Babies change your life and toddlers change your attitude, but when it comes to seeing and expressing their worldview, nothing beats the magic and hilarity of a preschooler. When you’ve got a kid headed for preschool in your house, you’ll never see the world the same way. Read on for some of our favorite things about this age.
1. They are honest. Wondering if you should say the right thing or the polite thing? Don’t worry, your preschooler will say it for you before you get a chance to decide. Yes, this can lead to embarrassing situations, but it can also be humbling.
2. They trust. When you tell them you’re going to make something better, they believe you. When you tell them they’re the fastest runner in the world, they believe you.
3. They get excited. They show the same level of enthusiasm over a donut as they do over the prospect of going to Disneyland. All in.
4. They get it done. Try and stop a preschooler from building a rocket out of frying pans, we dare you.
5. They make friends faster than Super Glue sets. “Hi. My name is your next best friend. Let’s be princesses.” Easy.
6. They get over it. So maybe the battle is loud and the protest is intense, but when they’re over it, they’re over it. No, the shoe didn’t go on right … oh, Go-Go Squeeze? Yes!
7. They accept you as you are. You’ll never hear them compare you to someone else’s mommy or daddy. In their view, all moms let their kids jump on hotel beds but not eat cookies after 9 p.m. It’s just the way you are, mustache hair and all.
8. They have epic memory retention and can help you find missing things. Maybe it’s because they are lower to the ground, maybe it’s because they hid the missing item. Either way, when you want to find something, ask your preschooler. At least they’ll be occupied trying to help you!
9. They laugh until they get hiccups, frequently. Was it a cartoon? Was it something the baby brother did? Who knows. Who cares. A preschoolers’ laughter should be bottled for its medicinal value. It’s good for the soul.
10. They cry. When they’re sad, they cry. They don’t bottle it up. They don’t hit the freezer and wipe out a carton of Ben and Jerry’s. They cry. And they talk about it. Sometimes they talk about it while crying.
11. They want to be with you. Really, how cool is it that their numero uno desire isn’t the thing on the infomercial? It isn’t a better car or a bigger house. Preschoolers just want to hang. With you. Because they’re awesome.
12. They are helpful. Ish. Helpfulish. The will is there, even if the execution is sometimes flawed.
13. They don’t apologize for basic needs. Got to go to the bathroom? Sorry, photographer that only has two hours to nail the perfect family portrait. Tired? Don’t even bother trying to engage with him. Hungry? Unless you’ve got a cereal bar and a pack of gummies, don’t go near her. Preschoolers know about priorities.
14. They notice beauty. And they don’t have to be in a museum or in a Tiffany store to do it. The sun. A differently-sized rock. A disco ball dangling from the rear-view mirror in the car next to you at the red light. All are sacred.
15. They imagine. Try explaining to a preschooler the fundamentals of soccer, and then try telling her that she’s a Jedi knight who has to deliver the treasure to the mother ship. See which one inspires performance.
16. They ask questions. You know the old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Maybe the old dog could do new tricks if he remembered to be interested in things. Preschoolers are interested in everything.
17.They get dirty. Let’s face it. Jumping in puddles is fun. Painting on paper is good, but painting on each other is more fun. And rolling down a muddy hill with a sprinkler on in your clothes is the absolute most fun.
18. They don’t self-deprecate. In fact, they know they’re pretty awesome. And they can tell you about it.
19. They encourage each other. Oh, to be the older kid with the knowledge to traverse the monkey bars. There is no cheerleader better than a preschool kid who’s mastered something. And you know who else they encourage? You!
20. They’re always up for an adventure. A trip to the grocery store? Not so much. A scavenger hunt at the grocery store? Money.
21.They tell you when they’re angry. Really, this is a good thing. Really. Imagine if adults were that brave.
22. They crack themselves up. Because they’re old enough to understand and tell (and re-tell and re-tell) silly jokes.
23.They’re comfortable in their own skin. Have you ever seen a preschooler suck it in or even care there’s paint in their hair/face/shirt/everywhere? Nope. How awesome is that?
24. They have the most fabulous fashion sense. First and foremost, it had better not be scratchy, itchy or tight. Added points for graphic kittens or dinosaurs. Bring it home with a nice chevron stripe or lightning bolt somewhere. Pipe-cleaner glasses? Lookin’ good.
25. They dance. And they mean it. There is no yes-no-maybe at a preschool dance party. You’d better push the furniture back and pad the walls because there are preschoolers about to get down.
26. They play in a whole new way. Eavesdrop on your preschooler instrumenting a “conversation” between two or more toys and you’ll know what we mean.
27. They can turn anything into a plaything. Tree bark, brooms, rice, garbage—anything!
28. They can finally reason. Gone are the days of baby cognition and toddler tantrums (mostly).
29. They can wipe. Thank goodness they can wipe.
30. They create. Beauty, love, laughter, art, messes, happy memories, opportunities and fun. Always fun.
— Shelley Massey, Ayren Jackson-Cannady, and Amber Guetebier
All images: iStock