Promoting Social-Emotional Development In Children: Experiences And Activities

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For children, playing is what they usually use to learn and practice their social skills and healthy behavior. This is the reason why play is an integral part for children’s social-emotional development. A play is a primary tool to exercise their skills.


In this article, these objectives will be discussed:

  • Explaining the significance of play in the social-emotional development of a child
  • Describing how social-emotional development is supported by cooperative learning
  • Identifying what are the skills that should be developed in activities that can promote the social and emotional development

For the activities that school-age children can partake in, it must be able to support their social-emotional development. Schools are supposed to be equipped in this type of activity because the time of a child is spent majorly in educational institutions.


The Importance Of Play

For an adult, children who are playing may seem to be just about all fun and games, but a play is actually necessary. Children also have responsibilities to do during school, so free play is when they are allowed to explore their imaginations. Playing also enables them to work hard at the following:

  • Practicing social skills like sharing toys or food and negotiating with playmates
  • Learning how to listen to others and respond in a conversation properly
  • Accepting how it is to be a gracious winner or an accepting loser
  • Understanding characteristics of play and socializing
  • Adapting a disciplined approach to play
  • Showing empathy to others
  • Improving one’s creativity and problem-solving skills

Researches also showed the other positive effects of play:

  • Children who participate in play activities are more empathic compared to those who don’t usually do it. They are also socially and intellectually capable.
  • Playing outdoors also allow the children to improve on their physical health and practice on skills like conflict resolution.
  • Those who participate in play which involves storytelling have better vocabulary, comprehension and possess an understanding of other people’s thoughts and beliefs.
  • There are also relations between dramatic play in children and early reading ability.

Children still learn social skills no matter the kind of play they engage in, but dramatic play gives them better opportunities to improve their social skills. This is because it allows them to explore their creative imagination and then, act it out with other children, which then builds teamwork.

Free play allows children to explore their creativity and practice their other developing skills, so it’s important for school staff to enable them to do this.


Cooperative Learning


Cooperative Learning involves being in an educational environment that stimulates people to achieve a common goal. This is most effective if there is a teacher who will guide the children. In this type of learning, children from different backgrounds will have to work together to accomplish a shared objective. Here are some other benefits of cooperative learning:

  • Children have more respect for each other.
  • The kids have improved self-esteem.
  • There is more participation in higher thinking.
  • It allows children to play outdoors.

One can facilitate cooperative learning by placing children in groups to work on a particular project. In this way, they can learn how to deal with the peers and learn from one another.


Activities And Experiences

If you’re a staff member of a school, you are usually responsible for planning and facilitating activities for social-emotional development of your students. Well-planned activities not only help those who have difficulty with social skills but it is for everyone.

Excellent activities promoting social-emotional development must include:

Self-awareness and self-control. Kids should know how to control their emotions. They must be aware of it and how it affects others.

Effective listening and observation. This would allow them to be able to converse with other people properly.

Knowledge of a range of emotions. It would help the kids understand their feelings and know how to react, as well.

Imagination. This helps the children show more empathy for others.

Tolerance and acceptance. It teaches the children to respect diversity.

Problem-solving. This allows them to solve their conflicts and issues.


While planned activities help facilitate the social-emotional development of children, this also happens naturally. The kids could gain skills just by playing with other children. While being in the playground, it allows the kids a chance to practice their social skills and learn conflict resolution, example, when a fight happens. With this, there must also be free play in a child’s schedule.

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