It’s often easy to think about our children learning their basics—to read, to write, to talk–but what about how to become a balanced and emotionally-grounded person? As you probably know, social and emotional development begins early in a child’s life as they are building their brain’s foundational architecture, but how do you work on it at such an early age?
A child’s emotional health is tied to their social and emotional experiences in their environment. For a preschooler, their emotional state is more complex than any other time–-perhaps we all know this too well! It’s in this period they are building their emotional regulation and problem-solving skills such as planning, judgment, and decision-making.
Research shows that it’s particularly in the preschool years when the interconnections within a child’s brain circuit support emotional maturity. Children who are guided to have a strong emotional foundation in their preschool years are better able to manage everyday conflicts, as they are able to anticipate and articulate their own and others’ feelings. What an amazing life skill to master!
Looking for a few simple ways to develop these oh-so-important skills with your children? One activity we use within our classroom is the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds activity set. This set contains 100 cards with various exercises demonstrated that not only allow the kids to focus on becoming still and centered but also open up a sense of teamwork! Through various exercises such as Inhaling the Universe, Mountain Rising or even Partner Yoga, the children have a blast trying to perform the move shown on each card.
We also incorporate the game, Find Monty!, which is an excellent way to help children learn to better communicate, all while trying to…you guessed it, Find Monty, a cute white cat who keeps hiding! This simple game allows children to develop language, observation, and spatial perception to work together to find that cat.
Although we all know the importance of academics, we as parents and educators need to also pay significant attention to social and emotional development for our little leaders. What are your favorite resources?
Looking to refresh your Social/Emotional resources? Here are some of our favorites!
Build-a-Robot - PLN-115
Interactive Emotions Board - LTP-209
What Do You Do With? Book Set - CPD-4
Expression Babies - CP-039
Have a moment to share with us? Be sure to tag us and use the hashtag #constructiveinsights in your post. We’d love to potentially feature you on our social feeds and/or in an upcoming email!