discussing recent news with preschoolers
circle time,  Language,  social studies,  teacher tips,  teaching tips,  tips for teachers

Conversations with Preschoolers about Current Events

discussing recent news with preschoolers

We know that kids are sponges – they’re ALWAYS listening! Because of this, they catch onto things that we don’t always realize they’re hearing, and without context and all of the information their minds make the most interesting connections. It’s fascinating to get their take on the things that are happening in their world because they look at them with such a unique filter! When it comes to discussing current events, it can be a bit of a minefield, we never know what might come up, and we definitely can’t predict what a child will say. There are some ways to navigate these conversations without prompting those comments. Here are my tips for discussing recent news with preschoolers – while keeping everything age appropriate.

First, choose topics that are relevant to children, and that they’re likely to be processing. Right now, the Super Bowl might be relevant if they watched with their families or have heard grownups talking about it. On the other hand, anything political would not be because young children don’t have the context or understanding to fully examine these topics, and they likely don’t play a role in their daily life.

Once you’ve landed on a topic that feels appropriate, identify questions that focus on children’s understandings and opinions. Let’s stick with the Super Bowl again; specifics about the game might be over their heads, and they likely aren’t paying close attention to the commercials, but there’s a good chance they picked a team to root for (or their families did), and they probably have a reason why this was their choice. My own daughter reported that she wanted “the bird team” to win. When I asked her why she let me know that “they’re green, and I like green.” That’s a totally valid response and a great way to see how much she really understands about the game (not much lol). She also wanted to know why the Buckeyes weren’t playing (we’re Ohio State fans), and this gave us the opportunity to explain the difference between college football and the NFL. Other great questions are things like “did you go to a party?” and “what kinds of foods did you eat during the game?” These are the things that are most important to children this age.

Before a conversation like this, take some time to think through all of the different directions that the conversation might go. There always the possibility that a child might repeat something that an adult said about the opposing team, a certain commercial, or a halftime show. How might you handle any inappropriate comments that are repeated – and what difference will it make to your response if the children understand this comment, or if they’re repeating it without understanding it? Taking the time to prepare yourself for the unexpected is what really makes the difference when having conversations about current events.

If you feel like a little guided practice might help before you dive into a conversation like this on your own, I’ve got just the thing for you!

seasonal open ended questions

These pages were designed to be a place to record children’s answers to questions about different seasonal topics. They’re a great way to assess children’s current understanding of the topic, and my favorite thing about these is that I can post them for families to see. Adults really get a kick out of the things that come out of their children’s mouths, and this builds such a quality repertoire with families! You can find this whole set here. They’re also available in my Month of Preschool sets to correspond with other seasonal activities.

What are some of the events and topics that you’ve talked about with your student’s recently? I’d love to hear your stories!

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