When young kids start exploring social interactions, it typically begins at home, as they mingle and relate with family and friends. However, for Potomac families with young children, those social interactions shouldn’t be enough. Group activities for older children, such as Potomac summer camp, are great social ice breakers. However, indoor and outdoor, preschool programs also offer excellent socialization opportunities for younger kids.

Opening the Doors to Socializing

So, when inside a classroom, do children between ages 2 and 5-years have opportunities to socially interact with their peers, and with preschool center support staff? Sure, they do! Like most respected Maryland pre-schooling centers, Potomac preschool programs are designed to encourage social interactions among younger kids. And mingling and relating with cohorts is a great way to build social skills. But, simply being in a classroom with other same-age children doesn’t deliver the complete array of preschool socializing experiences required. It takes more…significantly more.

What’s needed is a holistic approach to socialization, which integrates with other aspects of the child’s learning and development:

  • It requires a well-balanced curriculum that covers all areas of child development
  • It takes daily scheduled, hands-on activities, both in-class and outside, that encourages and challenges kids to experience social situations and settings through personal discovery
  • It needs kids to explore socializing opportunities, indoors and outdoors, through individual and group activities
  • It involves cohorts working together on shared activities, such as team sports and projects

These socializing opportunities, and many others, await participants in Potomac day school programs. Through in-class programs, as well as outdoor activities, such as field trips and neighborhood exploration excursions, young children learn what it means to be part of a group and the broader community. They understand what it means to cooperate with, and to work with, others to accomplish shared goals. Through such programs, preschoolers also begin to build other social skills, such as respect for others from diverse backgrounds, empathy, sharing and communicating with peers and adults in their social circle.

Socialization Beyond the Classroom

While building motor skills, and learning to read, write and spell, are important traits in early childhood development, social skills are equally important. That’s because it is through socialization and networking – skills taught at the pre-schooling level – those youngsters learn to integrate successfully into society. Higher education, work-related events, and broader societal interactions, all depend on social skills. Those skills set young children up for future success, and preschool socialization is how young kids acquire the building blocks for those skills.

They say practice makes perfect, and we know that about reading, spelling, math, and science. And it’s the same with the preschool socialization skills acquired within the day care centers. It’s important that kids translate these social skills, learned at the Potomac preschool programs, beyond the pre-schooling or day care environment.

Staff at the centers facilitate that through regular communication with parents and guardians of the children. By advising family members and other external caregivers about the preschoolers’ interests and accomplishments, and by sharing more about other aspects of preschool socialization, center staff help parents partner in developing their child’s social skills beyond the center.

Sylvie Urijah