Visual Arts

How do your kids learn through friendships and routines?

Social Skills

What's the most essential thing our preschoolers need to learn before walking into their first day of Kindergarten? Well...how to walk into Kindergarten. That is to say, how to function independently in the group setting of the classroom: how to trust teachers and get along with new friends, how to share toys and clean up after themselves, how to wash their own hands, how to put on their own coats and mittens, and on and on. Considering that these little ones were mere helpless babes a short while ago, it's truly amazing just how self-reliant they've become. As we shake our heads in wonder over all they can do, let's also think about what more we can teach them so they'll feel as self-confident as can be when they first walk through that school door.

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Core Skills for Social Skills

Click on the skills below to see what you can do at home to help your child develop essential art skills.

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    Function and work constructively in a group setting, using appropriate social skills (e.g., help set table, wipe up spills, say excuse me, accept a compliment, apologize, etc.) (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More I Can Help
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's sense of community and personal responsibility with this laundry sorting activity.
    99 ¢ Learn More Clean Up Time
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's sense of community and personal responsibility with this toy box sorting activity.
    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Halloween Napkin Rings
    Parent Created Activity
    Have your child help decorate the table this Halloween with fun and creative homemade napkin holders. Take empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes (cut them if necessary) and ...more
    FREE Learn More Picnicking Indoors
    Parent Created Activity
    For those long winter days when you can't get outside, your toddler will love having an indoor picnic. Have your child help you pack up a basket full of ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $19.99 Learn More Magnetic Responsibility Chart
    Help kids understand the concept of behavior and rewards. This entertaining, magnetic activities board feature the innovative combination of magnets and wood. Includes a dry-erase board and 134 magnets depicting ...more
    $6.99 Learn More The New Baby at Your House
    The whole notion that there's a baby inside mommy's tummy is wonderfully abstract to most preschoolers. So as the big day approaches, there's some value to bringing this fuzzy concept ...more

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    Share or take turns using toys and materials (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Sing a Song of "It's My Turn"
    Parent Created Activity
    It happens on every playdate -- two children want to play with the same toy. One way to help them to learn to take turns and work things out ...more
    FREE Learn More Countdown to Your Turn
    Parent Created Activity
    Sharing is always a difficult thing to do (even for grown-ups) and can be especially challenging during playdates and playgroups. One way to make a "turn" seem more finite ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $22.99 Learn More Candy Land Castle Game
    Who would have thought that our babbling little cave-babies would ever become civilized enough to sit down and actually follow the rules to a game? What we love about this ...more
    $29.99 Learn More Hullaballoo
    The fine folks behind Cranium games have turned their attention to the preschool and up set in this great game. It is electronic, which means that the little ones might ...more

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    Ask appropriately for help of an adult when needed (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Role Reversal
    Parent Created Activity
    Sometimes it's a fun treat for your child to get to be the "parent" for a little while. One afternoon, make a game out of reversing roles with your ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $16.99 Learn More Giraffes Can't Dance
    Gerald is a giraffe who simply canšt dance. Try as he may, his long, spindly legs buckle whenever he starts to boogie. Every year he dreads going to the Great ...more

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    Identify and follow classroom or house rules (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More No Shirt, No Shoes, No Dice
    Parent Created Activity
    Posting a list of rules and responsibilities for your house can be a good way to help your child remember the things that you find to be most important -- ...more
    FREE Learn More What are Good Rules for...?
    Parent Created Activity
    Next time you're headed to a restaurant or some other place where your child will need to be on his or her best behavior, make a game out of learning ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $29.99 Learn More Hullaballoo
    The fine folks behind Cranium games have turned their attention to the preschool and up set in this great game. It is electronic, which means that the little ones might ...more
    $11.99 Learn More eeBoo Magnetic Slides and Ladders
    If your preschooler is getting pretty close to mastering numbers (or if you'd like to boost the current max from, say, 20 to 100), he will love Chutes and Ladders. ...more

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    Demonstrate an ability to listen (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More The Gingerbread Man
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's listening skills as you review the steps to listening and practice with this retelling of the Gingerbread Man.
    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Three Steps to Listening
    Parent Created Activity
    When my daughter was having trouble listening and following directions in school, her teacher suggested that I give her three-step tasks to complete. These help her to focus her ...more
    FREE Learn More Simon Says
    Parent Created Activity
    Simon Says is a great way to teach close listening skills. In case it's been a while since you've played, here's a refresher: Stand opposite from your child ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $10.95 Learn More Listen and Learn
    Knowing how to listen is essential to learning, growing, and getting along with others. Simple words and inviting illustrations help children develop skills for listening, understand why it's important to ...more

