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Social Emotional

Navigating friendships and understanding emotions is like learning a new dance for your child.


As they enter school, they must leave the security of home and family, perhaps for the first time. As part of a larger social group, they're becoming better at reading social cues and expressing their feelings. Empathy begins to play a bigger role as they consider the feelings of others.

Your School-Ager (Ages 6-10)

This is an important time for social and emotional growth. Your child is developing their ability to recognize their own emotions and those of their peers. They’re starting to understand the complexities of friendships, including empathy, cooperation and resolving conflict. They’re beginning to form deeper bonds with friends and navigating the ups and downs of relationships. They’re also learning to understand and appreciate the differences in other people, which helps them to be more considerate and accepting.

  • Emotions in Color

    Just like a painter uses a color palette to convey different moods and emotions, your child is learning to identify and express a wide range of feelings. They're beginning to understand that it's okay to feel different emotions, and that talking about their feelings can help.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Does the program encourage open discussion about feelings? Look for environments where kids feel supported in expressing their feelings constructively.

  • The Art of Friendship

    Friendships are becoming more complex and significant. Your child is learning not just how to make friends, but also how to be a good friend. They're discovering the fun of shared interests and the comfort of reliable, time-tested friendships.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    How does the program encourage kids to interact with one another? Look for opportunities where children are encouraged to collaborate, to support each other and to build strong relationships.

  • Community and Compassion

    Your child is developing a sense of community and the importance of compassion and empathy. They're learning to appreciate the value of helping others and the positive impact they can have on the world around them.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    How does the program incorporate any community-building activities? Look for programming that encourages kids to work together for a common goal and that teaches them about belonging and inclusiveness.

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!


From morning routines to evening activities, your child continues to develop. Explore these ideas

for enhancing their skills and strengthening family bonds. Remember, all children progress at their own pace and in unique ways. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age, check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions, please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • Feeling Charades

    Play a game of charades with a twist, focusing on emotions. Write down various emotions on slips of paper (e.g., happiness, sadness, excitement). Take turns drawing a slip and acting out the emotion without using words, while others guess what it is. This game can help children better understand and intentionally express different feelings

  • Gratitude Jar

    Create a "Gratitude Jar,” where each family member can write down something they’re thankful for on a small piece of paper and drop it into the jar. Set aside some time each week to read them aloud together. This can help build a positive outlook — it encourages thoughtfulness and helps kids appreciate the good things they have in their lives

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