Emotional and Social Development
Preschool is a big step for children. It is a time when they learn to develop more independence from their parents and gain new friendships with peers. Young children at this age are very observant. They watch the adults and children around them to gain clues on how they should behave. The following articles explain the emotional and social development of preschoolers and the types of play they enjoy.
- Emotional Development of a Preschooler
- How Children Make Friends at Preschool: The Social Development of the 3 and 4-Year-Old
- It's Playtime! Types of Play in the Preschool Classroom
Teaching Preschoolers the Skills for Successful Friendships
Social skills are learned. Some children entering preschool have not spent a lot of time around other children and may not have learned the social skills that are important for making and keeping friends. Young students need to learn how to accept others that are different from them, how to be polite, show respect to others, how to share and how to have empathy for others. These important factors are the keys to successful interaction between peers. Use the following crafts and activities to teach children the skills they need to be good friends.
- Talking About Diversity with Preschool Children: Books to Share and Enjoy
- We are All Different, But All the Same
- Teaching Manners: Craft for Preschoolers
- Teaching Preschoolers Respect for Property the Fun Way
- How to Teach Preschool Kids to Share: Sharing Activities for Preschoolers
- Preschoolers Can be Empathetic
Preschool Friendship Lessons and Activities
Some children make friends easily, while others need a little encouragement. Preschoolers may have reservations about trusting new people and interacting in new social settings. Fun group activities can bring kids out of their shells and spark new friendships. Preschool children learn best by using multiple senses. They love to learn through interactive exploration. By seeing, touching, smelling and listening they eagerly absorb information around them. Try these fun and interactive preschool friendship lessons and activities to nurture children's imaginations and encourage socialization:
- Fun and Easy Ice Breakers for Preschool
- Preschool Meet and Greet Lesson Plan Ideas
- Lesson Plans for the First Day of Preschool: Getting to Know Each Other
- Preschool Social Skills Activity: New Friends
- Learning About Ourselves and Others: 5 Easy Activities to Incorporate Social Studies Into Your Preschool Curriculum
- Friendship Activities on "Hedgie's Surprise"
- Make New Friends But Keep the Old Friends Lesson
- A Pajama Party Preschool Theme
- Preschool Crafts on Friendship
- Learn About Love and Friendship with "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
- Writing Letters to Friends
- Increase Peer Interaction with Fun Zipper Activities
- Teach Teamwork and Enhance Socialization Skills with a Pet Party
- Host an Ice Cream Social Event
- "Henny Penny" Activities on Not Jumping to Conclusions
Christian Friendship Lessons
Love for one another is a common theme throughout the Bible. The Christian Bible teaches that we should serve and help others to show love. The following lesson plans and activities are based on biblical principles that will teach preschoolers how to be good friends according to God's will.
- Jesus Is My Friend
- Bible Stories to Teach About Serving Others
- We Like Helping Others
- Loving My Friends Preschool Valentine Ministry Lessons
- Making a Preschool Prayer Book: Praying for Each Other
Holidays are a perfect time for fun group activities. They represent times of sharing and giving. Take advantage of the holidays to teach children how to share and give to one another. Here are some fun group activity ideas to try:
- Thanksgiving Friendship Crafts
- You've Got Mail: Valentine Mail Box Play for Preschool
- Unity Kwanzaa Activities
- Birthday Party With Friends Theme for the Classroom
Having Fun with Friends Through Play
Young children love to play. Playing is more than fun to them; it is an important learning experience. Young children learn how to communicate and interact with each other during play activities. Fun group experiences help to form friendship bonds at this age. Try these structured group play activities to encourage healthy play and communication:
Problems with Friends
Some preschoolers do not make friends as easily as the rest of their classmates. Shy kids may be left out at playtime and keep to themselves. Kids who are being picked on by other children may withdraw from play activities to try to avoid harassment. At the preschool age, peer harassment often takes the form of name calling. Read the following articles for tips on how to help shy kids come out of their shells and take a look at the lesson plan on stopping name calling.
- Help Your Shy Child Make Friends in Preschool
- Advice for Teachers About a Child Not Playing at Preschool
- Stopping Name Calling in the Preschool Classroom with "Nosy Rosy"
End of School Activities
The end of the school year can be an emotional time for preschoolers. They may be sad or afraid to leave some of their friends, their classroom and their teacher. It is normal to have some reservations about change. Educators can ease the transition for students with fun end of the year crafts and activities to commemorate the fun preschool experiences the students had. Use the following ideas to make the end of the year a memorable one for your students.
- Preschool Memory Book Ideas
- Last Day of Preschool Ideas and Activities
- Make Friendship Medals for a Preschool Graduation Ceremony
Preschool is a magical time for children. The world opens up for them and brings them new experiences. Friendships are made and new skills are learned. Bright Hub's preschool friendship lesson plans can help children succeed in developing their new socialization skills.