Social and Emotional Development

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Social and emotional development is just as important to children's learning as their academic development. NAEYC's resources offer information about the latest research, ideas for classroom practice, and strategies to share with families.

Making Peace in Kindergarten

Read about one teacher's research and observations as she explores how to create a more peaceful and inclusive classroom.

Children working together as they care for a plant.

Spotlight on Young Children: Social and Emotional Development

Explore how teachers can use the opportunities embedded in their classroom practices, routines, and lessons to nurture healthy behaviors in children from birth through third grade. 

Young girls playing together with water.

Most Recent

A group of three happy children.
Article
Young Children
March 1, 2021

Viewpoint. We’re Not All Friends Here (and That’s Okay)

Should we refer to our class as friends? On the surface, this may seem like a simple question, but it represents a complex aspect of classroom ecology that is debated in early childhood circles.

Authored by

Authored by: Becky L. DelVecchio
Members Only
A parent shows a child a picture of a happy and a sad face.
Article
Young Children
March 1, 2021

“How Are You Feeling?” Strategies for Helping Children Understand and Manage Emotions

Young children with responsive caregivers are likely to thrive, whereas young children who experience emotionally unavailable environments are more likely to experience negative impacts on their cognitive, social, language, and emotional development.

Authored by

Authored by: Vonda Jump Norman, Audrey C. Juhasz, Krista Nicole Useche, Kristine M. Kinniburgh
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NAEYC president, Ann McClain Terrell
Article
Young Children
March 1, 2021

From Our President. Helping Children Hear Their Song

How can we better implement practices that build relationships and create environments that support positive social and emotional growth?

Authored by

Authored by: Ann McClain Terrell
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a parent holding two children
Article
Young Children
March 1, 2021

Rocking and Rolling. Caring for the Mental Health of Infants and Toddlers

In order to be part of an effective safety net for young children’s emotional well-being, we need to understand their unique vulnerability to trauma and extended stress during the first few years of life.

Authored by

Authored by: Kathy Reschke
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two babies looking at a book
Article
Young Children
March 1, 2021

What Babies Ask of Us: Contexts to Support Learning about Self and Other

Vivian Gussin Paley, author of thirteen insightful books that illuminate children’s social and emotional competence, captured the essence of what young children ask of us with respect to social and emotional support.

Authored by

Authored by: Mary Jane Maguire-Fong
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a preschool class arts and crafts project of many colors
Article
Young Children
March 1, 2021

Social & Emotional Development: For Our Youngest Learners & Beyond

This issue of Young Children offers research-supported responses to these questions with a cluster of articles devoted to intentional practices that promote social and emotional development.

Authored by

Authored by: Annie Moses, Stefanie Powers, Kathy Reschke
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the cover of the publication young children, Volume 76, Number 1
Issue
Young Children
Vol. 76, No. 1
March 1, 2021

Spring 2021

Social & Emotional Development: For Our Youngest Learners & Beyond
The Spring 2021 issue of Young Children includes a cluster of articles devoted to intentional practices that promote social and emotional development.
Members Only
Two young children explore and play with musical instruments
Article
Young Children
July 1, 2015

Rocking and Rolling—It Takes Two: The Role of Co-Regulation in Building Self-Regulation Skillsالتناغم والتآزر - يد واحدة لا تص فِّق: دور التنظيم المشترك في بناء مهارات التنظيم الذاتي عند الطفل

عندما يعاني الأطفال من التنظيم الذاتي ، يصعب عليهم الجلوس والتركيز والمشاركة في أنشطة التعلم.

Authored by

Authored by: Linda Groves Gillespie
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two professionals talking together
Article
Teaching Young Children
January 4, 2021

Beginning (or Continuing) the Journey to a More Equitable Classroom

Knowing that we all have implicit biases and, simultaneously, have the capacity to change our thinking and improve our practices, we’ve outlined four steps that early childhood educators can take to understand our own biases and to advance equity.

Authored by

Authored by: Janis Strasser, Llariley Coplin
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a parent painting with a child
Blog
January 4, 2021

Focus on DAP: Joyful Learning in a Tough Year

What does engaged joyful learning look like when many child care centers around the country are struggling, and educators, families, and children are navigating virtual school and social distancing?

Authored by

Authored by: Susan Friedman, Julia Luckenbill, Nicol Russell
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Two toads in a net with flowers.
Article
Young Children
November 18, 2020

The Toads: Refocusing the Lens (Voices)

In this article, I describe the moment where I learned to hear and respect the voices of children and to hear and respect my own voice as well.

Authored by

Authored by: Amanda Jo Messer
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A happy child playing with blocks.
Article
Young Children
November 18, 2020

Incorporating Knowledge from Children’s Homes and Communities: A Home-to-School Approach for Teaching STEM in Preschool

In this article, we explore a project whose goal is to use home- and community-based knowledge and concepts with which children are already familiar to introduce new topics around science and engineering in preschool.

Authored by

Authored by: Christine M. McWayne, Jayanthi Mistry, Sunah Hyun, Virginia Diez, Cynthia Parker, Betty Zan, Daryl Greenfield, Kimberly Brenneman
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young boy outside with magnifying glass
Issue
Young Children
Vol. 75, No. 5
November 18, 2020

December 2020

Knowledge-Rich Curriculum: Supporting Identity Development & Advancing Equity
The December issue of Young Children includes a cluster of articles with perspectives on enriching curriculum by connecting lessons to children's social and cultural contexts.
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