Unit 2 > Human Growth & Development > Social Development

Introduction to Social development

Emotional development is about an individual’s relationships with  people in different environments and situations.  From the time a baby is born they are aware of people and spend a lot of time watching and copying them.

A child will learn to:

  • Consider other people’s opinions, views and feelings
  • Share
  • Communicate with others
  • Become independent
  • Develop friendships

Activities that encourage social development:

  • Meeting other people in different situations and environments e.g. visits
  • Meeting people of all ages e.g. grandparents
  • Mixing with their peers e.g. playgroup
  • Contact with other cultures e.g. holidays
  • Opportunities to play

Importance of play

Play is a way that children learn how to get on with other children.  

The stages of play are:

Solitary play – playing alone – 0-2 years

Parallel play – playing alongside – 2 years old

Looking on play – watching other children play and copying them  - from 3 years old

Co-operative play – children play together and  share activities  - from 3 years old

Feeding, dressing, washing and toileting are important social skills

Factors that might affect social development

  • Problems with language development
  • Problems with physical development
  • Lack of opportunities to meet others
  • Weak bond with parents
  • Learning difficulties
  • Cultural difficulties
  • Poor role  models
  • Lack of opportunity to play with other children
  • Stress when feeding, dressing, washing and toileting