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Social Development of Three- and Four-Year-Olds

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Social Development of Three- and Four-Year-Olds



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Preschoolers tend to be social beings. Whether they are playing with dolls side by side, building block castles together, or rolling down hills with friends, most young children enjoy the company of others. Playing together comes naturally, but you can help them negotiate turn taking, learning how to mend hurt feelings, and practice communicating positively while they play. Social Development for Three- and Four-Year-Olds highlights the milestones children tend to reach during the preschool years as they develop socially. You will see classroom scenarios that can provide insights into some of the ways young children make social connections, express their preferences, and play together. You will also learn strategies for supporting and nurturing their growth, especially in situations involving the following types of social skills:

  • Forming friendships
  • Sharing and cooperating
  • Building a sense of happiness
  • Dealing with teasing
  • Playing in rough-and-tumble ways
  • Exploring diversity
  • Developing gender awareness
  • Listening actively
  • Building verbal communication skills
  • Using the imagination during play

As a guide and facilitator, you can share strategies that will help preschoolers learn to be cooperative team members and kind friends while having fun together.

Part of the Gryphon House Growing Up in Stages series.

Susan A Miller

Susan A. Miller, EdD, is a Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She has a long career in education spanning forty years as a preschool teacher and...

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“Only Susan Miller can bring to life developmental theory through descriptive real-life stories of children’s behavior and interactions, which will serve as equally engaging resources for future teachers and parents.”

Judi Simmons Estes
Associate Dean School of Education Park University

“I enjoyed that the book provided a section on teasing and also rough-housing.  Both are important in developing social skills but often teasing is left off.  I was glad to see diversity skills such as prejudice, stereotypes, skin color and holidays addressed.   The section on gender preferences was thoughtful and provided easily understood examples for readers. Listening and talking are often thought of as cognitive skills, ,but I was glad to see them in social skills since that is how children become better friends and learn to socialize.  Often the lack of these skills is why some children struggle with social skills. ”

Debbie Vera
Associate Professor Texas A&M University

“As I was reading each of the three books in Susan Miller’s newest series, I found myself absorbing the curiosity, wonder, and awe that she shares as an observer and story-teller of children’s development, while unwittingly increasing my passion for understanding the nuances of the developmental process.”

Judi Simmons Estes
Associate Dean School of Education Park University

“Susan has been a personal friend and a resource for me since my classroom days teaching four-year olds in San Antonio, Texas to my years on the road speaking to teachers about the ages and stages of early childhood development. I always sought out her opinions and insights. Now I do not have to call her. I have her books! Her understanding of social, cognitive, and emotional development in young children is unrivaled. She explains ages and stages in her unique way, clean, simple, honest She is a gifted writer with a real empathy and understanding for her subjects: children. Susan Miller's books belong in the personal library of any early-childhood teacher. Buy them. ”

Sharon MacDonald
Author, Early Childhood Trainer

“The writing style was very personal and engaging for teachers to read.   The scenarios with each concept appropriately illustrate the concept and allow readers to apply the concept to classroom situations.  It is necessary to have these scenarios with preschool becoming more academic since readers may not see or read about appropriate practices.   Family connections were a good addition and will provide resources to the readers  The related books provided readers with appropriate examples of books that children lover to hear over and over again.  The tables provided the reader with easily read explanations .  When the table was differentiated into two ages, it will be very appropriate content for readers who serve both 3's and 4's in the same room.   ”

Debbie Vera
Associate Professor Texas A&M University

“Growing Up in Stages provides the early childhood educator with practical, hands-on learning experiences that can be easily implemented in the classroom. Whether you are a new teacher or just looking to expand your knowledge base, Susan Miller provides you with a wealthy of developmentally appropriate activities to add to your collection and the best part is that each book is based on an area of development that can be integrated into all areas of the classroom.”

Tracey Keyes
Professor, Kutztown University