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  • Writer's pictureSunny Days at Brook

Growing Hearts and Minds: Nurturing Social and Emotional Development

Pre-schoolers stand at a pivotal point in their development, where their social and emotional foundations are laid. At Sunny Days, we recognise the profound importance of nurturing children's social and emotional growth. In this blog, we'll delve into our approach to supporting these vital aspects of development and explain why they are crucial skills for pre-schoolers.


The Importance of Social and Emotional Growth


Social and emotional development is the cornerstone upon which a child's future success, happiness, and overall well-being are built. It's a multifaceted process that encompasses a range of critical skills. Among these, forming strong, positive relationships with peers and adults stands out. The ability to effectively communicate, which includes expressing thoughts, feelings, and needs while also learning how to listen and empathise, is another key component of social development.


Moreover, helping children manage their emotions, behaviours, and reactions is fundamental for emotional growth and self-control. Equipping children with the skills to resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully is another essential aspect of their social development. Finally, nurturing emotional resilience and the ability to cope with challenges and setbacks is a foundational life skill that can serve them well in the years to come.


How Sunny Days Supports Social and Emotional Growth


Our nurturing environment and Forest School setting provide a rich backdrop for cultivating social and emotional growth in pre-schoolers. We focus on several key approaches to achieve this.


Emotional literacy is a cornerstone of our approach. We create an environment where children can understand and express their emotions freely. Through open discussions, storytelling, and art activities, we create a safe space for children to articulate their feelings, building emotional awareness and emotional vocabulary.


Empathy-building activities are an important part of our everyday activities. The Forest School setting offers numerous opportunities for cooperative activities, such as building shelters and caring for the environment. These activities promote teamwork and understanding among peers. They encourage children to appreciate different perspectives and develop a strong sense of empathy. We encourage children to participate in our circle-time sessions by sharing with others some news from home or talking about something they are particularly interested in.


When conflicts arise, we guide children through the process of conflict resolution. Our approach emphasises active listening, sharing their feelings, and finding solutions together. This empowers them to resolve issues independently, learn from the experience, and develop valuable skills for managing disagreements constructively.


Additionally, we introduce mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and simple yoga, to help children manage their emotions and develop self-control. By teaching them how to stay calm and focused, we empower them to navigate their emotional landscape effectively.


We are exceptionally proud of the team we have created, with experienced practitioners who all share the ethos and values and serve as positive role models, demonstrating empathy, patience, and effective communication in their interactions with children. They provide children with examples of how to relate to others with kindness and respect, reinforcing the importance of these values in social and emotional development.


Play is at the core of our curriculum. Through various play activities, children learn to cooperate, negotiate, and understand each other's perspectives. Play-based learning fosters social skills, enhances creativity, and encourages teamwork, all while promoting cognitive development in a natural and enjoyable way.


At Sunny Days our commitment extends beyond academics. We are dedicated to nurturing the social and emotional growth of our pre-schoolers, preparing them for a future filled with confidence, empathy, and success. By prioritising this area of development, we equip children with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of life and build strong, positive relationships.


If you're interested in learning more about our approach or enrolling your child in our nursery and forest school which is within easy reach of villages such as Haslemere, Godalming and Chiddingfold, please don't hesitate to reach out.


We offer full daycare with a dedication to offering the full preschool experience for children from the age of 2 ½ to 5, offer two hot meals per day and are committed to supporting families by offering an hourly fee structure.


Together, we can help your child flourish in all aspects of life, setting the stage for a bright future.






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