Childcare is a very personal choice and it’s important to do what’s best for you and your family, but if you’re thinking about sending your child to nursery, then it’s a great place for them to start learning some of the essential social skills they’ll need in life. Read on to find out more about why social interactions are so important in a child’s early years, and why Tops Day Nurseries is a great place to start.
What do we mean by social interactions?
Social interactions are how we act and react to those around us; they form the basis of any relationship between two or more people, whether you’re aged two or 102. These interactions include physical movements, body language, talking and conversations, playing, sharing and more.
Why is it important?
Positive social interactions have a wide range of both physical and mental benefits, including increased cognitive ability, good mental health, communication skills, independence and improved physical health, especially in older people.
Early social interaction is particularly beneficial for child development, and the right environment can help children develop strong language skills, creativity, empathy, communication and confidence. Nursery is one such environment where these skills can thrive, as we will discuss below.
The benefits of nursery
For many children, attending nursery is the first high level of social interaction they will have, outside of friends and family. As discussed above, social interactions are vital when it comes to positive mental and physical development, and there are many benefits of attending nursery that can have a direct impact on a child’s progress.
Learning through play
Don’t underestimate how much children can learn through play. What may simply look like children playing, this interaction can teach a whole range of skills, from problem solving to sharing, resolving conflict, building imagination and creativity and bonding with other children.
Facilities at nursery are often much different than what’s possible at home too, with children having the opportunity to explore sandpits, plus trips to forests, beaches, ponds and other outdoor spaces. At Tops Day Nurseries we follow a number of different play approaches to help your child to have the best start in life. We promote heuristic play, the Curiosity Approach, music and movement and much more!
Arts and crafts also have a range of benefits , giving children the chance to improve motor neurone skills, dexterity and their creative imagination. At Tops Day Nurseries we take it one step further by offering thought provoking materials for arts and crafts activities. Children become ingaged in conversations about why we use the resources we do, how it is beneficial to the environment as well as learning why we do not use items such as glitter .
Messy play using paints, water, foam or other materials is highly encouraged at nursery, and the best part is, you don’t have to clear up afterwards!
Develop social skills
Socialising with other children their own age helps children learn the vital skills they will need in later life. Interacting with others at nursery gives children the chance to establish boundaries, note how others react to their actions and find ways to resolve conflicts amicably; all valuable skills that they will take into adulthood.
Language and communication
High levels of interaction with their peers is highly beneficial for children’s communication skills. They will learn how to communicate their feelings, interact with others and hone their skills of thinking and understanding. Attending nursery also promotes cognitive and language skills, and between the ages of three and five a child’s vocabulary grows from around 900 to 2,500 words.
Being around lots of other children naturally encourages more conversation, and singing songs, telling stories and teachers asking thought provoking questions all aid children’s language development in a fun and informal way.
Naturally, being at nursery is different to being in your own home, but experiencing a different environment helps children learn important boundaries regarding their own personal space and that of others. Nursery also allows children to grow confident engaging in both individual and group play, and teaches them how to interact with other children without being too pushy or overwhelming.
Listening skills begin at home as children learn to follow instructions and guidance from their parents, but nursery actively encourages listening to others, whether that’s adults or peers. Good listening skills and the ability to take instructions from other adults can ease the transition from nursery to primary school, and encourage children to understand the importance of listening and processing information.
Children may be emotional for the first few days or weeks you drop them off, but ultimately attending nursery does wonders for children’s confidence. Nursery encourages children’s independence and self reliance, and learning to manage tasks on their own provides a great confidence boost. Seemingly simple things like putting their shoes on or learning to hold a paintbrush all build children’s self esteem and gives a feeling of ‘I can do it’. A nursery environment can encourage children without pushing too hard, providing the perfect safe space for them to grow.