The social development of preschoolers is very important to parents and child care providers alike. Caretakers want to make sure that their preschoolers develop socially and emotionally, learn to cooperate with adults and children, and make friends.
Fostering pro-social behavior in preschool is a key component to helping children become socially competent. In our Care Course Preschoolers in Child Care, we look at many different aspects of childhood development.
Today we’ll take a look at social and emotional development in preschool and how young children learn to make friends.
Preschoolers and play
Preschoolers do a great deal of play learning, and so it isn’t surprising that they learn social skills through their play. Preschool-age children tend to take part in two types of play. In the early years of preschool, children tend to prefer nonsocial play. Though they are playing near or alongside other children, they do not interact. Social play develops in the later preschool years, though it does not replace nonsocial play. In all aspects of play, even independent and nonsocial play, is enhanced by the presence of other children. You can watch children move through the stages, learning and developing their social skills and friendships as they go.
As children develop, so too do their social skills.
As three-year-olds, children begin to see situations from another person’s point of view. Most Threes can play cooperatively, at least for short periods of time.
Friends only become more important by age four, when children are better able to take turns and share.
By the age of five, children have developed enough social competence to get along very well with friends. Five year olds are even more skilled in social interaction, and have a great need to make friends.
Childhood friends are an important part of the early childhood experience. Through these friends and playmates, preschoolers learn a great deal about themselves and the world around them. They learn to communicate and to cooperate, to resolve conflicts and to control their reactions.
In Preschoolers in Child Care you will learn more about the social development of preschoolers and how to develop prosocial behavior. You will find games, strategies, and communication tips to guide children along the social development process, and much more! If you are interested in this course, or in finding a similar Coursebook, you can find all of our Care Courses listed on our website.
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