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    Make requests and acknowledge attempts to meet requests politely (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More A Rainy Visit
    Expert Created Activity
    Help your child to make requests and acknowledge attempts to meet requests politely with this coloring activity page.
    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Tea Party Time
    Parent Created Activity
    Help your little one to learn good manners by having a tea party. Set a table with your finest plastic ware and be sure to use your best manners. ...more
    FREE Learn More Be the Teacher
    Parent Created Activity
    While kids might not always like going to school, they usually like to play school at home. Not only is this a fun way to spend an afternoon, but ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $12.99 Learn More Thanks for Thanksgiving
    If Thanksgiving traditions prompt us to contemplate times past, the preschoolers in our midst require us to stay firmly grounded in the here and now. This book celebrates all the ...more
    FREE Learn More Good Manners Flash Cards
    eeBoo Good Manners Flash Cards Polite pigs make manners satisfying to learn, demonstrating good behavior in familiar situations. One side of each card asks what approach or response is right ...more

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    Recognize and respond to own first & last name, orally and in writing (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Magna Doodle Names
    Parent Created Activity
    This game is a great way to pass the time on a road trip or a wait in a restaurant. Use a travel Magna Doodle to help your child ...more
    FREE Learn More Dot-to-Dot Writing
    Parent Created Activity
    The first word that each child usually learns to write is his or her name. If your child has a long name, like mine does, that can be a ...more

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    With advance notice, stop when told & change activities, moving cooperatively to another activity (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More Activity Time!
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's ability to sustain an activity and smoothly transition between activities as you follow the clock through four activities.
    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More It's Hard to Say Goodbye
    Parent Created Activity
    Sometimes it can be hard to stop doing something that is fun. A good way to make the transition easier is to help your child say goodbye to whatever ...more
    FREE Learn More Five Minute Warning
    Parent Created Activity
    Another great trick to get kids to cooperate when it's time to change activities or leave a fun event is to give them a "five-minute warning." With older children, ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $6.99 Learn More Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
    The titles in this series draw the reader from page to page with magical die-cutting. Classic nursery rhymes accompany the colourful artwork.

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    Sit among other children during a group activity without distraction (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Duck Duck Goose
    Parent Created Activity
    An oldie but a goodie! Have a group of children (4 or more) sit in a circle. Pick one (or you can do it) walk around the outside ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $3.99 Learn More What to Expect at Preschool
    We all struggle to remind ourselves to look at the world as our children look at it. For all we know and want to show them, sometimes the hardest thing ...more
    $6.99 Learn More Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

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    Develop independent work habits (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More I Can Help!
    Expert Created Activity
    Help your child to develop independent work habits with this chore chart and cut-outs.
    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Shopping List
    Parent Created Activity
    Little ones always seem to be interested in going to the grocery store and being in charge of the shopping list. But since most kids under the age of 5 ...more
    FREE Learn More Indoor treasure hunt
    Parent Created Activity
    Tell the kids to hide in one room of the house. Then take some toy cars, action figures, or other non-breakable toys and objects and hide them in a ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $19.99 Learn More World Map and USA Map Floor Puzzles
    Puzzles, like blocks, are one of the toys that experts in child development all can agree are highly beneficial. As the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young ...more
    $49.99 Learn More Whiz Kid Learning System

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    Carry out single-step verbal directions (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Helping Game
    Parent Created Activity
    Kids love to be helpers. Next time you're working in the kitchen or doing chores around the house, get your child involved. Give them a task that is ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $22.99 Learn More Candy Land Castle Game
    Who would have thought that our babbling little cave-babies would ever become civilized enough to sit down and actually follow the rules to a game? What we love about this ...more

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    Identify and label the following emotions: happy, sad, angry, afraid, frustrated, confused (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More Feeling Faces
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's understanding of emotions with these craft stick puppets.
    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Capture the Moment
    Parent Created Activity
    Sometimes when a child is feeling intense emotions -- happy or sad -- drawing a picture can help her to identify the emotions and talk about them. A drawing ...more
    FREE Learn More Copycat Faces
    Parent Created Activity
    Cut out magazine pictures depicting various emotions. Glue these images onto cardstock and show them to your child. Have your child mirror the facial expression and discuss what ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $12.99 Learn More Thanks for Thanksgiving
    If Thanksgiving traditions prompt us to contemplate times past, the preschoolers in our midst require us to stay firmly grounded in the here and now. This book celebrates all the ...more

