The Magic Crayons are all teachers at kindergartens and preschools in Japan. The lesson plans, crafts and games you find in these pages will sometimes use the Japanese terminology when describing the suitable age for the students.
A big thank you to a post in Dave’s ESL Forum
for reminding us just how confusing this can be for those teachers outside of Japan. User rtm
provided a great explanation:
Nen Cho (年長;
Older, 5 years old at the start of the school year)
Nen Chu (年中;
Middle, 4 years old)
Nen Sho (年少;
Youngest, 3 years old)
provides this great mnemonic trick for remembering these grades:
nen sho (3 yrs.. ) - kids SHOw up to school first time.
nen chu (4 yrs.. ) - more developed and can CHOOse better.
nen cho (5 yrs..) - older, and are CHOsen to graduate from kindy.