Social Skills for preschool are something that early childhood teachers think about daily. Therefore, a big part of what happens in preschool is the building of social skills. Because interactive play develops social skills best, creating new and different situations for children to play with each other is essential to a child’s social development. Achieve this by establishing centers.
What are Centers in Preschool?
Centers are areas in the classroom where children can play and learn together. Each center usually has a theme or specific type of activity for the children to do. Some preschools refer to two types of centers: play centers and learning centers. However, children learn through play. Therefore, we believe that they should be one and the same. Consequently, social skills require preschoolers to learn and play together.
Social Activities for Preschool
We have come up with twelve different centers that we feel provide social preschool activities. A preschooler’s social-emotional development is a part of the whole child approach and the holistic education model.
1. Art Center
An art center is an excellent place to develop social skills for preschool. It is an area designed to create. Fill this area with various utensils for creating pictures such as crayons, markers, and paints. It should also contain a table and easel because children should explore creating art individually and with partners. Glue. scissors, rulers, construction paper, and magazine pictures are also great tools to have on hand. Every now and then, it can be fun to add new material to see what the students can create with it.
2. A Music Center can build social skills in preschoolers
A music center is a great place for children to create and listen to songs. A TV screen can play music. It should also contain instruments that allow the children to play rhythms and notes. With music goes dancing. Therefore, allow the music center to be in an area large enough for twirling and jumping.
3. A Transportation Center encourages social skills for preschool
Fill this center with toy trucks, cars, trains, and planes. It is a great idea to have a map rug that allows the children to move the vehicles across roads. A train table with wooden tracks is also a great way for children to build social skills while playing and learning in this area.
4. A Block Center allows preschoolers to build towers and social skills
Sometimes known as a construction center, this area should contain building materials such as wooden blocks, legos, or even cardboard boxes. Tool belts with toy screwdrivers and hammers can also be a fun addition to this center. As children build and tear down their creations, they learn how to share in achievements and disappointments.
5. Cooking Center
Actual cooking or pretend cooking can take place here. A toy kitchen filled with pots and pans, dishes, and toy foods will enhance a child’s imagination. A table and chairs are also a must so that the children can sit and eat together.
6. Dress-Up Center
This center can be combined with other centers. It is sometimes called dramatic play. Having it as its own are, however, allows students to dress up and become anything they want. Fill the area with costumes, clothes, hats, shoes, and bags. It is a good idea to also put dolls in this center with clothes that the students can dress them in as well.
7. Sensory Center
This center should contain items that will stimulate their sense. This is where sand, rice, or water tables should be. It might contain playdough or materials that are furry or prickly. containers filled with items that have different smells are also a great addition to this center. A lot of times this is a great spot for students to release anxiety and relax.
8. Reading Center
This center should be filled with comfortable seats and a lot of books. Young children read pictures before words. Therefore, fill this center with a lot of picture books that the students can read to one another. It is also a great spot to work on word-building activities.
9. Game and Puzzle Center
Likewise, the word-building activities can be placed in a game and puzzle center. Fill this area with age-appropriate puzzles and games. Preschool children love the idea of games and this is a great area to make learning feel like a game. Also, this is an area where you can encourage children to match shapes and colors, count objects, and take turns.
10. Social Studies Center
This is a center designed specifically for learning about social skills. This center might contain dollhouses and dolls that allow children to act out and create relationship scenarios. Maps and globes can also be a part of this center. Children will learn about different countries and cultures. As a result, they will be encouraged to pretend with new plots and settings.
11. Writing Center
Always encourage students to write. This is different from the art center where the focus is drawing and painting. In this center, the focus is on writing letters and numbers. Therefore, journals, chalkboards, whiteboards, and all types of paper should be supplied for children to explore and practice their own writing.
12. Puppet Center
Finally, the puppet center is an area where children can perform and share different stories. Filling this center with puppets of all kinds and a stage will allow children to grow more social skills. Puppets can be hand puppets, finger puppets, or stick puppets. In addition, it might surprise you how much a child expresses his feelings through the use of a puppet.
Here is a video of the signs being used in an actual school’s center rooms.
Social skills for preschool are not all that centers accomplish.
In addition, Little Pot has created center signs that list objectives for each area of growth. You can purchase full-color versions to print on legal paper here. To learn more about spiritual, social, and academic growth with Little Pot download a free copy of our growth model below.
Download a FREE copy of the model here.
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