Our Hopster theme this month celebrates Friendship
Our Hopster theme this month celebrates Friendship. This is a great theme for developing children’s social and emotional skills and getting them talking/thinking about their relationships with others outside of the home environment.
Social and emotional development is a child’s ability to:
- understand the feelings of others
- control their own feelings and behaviours
- get along with other children and adults
- develop a positive self image
With children in the 2–6 age range, social and emotional skills require lots of nurturing and support as they grow and change. As we know, much of this usually happens through play either at home, at playgroups, playdates or/and nursery school. But 2020 has been a very different year for all families, and understandably many parents are worried that their children’s social and emotional development has suffered during the pandemic. This is a real concern, as children haven’t been able to attend their regular preschool environments for many months and in fact had very limited social interaction outside of their families.
At this stage, we don’t know how or if these skills have been impacted, but parents should have confidence that young kids are quick learners and their social and emotional development will have continued to evolve in different ways, even if they’ve been at home. Child Psychologists and Educators are also quick to remind us that children are resilient and what matters most is that they have a loving, supportive environment.
Remember, that all the playing, creating and making you’ve done with your child over the last few months still builds confidence and independence, and helps little kids learn essential friendship skills like sharing and taking turns. Through different kinds of play you have taught them problem solving as well as how to control their own behaviours and emotions. Whether it’s building dens, playing with blocks, dressing up or even baking, these activities are all learning experiences and continue to enhance social and emotional skills. No wonder parents are exhausted!! Time for Hopster to help..
Hopster’s Friendship Shows
We’ve got some brilliant shows that emphasise the importance of friendship; they teach little ones how to be a good friend, how to make friends and interact positively with peers as well as getting them to think about their own feelings too.
Young fairy princess Holly and her best friend, Ben Elf, live in Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass grow above the tallest towers. Being a princess, Holly has magical powers, but her attempts at magic often end up causing mayhem for her and her friend.
Molang is a cute show that centres around two best friends, Molang and Piu Piu, who always have a great time together whatever the adventure. This show explores friendship in a warm, funny and joyful way.
Daniel Tiger is a brilliant engaging show designed especially for preschoolers. It centres around a lovable tiger, Daniel, as the main character. Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key social skills necessary for making friends and going to school.
Research shows that watching together with your child increases children’s social emotional skills. If you’re watching with your little one,try these 3 things:
- Point out the positive things that the characters do e.g. good sharing, turn-taking.
- Encourage your child to do the same thing as the character did e.g. ask a child to play like Daniel Tiger did.
- Ask questions about the show encouraging them to think about what they would do in that situation e.g. Holly messes up a spell and causes a big problem. What should she do?
We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3! (book)
This is a Sesame Street book about friendship and autism, and features lots of characters your kids will already be familiar with. In this story Elmo, Abby, and their friend Julia, who has autism, have a wonderful playdate together.
Our SHARE game helps children learn how to interact positively and appropriately with others. It is a great starting point for introducing the skills of sharing and turn-taking to little ones as well as encouraging children to think about their own emotional expressions. In this game, Fluffster’s friends want to join Fluffster bouncing on the trampoline drum. The player must choose who should bounce next but must pay attention to who’s looking the most left out and try to share the fun equally.
Key learning skills:
✅ Understand how they and others show feelings
✅ Can play cooperatively, taking turns with others
✅ Show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings