Researchers generally agree upon five key competencies of social-emotional learning (SEL) for children, i.e., self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making (Durlak et al. 2011). However, these skills can be abstract and complex for them to understand. Often reading picture books with children can be a powerful way to teach them these core behavioural and social skills.
You can use a social story, like you will find and print on the Earlybird platform. These are simple stories with straight to the point test that teach a core strategy like "finding the yes" when dealing with the word "no" and provides the "why" behind a skill, such as we listen do that we are safe, know what is going on, or understand how to participate. The Earlybird social stories also have a space for the parent and caregiver to personalize the stories to the child to deepen their engagement and understanding.
There are also several books you can order to help your child understand and master these core skills. Often the stories also have tips and strategies for caregivers to try in the back. Some of the ones we have found to be effective are:
- Howard B Wigglebottom Learns for learning to listen
- Howard B Wigglebottom Manners Matter and Manners Time for learning about manners
- Voices are Not for Yelling and Decibella and her 6 Inch Voice for learning about regulating voices
- Hands Are Not For Hitting, Feet Are Not For Kicking, and Teeth Are Not For Biting for body control
- Personal Space Camp and Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader for learning about personal space
- Calm Down Time , I am Stronger Than My Anger and Little Monkey Calms Down for self-regulation
- Words Are Not For Hurting for using kind words
Join Earlybird for more ideas for how to playfully build social-emotional skills in children.