Social and Emotional Development

Young girl smiling

You are here

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

two young children eating their snacks together
Article
Young Children
June 1, 2022

Viewpoint: A Culture of Their Own: Exploring Childhood as a Unique Cultural Group

This article focuses on one aspect of a child’s specific culture—making and relating to friends—and the paradigm shift that occurs when teachers evaluate what they observe and experience with children by the yardstick of childhood rather than adulthood.

Authored by

Authored by: Emily Plank
Members Only
a child playing in a box
Article
Young Children
June 1, 2022

The Power of Playful Learning in the Early Childhood Setting

This excerpt from Developmentally Appropriate Practice illustrates the ways in which play and learning mutually support one another and how teachers connect learning goals to children’s play.

Authored by

Authored by: Jennifer M. Zosh Caroline Gaudreau Roberta Michnick Golinkoff Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
Members Only
the cover of the publication young children, Volume 77, Number 2
Issue
Young Children
Vol. 77, No. 2
June 1, 2022

Summer 2022

DAP and Playful Learning: Equitable Approaches
This issue of Young Children delves into different aspects of play, different roles of educators during play, and the contexts of children and families with play.
Members Only
A group of children on a playground.
Article

Embracing Different Perspectives

This article explains how to cultivate trust in young children so their interactions with other children and their friendships function in healthier, stronger ways.

Authored by

Authored by: Teresa Draguicevich
Members Only
a child reading a book
Article

What Happens If I Touch this Button? Giving the Silenced a Voice

When I explored the options Zoom provided during virtual meetings, I discovered that its Spotlight feature and the mute button were two ways to work toward learning goals and an approach focused on the whole child.

Authored by

Authored by: Garnett Booker
Members Only
A child writes a poem.
Article

Learning Joy and Resilience Through Kindergartners

We may not be able to control the spread of the virus, the changing mandates, or the inequities and social justice issues intensified by the pandemic, but we can control how much our children feel loved by us.

Authored by

Authored by: Larissa Hsia-Wong
Members Only
children wading in muddy field
Article

Walking to Joy: Using Our Values as Our Map

Over the course of this past year, there have been many inspiring lessons and joys. In this piece, I want to share my two main takeaways.

Authored by

Authored by: Kim Lee Ripley
Members Only
A group of children on a playground.
Article
Young Children
December 1, 2021

But Can I Trust You? Embracing Different Perspectives (Voices)

This article explains how to cultivate trust in young children so their interactions with other children and their friendships function in healthier, stronger ways.

Authored by

Authored by: Teresa Draguicevich
Members Only
a child in a wheelchair exiting a bus
Article
Young Children
December 1, 2021

Teaching Young Children About Disability

In this article, I explore how young children develop attitudes and understandings about disability.

Authored by

Authored by: Sue Mankiw
Members Only