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Social and Emotional Development



What is it?


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  • Developing an awareness of personal identity
  • Managing their own emotions and behaviours
  • Showing respect for diversity
  • Communicating, interacting and building relationships with others
  • Taking responsibility for their actions

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Why is it important?


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  • Develops in children a positive sense of themselves in relation to their peers, family and community
  • Builds self-confidence
  • Has positive impact on physical and mental health

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Photo Story 1


Making Friends


It is important to help children develop their social skills and learn how to interact well with their friends. Learn how you can make use of a sculpture, games and routines to get children to think about friendship and how they can work and play with their friends!
This sculpture is called “Chang Kuda” (“chang” means “to carry” and “kuda” is “horse” in Malay).
What does this sculpture show?
Get children to think about what friendship is:
Looking at their faces, how do you think the children feel? Why do you think they feel this way? What do you enjoy doing with your friends?
What are the children doing?
How are they working together? What games can you use to help children learn to work with one another?
What are the children doing?
How are they working together? How can you make use of routines to get children to work together?
What are the children doing?
How can you help your children better communicate with their friends?
What are the children doing?
How is role play useful in helping children play with each other? What other role play scenarios can you think of?

Photo Story 2


Understanding Feelings and Emotions


Young children may have difficulty identifying and understanding some of their feelings and emotions. We can help them to develop greater self-awareness and self-management so that they can learn how to better identify, understand and control their emotions and behaviours.

Find out how you can help children to identify their emotions and to manage them in appropriate ways.



Exploring feelings

Encourage children to make facial expressions to illustrate feelings such as happiness, sadness and anger, and observe themselves in the mirror.

Use "Feeling" cards

Provide neutral platforms for children to discuss emotions, such as through picture cards. Ask “What emotion is this? Why do you think he/she feels this way?”

Express feelings through art

Provide opportunities for children to draw and identify different expressions. When children recognise how others show feelings, they can better respond and show care for others.

Manage emotions and behaviours

Use stories, songs and puppets to model for children how to express and cope with emotions appropriately.

Manage emotions and behaviours

Provide readily accessible resource materials (e.g. emotion charts, and posters on conflict management) to remind children on ways to manage their emotions and behaviours.

Manage emotions and behaviours

Role-play provides ‘safe’ environments for children to identify and practice reactions to different situations. What scenarios can you pose to your children? 

Seize teachable moments

Seize teachable moments throughout the day, such as temper tantrums, to help children recognise and manage their emotions.