Teaching children about personal space and fostering self-regulation is arguably an early childhood educator’s most important job. Research tells us that children with strong social/emotional skills have more positive relationships, are happier, and are more successful academically than children who exhibit social/emotional difficulties. Children who are mentally healthy are generally more self-aware, that is, they understand their own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how those things affect other people. The more self-aware you are, the more you understand your impact on other people. How, then, do we help young children begin to think about boundaries and self-reflect? How can we support them in naming their emotions and overcoming challenges? Below are 6 simple activities to get you started.
by Cora Tormaschy
As toddlers grow up, they often get used to adults doing everything for them, whether it’s zipping their coat or buttoning their shirt. Toddlers are curious by nature, and so you have probably noticed them watching you do these tasks that you don’t normally think twice about. For instance, I was watching my three-year-old niece trying to button her pajama top for the first time when I remembered that we all had to be taught how to do everyday tasks such as that one. It is easy to forget that little everyday tasks take A LOT of concentration and energy for little fingers, but it’s a very important stage of early learning and development.