Social development affects a child’s specific reactions, responses, techniques and strategies used in social situations like playing on the playground or doing group activities at school. So often enough, social and emotional development are learned and used in tandem starting from birth through adulthood. The greatest influence on a child’s social and emotional development happens through relationships developed in adolescence as quoted by Ovid (Roman Poet 427-347 BC), “In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.”
Attitudes and language development can also be promoted naturally through play experiences. Social development is just as important as meeting other milestones such as cognitive or physical development and is constantly evolving. Promoting healthy connections with peers and adults through social situations like play dates/ vacation trips are critical to establishing self-esteem, communication skills, and healthy attitudes towards self and others.
Use this activity to practice face recognition, phonics and directionality!
Print pictures of several photos of people in your child’s life. You can supplement various expressions with pictures downloaded from the internet
Cut out only the faces. For the child who is still learning to cut with scissors draw a circle around the face as a guideline
Glue onto poster board
Once your poster is complete you can engage in various associated activities:
a. Call out certain features or emotions such as, who looks happy? Who has long hair?
b. You can work on directionality by asking who is to the left of the girl with the blonde, curly hair?, etc.
c. You can work on phonics by asking the child to point to the person whose name starts with a “B”. You can extend this by asking for the last letter of that person’s name.
d. Have fun with emotions. Ask the child to identify the emotion on a certain face and then act out that emotion. Be sure to add silliness into the game so that your child stays engaged.
Note: This activity works particularly well as a preschool activity but can be fun for everyone. It would actually be fun to adapt this game for travel and add pictures of people and places that the child is likely to see/ has seen on their trip!
Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.