The social world of a four year old

Kindergarten-aged children are developing socially. They may have friends from playgroups, extended family, kindy or the neighbourhood they want to play with and please.

At this age, your child is aware of themselves as an individual. They might start to make comparisons or want to be more like their friends. You might hear them agreeing to rules or saying sorry in order to get along.

Your child may also have imaginary friends they enjoy playing with. Having imaginary friends is normal, and allows children to use their imagination and practice social skills in a safe environment.

Your child is still developing social skills through playing alone, with you or with other children. They are learning to take turns, negotiate, communicate ideas and manage conflict. While conflict management for a four-year-old might include wanting to play with the same toy as someone else, through working this out, they are learning the foundations of important social skills in a way that is relevant to them.

By talking with your child after play, you can help them deconstruct some of the things that happened and find new ways to approach issues they may have faced.

Image kindergarten children playing make believe

Published — 15 October 2016 Last updated — 02 November 2016

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