self-using words and expanded sentences
  • Understands and follows oral directions
  • Asks questions
  • Answers questions
  • Actively participates in conversations


Reading and Writing


  • Enjoys and values reading
  • Demonstrates understanding of print concepts
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the alphabet
  • Using emerging reading skills to make meaning from books and other texts
  • Understands the purpose of writing
  • Writes letters and words

Interest Areas


Children accomplish these goals by visiting and exploring the different interest areas in the classroom.


Play in interest centers encourages the development of social skills, language, pretend, motor skills, cognitive learning and enjoyment of the world around us. Our rooms are arranged to include the following areas:


  • Blocks
  • Housekeeping
  • Books
  • Science
  • Art
  • Manipulative Toys
  • Dramatic Play
  • Music
  • Library
  • Sensory (playdough, sand, and water, etc.)


Children gain a sense of control over their lives by being allowed to make choices. Interest center time is an excellent opportunity to encourage children to select the area in which they wish to play and develop a sense of responsibility by cleaning up at the end of the play period. Examples of themes for 3-5-year-olds:


  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Apples
  • Artists
  • Camping
  • Healthy Foods
  • Safari
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Fairy Tales
  • Nursery Rhymes
  • Getting Ready for Kindergarten
  • Print Making
  • Recycling
  • Water Play/Beach
  • Exploring Senses
  • Bugs