Building Social Skills in Preschoolers

Building social skills in preschoolers is a big deal, not just for their day-to-day lives, but because it sets them up for success in the future. There are many fun and engaging ways little ones can learn social skills, both at kindergarten and at home. In this article, we’ll cover all the best ways to help you make sure your child is well-prepared to make friends and engage with other people well.

Why your little one needs good social skills 

There are so many reasons why our little ones need to have good social skills. From expressing themselves and how they feel, to engaging and interacting with other people, learning social skills in preschool is foundational to their growth. Below are just some of the most significant reasons your little one needs to have well-developed social skills: 


One of the most important parts of your little one’s development is how they learn to communicate with you and others around them. The ability to express themselves clearly and listen actively is fundamental to having positive and engaging social interactions with other kids.


Humans are incredibly emotional, and, in many ways, connect with other people through our emotions. Understanding and recognising other people’s emotions, and then offering support and kindness, is a large part of how our little ones will begin building relationships. 

Working together

As your child grows older, the need to work collaboratively with other kids to achieve common goals will increase. Our little ones need social skills to navigate interactions with other people so that they’re able to achieve a single goal together. 

Conflict Resolution

Social skills are essential in having the ability for conflict resolution. A child needs social skills to understand how to deal with difficult situations including other children. 


You’ve probably read this term or heard about it in parent groups. For a little one to manage their emotions and handle frustration constructively, they need to have emotional understanding, which is informed by social skills. 


Social skills allow our little ones to understand and express themselves. This builds their sense of independence and enables them to take on new situations more confidently.

How to develop their social skills 

Luckily, there are a million ways for you to help your child develop their social skills in preschool. We’ve broken them up into ways that schools can help – so you can make sure the kindergarten you’ve chosen has activities in place to grow your child socially. We’ll then cover all the things you, as a parent or caregiver, can do to grow their social skills.

What should kindergartens be doing?

To help your little one with their memory development, you can play games with memory cards and engage in scavenger hunts throughout your home. You can also encourage your little one to retell stories back to you to begin strengthening their narrative memory. Getting them to replicate visual patterns with objects like blocks or toys is also a great way to help them understand patterns, which build their short-term memory. 

Group Activities

For strong social skills, kids need to interact with other children. This gives them the opportunity to practice sharing, taking turns, and cooperating with each other. Most kindergartens will include group activities designed to help kids engage with each other. 


When kids engage in role-playing games or scenarios, like pretending to be a shopkeeper, a pirate, or any other role that mimics social situations, they’re able to practice problem-solving and conflict resolution – and all while having fun.

Teaching Conflict Resolution

It’s important that the educators at your little one’s kindergarten are purposeful about teaching little learners how to resolve conflict peacefully by using words, sharing, or seeking help from adults when they need to.

Establish Play Rules

One of the easiest ways to begin the social skills learning journey is by setting simple playtime rules in the games a kindergarten has planned for kids. Establishing gentle rules in their games encourages fair play and stimulates consideration of other kids during playdates or group activities.

What can parents do?

Model social behaviour

Children often learn by watching the way we, as adults, behave and respond. By demonstrating positive social behaviours to them (like listening, taking turns, and using polite language), they’ll have a great example with which they can build their own social skills. 

Active listening

One of the most powerful things you can do for your little one’s growth is actively listen to them. Ask them about their day, or a specific experience and then sit and listen. It gives them confidence to express themselves, and shows them how to listen to others. 

Teach empathy

Another great way to build your little one’s social skills in preschool is by encouraging them to try and make sense of, and empathise with, other kids’ feelings. You can do this by discussing emotions with them, and asking how they think their friends might feel in different situations.

Positive reinforcement

Almost every child will respond well to encouragement and praise when they do something right, or well. Offer praise and positive reinforcement when your little one demonstrates good social skills. For example, you could reward them, or simply praise them for sharing or being kind to another child.

Building into your little, starting today 

It’s so important to remember that every child develops at their own pace, and that building social skills in preschool marks the beginning of a long journey. Be consistent, provide positive reinforcement, and create a supportive environment – and you’ll be doing everything you need to help your little one develop social skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. 

At Child’s Play, we build social skill-based activities into every part of our curriculum. Our goal is to make learning fun and engaging, while supporting each child at their own pace. If you’re looking to enrol your little one into a kindergarten in your area, get in touch with a member of our team today, and let’s start growing your child into the healthy, happy person they’re meant to be.