Social Skills - The emotional development of a toddler


The ability to deal with their own feelings and those of others, to understand, help and comfort others - these are all important milestones in a child's emotional development. Sharing positive early experiences of compassion, understanding, trust and reliability with the child's closest caregivers are important factors in helping children to develop socially and emotionally healthy, strong personalities.


Social Skills

How children learn emotions

Emotional learning starts right in the first months of life. In the years that follow, various areas of emotional and social skills continue developing, evolving in tandem and influencing each other. These include expressing emotions with language, gestures or facial expressions, getting to experience different emotions and their triggers, and being able to regulate their own feelings. Right from the start, babies express their emotions, but initially they do so without speech. All the same, parents can easily tell whether their baby is happy or angry. At the same time, in the first months of life, babies start to grasp that within their environment, feelings are being transmitted to them. This means that from a very early age, they can recognize their mother's calming voice. Once a toddler's speech has developed to a point that it is also possible for it to express feelings, the child's repertoire of emotional communication becomes much more extensive. Over time, a child learns to talk about feelings and gains the ability to anticipate emotional situations and its own reactions, as well as those of others.

Social skills are part of human nature

What all children have in common is that they are born as social beings. They seek contact with other people, feel feelings and can also recognize them. Nevertheless, it can be difficult for small children to categorize and process anger, grief, defiance or even arguments. This is why it is important to coach social skills and to practice over and over again in a variety of situations how harmonious interaction can work.

Fostering social skills in play

Fostering social skills with dolls

Role-play with dolls and puppets is a valuable experience for children. By reenacting their own everyday lives, imitating the actions of adults and putting their feelings into a play context, they are developing their emotional and social skills. In the article "Dolls as Friends for Every Child", you can find out more about how everyday life can be explored through play with HABA dolls.

Fostering social skills with play worlds

They can let their own imagination run wild or replay their own experiences - This works particularly well with the colorful game worlds! Playing on their own or together, Noah's Ark, the farm or the zoo offer lots of play options.

Fostering social skills with glove puppets

Caspar, Red Riding Hood, the magician and the wolf: Hand puppets are able to recount the funniest and the widest variety of stories! Children can immerse themselves in the role play or get inspired by little shows.