Preschool Ready: Social and Emotional Learning

This month’s Preschool Ready series post includes activities and books around preparing young children with social emotional skills. According to MI Kids Matter, “developing strong social and emotional skills can help a child feel confident with building relationships, taking initiative to get their needs met, expressing how they feel in safe ways and asking for help when they need it.”

MI Kids Matter (from goes on to talk more about social and emotional milestones for young children which you can continuing reading about here.

Below are some activity ideas and books that will help support your young one’s social and emotional skill development.


  • Ask your little one to use a stuffed animal, doll or toy to help practice their manners like saying ‘sorry,’ or ‘thank-you.’
  • Use emotion flashcards or ask your little one to draw how they’re feeling to start the conversation around emotions and feelings.
  • Encourage pretend play like dress-up or using puppets in order to help young children explore another person’s perspective.
  • Play and sing songs around social and emotional themes such as manners, friendship, kindness, taking turns, following directions and sharing emotions like happiness. A familiar song to start would be “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
  • Play interactive games like “Simon Says,” “Red Light, Green Light” or “Follow the Leader” to help young ones get used to following directions and taking turns.
  • Play collaborative games and activities such as building something together, playing tag, moving through an obstacle course or coloring in a large coloring-page to encourage young children to work and play together to reach a common goal.


The Manners Matter to Maevis book series by Vickey Burearu has some great titles on this topic. Here are just a few:

Other books on this topic: