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Buyer's Guide: Classroom Materials that Support Social Development

by Scott Broutte, Barb Gallick, Lisa Lee, and Pam Morbitzer
March/April 1999
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/buyers-guide--classroom-material-that-support-social-development/5012692/

"Plays well with others." You'll find that criteria on most early childhood developmental checklists. Early childhood educators have always focused on social development when implementing programs and curriculum. Helping young children develop strong social skills is essential for them to be successful throughout life.


When looking around our classroom, we realized that some of the play areas promoted more social interaction between children than others. We identified the block area, dramatic play center, sensory table, and outdoor play space as areas where social development opportunities abound.

In any of the four play areas, children will use many different social skills: problem solving, discussing play themes, cooperation, compromise, teamwork, negotiation, creating stories, listening to others, and respecting others' opinions. We have created a list of materials that stimulate social development in each of these classroom areas. To keep them fresh and enticing to children, it is important to rotate materials regularly. Different materials will invite children to explore a classroom area, thus setting the stage for continued social interactions.

Block Area

Provide a large space that will allow children to build large block structures. When possible, locate the block area in a low traffic area so block buildings can be left up for extended periods of ...

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