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    Attempt to solve problems or conflicts using words (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More If You're Happy and You Know It, Talk about It.
    Parent Created Activity
    This is a good conversation starter for the dinner table. Pick a feeling and ask, 'What was the most (fun, scary, embarassing, happy, silly, angering) experience this week?' ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $10.95 Learn More Talk and Work It Out
    What's the best way to solve problems between people? By talking them over and working them out. It's never too soon for children to learn the process of peaceful conflict ...more
    $6.99 Learn More King of the Playground
    "Kevin repeatedly faces the terrorist tactics of Sammy, the self-appointed king of the playground. . . . Kevin returns home each time to an encouraging conversation with his father, (who ...more

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    Establish a sense of personal responsibility (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More I Can Help
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's sense of community and personal responsibility with this laundry sorting activity.
    99 ¢ Learn More Clean Up Time
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's sense of community and personal responsibility with this toy box sorting activity.
    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Digital Chores List
    Parent Created Activity
    Take photos of your child doing a chore. Print photo and place it next to a written list of chores. Some good examples are make bed, feed fish, ...more
    FREE Learn More List Your Day
    Parent Created Activity
    Here is a behavior management strategy that is working well with my almost-5-year-old. After a few episodes of eye rolling and loud sighing on my daughter's part, I decided ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $19.99 Learn More Magnetic Responsibility Chart
    Help kids understand the concept of behavior and rewards. This entertaining, magnetic activities board feature the innovative combination of magnets and wood. Includes a dry-erase board and 134 magnets depicting ...more
    $6.99 Learn More The New Baby at Your House
    The whole notion that there's a baby inside mommy's tummy is wonderfully abstract to most preschoolers. So as the big day approaches, there's some value to bringing this fuzzy concept ...more

    Start the Savvy Quiz

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    Return toys and materials to their proper location after use (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Clean Up by Color
    Parent Created Activity
    Get large plastic buckets (or sand buckets if you have lots of really little toys )in a variety of solid colors (red, blue, yellow, green, pink). Ask your child ...more
    FREE Learn More Clean Up Song
    Parent Created Activity
    Every preschool teacher has his or her favorite clean-up song. Find out what your child's teacher uses and incorporate it into your daily routine. A favorite that we ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $6.99 Learn More How Do Dinosaurs Clean their Rooms?
    $10.95 Learn More Respect and Take Care of Things
    Encourages children to put things back where they belong and ask permission to use things that don't belong to them. Teaches simple environmental awareness.

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    Care for personal needs: practice good hygiene, use appropriate table manners, put on clothing, etc (show details)

    Sample Activities
    FREE Learn More Picture a Good Choice Being Made
    Parent Created Activity
    Responsibility charts can be hard -- and overwhelming -- for our younger children. Make the process easier by creating a picture that your child can help you finish by ...more
    FREE Learn More Give That Kid a Gold Star
    Parent Created Activity
    Sometimes, remembering a rule can be difficult. After all, "use your big kid manners" is a fairly abstract concept. Help to make good manners and personal responsibility easier ...more
    Sample Books and Toys
    $12.99 Learn More Delux Wood Lacing Sneaker
    This learning activity will tickle kids down to their toes! The sturdy wooden high-top sneaker is the perfect toy for kids to learn how to lace and tie, over and ...more
    $14.99 Learn More Good Habits Job Chart
    eeBoo's utterly original format is unique in the market. Our Chart is make of thick, durable board and covered with a laminated paper stock. Children can set the day of ...more

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    Choose and use a toy or an activity independently for a sustained period of time (at least 10 minutes) (show details)

    Sample Core Knowledge Activities
    99 ¢ Learn More Activity Time!
    Expert Created Activity
    Support your child's ability to sustain an activity and smoothly transition between activities as you follow the clock through four activities.
    Sample Books and Toys
    $17.99 Learn More The Story of Ferdinand
    Published over 50 years ago, The Story of Ferdinand is one of the bestselling children's books of all time, and the bull who preferred sitting under the cork tree and ...more
    $17.95 Learn More Where the Wild Things Are

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