Social and emotional development is crucial to the success children will have in Kindergarten and beyond. Having a strong foundation in social and emotional skills gives children the tools that they need to work within groups and build lasting relationships.
DEFINITION OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
At four years old children are experiencing huge growth in their social development. These new milestones that your child is meeting will help your child interact with their peers more easily and begin to form friendships. Social development is the process of learning how to interact with others and at this age, your child is seeking these interactions more and more.
4-YEAR-OLD SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
- Becoming a team player
- Becoming more independent
- Wants acceptance
- Starts developing friendships
- Shows interest in being part of a group
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
You have probably noticed that your preschooler is beginning to have more positive interactions and is managing their emotions better. Your preschooler still needs your support in their social development though. You can do this by intentionally adding social-emotional play into your preschooler’s routine by playing games, reading, and engaging in pretend play with your preschooler.
You can ask them silly questions like, “What superpower would you want to have? and why?”. Then, you can use these questions to get them practicing conversational skills such as eye contact and taking turns talking and listening. This is also a great way to demonstrate how conversations grow and continue when you use “also” statements. This will also encourage your child to practice their verbal skills in a fun way!
DEFINITION OF EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Your four year old is starting to form real friendships. This is possible because they are beginning to develop empathy and beginning to show interest in being part of a group. This is all part of your child’s emotional development. You will continue to see growth in their ability to identify, manage, and express their emotions independently. They will also continue to become more aware of other’s emotions and be able to relate to them.
4-YEAR-OLD EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
- Loves making other people laugh
- Begins to develop empathy
- Expresses anger verbally instead of physically
- Shares and takes turns most of the time
- Enjoys doing new things
EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
Simple, fun games can help your child learn how to identify, manage, and express their emotions. This will also help them with coping with their feelings and getting along with others. Art is a great calming tool and can also be used to support further emotional development. Creating art for others is a great way to strengthen your child’s social awareness and relationship skills.