Importance of Social Emotional Development for Preschoolers

Posted By Terrie VanZandt-Travis on Feb 25, 2016 |

At Growing Futures, we understand the value and importance of nurturing social and emotional development of pre-kindergartners.

We know that children’s emotional well-being during their early years, has a powerful impact on their social relationships throughout the rest of their lives. Children who are in preschool (ages 3-5) are learning to talk about their feelings, and the feelings of others. But social and emotional development involves more than just expressing ones feelings and emotions. It includes learning to take turns, becoming independent, following routines, interacting more with peers, controlling emotions, engaging in meaningful relationships with others, and developing a positive self-image. By learning these important skills, children have the opportunity for better participation in school, at home, and throughout their lives.

Daily interactions provide preschoolers with multiple opportunities to continuously improve and grow in their social and emotional development.

Building relationships with others:

  • Whether it is during work time, center time, outdoor time, etc., our preschoolers are constantly using their words and sentences to express themselves, share toys, and solve problems. Social and emotional development gives children a better understanding of their feelings, and their peers’ feelings (they are able to express them in a healthy manner) all while creating conflict resolutions with guidance from their teachers.
  • Preschoolers at Growing Futures also have the opportunity to build relationships with adults by interacting with and learning from volunteers in their classrooms.

Creating self-awareness:

  • As children grow, their ability to control their bodies and take turns during various activities throughout the day also improves. For example, sitting still during circle time, standing quietly and walking in line when going to and from the restroom or outside for outdoor time.

Regulating and controlling emotions:

  • Help and practice is still needed with developing appropriate behaviors, but preschoolers are constantly learning new ways to manage their emotions to match the situation and environment. For example, instead of yelling or crying at a peer when interacting with each other, they may say “I’m upset because…” or “You hurt my feelings because…”. Also, they may get excited and hug a teacher or volunteer when they come into the classroom because they are happy they are there.

Gaining independence:

  • By having predictable daily routines and activities at school (and at home), preschoolers are able to gain healthy independence. One daily example of this is when they eat their breakfast, lunch and/ or snack here. We serve the meals here family style, so the children are able to use and develop their fine motor skills to serve and feed themselves, and clean up after themselves as well.
  • Independence is also gained by playing independently, and daily tooth brushing, among many other tasks.

We look forward to helping the children in our program with their social and emotional development as we prepare them for future success.


February 2016