“If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We have been having a blast this month at the Children’s Center! Thanks to your incredible generosity during the Super Bowl Showdown in February, we have had our friends from the Coastal Discovery Museum here, teaching us all about the environment right here in the Lowcountry. The kids have loved the interactive and fascinating classes and were thrilled to have the opportunity to see (and even TOUCH) real life crocodiles, snakes, and all sorts of bugs that are native to the Lowcountry. We have read books and shared stories and we simply could not have had such a wonderful environmental education emphasis at the Children’s Center without you. Thank you!
Of course, it would not be spring at the Children’s Center if we were not celebrating our annual Dr. Seuss week! We had a blast decorating our doors, doing special activities in our classrooms, and dressing up as our favorite Dr. Seuss characters. We are grateful for all of the staff, parents, and teachers who made this a fun and engaging week.
Last month we began a series focused on understanding the South Carolina Early Learning Standards. These standards are the building blocks for the Children’s Center’s curriculum and has contributed to our 98.6% Kindergarten readiness standard. The goal of this series is to provide some practical ways parents can assist their children in hitting the appropriate developmental milestones for their child’s age range. This month we will focus on emotional and social development (ESD).
Here are some ways you can encourage emotional and social development in your preschooler:
Infants (Birth – 12 months):
At this age, children are just becoming comfortable with their bodies and environments. You will notice your child beginning to show signs of emotions like happiness, by smiling or frustration, by crying. At this stage it is important to observe the unique needs your child has and do your best to provide consistent care when it comes to meeting those needs. Comfort toys can be of benefit to infants emotionally at this stage of development.
Younger Toddlers (8 – 21 months):
At this stage, children are growing more comfortable in the exploration of their environment and making decisions/voicing preferences. They may start bringing you objects they find interesting and may have gotten more familiar with the word “no”. This is a good time to start helping your child feel comfortable expressing emotion by asking them how they feel and identifying feelings by name. Having a safe environment for children to explore is also an important part of their emotional development, so being intentional with nonhazardous play spaces is always a great idea. This is also a good time to start showing your child pictures of their family and using their home language to communicate with them on a daily basis.
Older Toddlers (18 – 36 months):
At this stage, independence is becoming more and more important. Scheduling play dates with other children and getting to know your child’s teachers and other caregivers is an important step in being involved in their social and emotional development. Teaching children important principles like sharing, taking turns, and being kind are important emotional milestones for your older toddler.
Younger Preschoolers (36 – 48 months):
Teaching your child to state positive things about themselves is an important part of the sense of self your child is developing. Encouraging them to push through small challenges, reminding them that they are loved and safe, and encouraging them to interact in positive ways with other children are other very important milestones at this age.
Older Preschoolers (48 – 60 months):
At about this age your child is beginning to grow confident in their own abilities, personality, and interests. Learn to observe and encourage their interests and capabilities as well as encourage them to take on new challenges. Teaching them to manage emotions like fear or anger by reframing a situation, expressing their thoughts and feelings verbally, and brainstorming solutions to problems is important. Reinforcing conflict resolution skills is also of value, as this age group is learning to make and keep friends on a much more complex level.
To learn more about the South Carolina Early Education Standards click here.
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