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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > 4 to 5 Years > Social Development

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Social Development: 4 to 5 years

Social Development means being able to make friends and get along with others, to work as part of a team and be a good leader, all of which are built on self-confidence, cooperation and trust.

Emerging Skills
  • Spontaneously take turns and share
  • Usually play well in groups for an extended period of time
  • Cooperate with adult requests most of the time
  • Recognize another's need for help and give assistance
  • Be gaining greater independence with daily routines, such as feeding or eating
  • Use their imagination to create play experiences
  • Find out more about What to Expect from your preschooler, 4 to 5 Years.


    Through the comfort and responsiveness of an adult, preschoolers will learn how to handle their emotions and how to seek help when needed.

    Parents Can:
  • Take out an old photo album, and look at the various family members engaging in different activities
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy looking at himself and others
  • Remember the shared experiences
  • Have an increased sense of belonging to the family

  • Parents Can:
  • Provide opportunities for their older preschooler to create her own stories, either by drawing pictures or just by telling them to others
  • Child Will:
  • Use her imagination
  • Experiment with her ideas and see your reaction
  • Enjoy talking and sharing her ideas with you

  • Parents Can:
  • Offer praise for their preschooler's efforts at independence
  • Child Will:
  • Feel proud of his accomplishments and have a strong sense of his abilities
  • Feel encouraged to continue to try
  • Seek adult approval more often

  • Play

    Through opportunities for play, preschoolers will experience joyful, free, spontaneous moments of fun while also learning about themselves and others.

    Parents Can:
  • Encourage more sophisticated dramatic play by providing props for a restaurant or grocery shopping expedition
  • Child Will:
  • Practice adult skills she has observed
  • Engage in problem-solving and conversation
  • Use her creativity and imagination

  • Parents Can:
  • Provide many opportunities for social interactions with other preschoolers
  • Child Will:
  • Practice social skills while playing with his peers
  • Begin to create his own games and rules
  • Feel more confident with certain skills
  • Feel a sense of belonging

  • Parents Can:
  • Encourage participation in interactive games, such as hide-and-seek, tag, Farmer in the Dell and so on
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy playing with you
  • Learn to play cooperative games

  • Teach

    Through routines, and emotionally and physically safe and secure environments, preschoolers can learn how to think, solve problems and communicate.

    Parents Can:
  • Encourage their preschooler to stay involved in play activities. For example, if he says he is finished drawing when he has made only a stick figure, ask what else the person in the picture might like to do. Don't dictate answers, but gently guide your preschooler to stick to a task for longer periods
  • Child Will:
  • Learn to persist on a task
  • Learn to sustain interest and attention for longer periods of time
  • Spend time playing on his own

  • Parents Can:
  • Give their older preschooler the opportunity to play with younger children
  • Child Will:
  • Feel a sense of leadership
  • Learn to recognize when a younger child may need some help
  • Feel valued and important

  • Emotional Development: 4 to 5 years
    Intellectual Development - Language: 4 to 5 years
    Intellectual Development - Numeracy: 4 to 5 years
    Intellectual Development - Problem Solving: 4 to 5 years

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