Colors and shapes are only part of the puzzle of early childhood development. According to FasTracKids, a New York City-based learning center, the formative toddler years are absolutely crucial for helping your child respond well to others and prepare them for the structured environment of the classroom. From preschool activities to play time, children have a lot to learn before heading off to school.
5 Ways To Incorporate Social & Emotional Development In Your Toddler’s Preschool Activities
1. Start Small
Emotions are complex and abstract, so it’s important to start with simple emotions like happy, mad, and sad. From there, you can build up to more complex emotional and social concepts, like jealousy, frustration, and embarrassment.
2. Support Your Child’s Feelings
The way you respond to your child’s feelings will create a foundation for their own emotional responses. If your child is upset, for instance, instead of telling her to stop crying, ask what has made her cry.
3. Model Empathy Toward Others
During preschool activities with siblings and other kids, guide your child to think empathetically about others’ feelings. Remind your toddler to share and consider the perspectives of other children.
4. Identify With Characters
In addition to peers in real life, toddlers can learn a range of emotions and social skills through simple books and cartoons. After reading or watching, encourage your little one to think about how the main character was feeling throughout important parts of the story.
5. Encourage Generosity
Sharing, kindness, and generosity can be expressed at any age, whether your child is sharing with others or choosing toys to give to the less fortunate. To reinforce the positive aspects of sharing, ask your child how it felt to share — she may be surprised to find that it felt very good.
To learn more about preschool activities, classes, and enrichment programs, call FasTracKids at (347) 983-2229 or visit their website.