Sub-domain: Social Development

The Social Development sub-domain covers goals twenty-seven through thirty-five of the Idaho Early Learning Guidelines. 

Using this guide

Scroll down to see the age group you are most interested in. Click on the goal to learn more about the goal's:

  • developmental growth
  • child indicators
  • caregiver strategies

There is an option to download the information at the end of each goal. When you click the link you will be brought to a new page where you can download the goal as a PDF.  

Group of kids play tug of war in a park

0 - 8 Months

Goal 27: Children trust, interact with, and seek assistance from adults.

Developmental Growth: Develop secure primary attachments.

Child Indicators: Responds to the caregiver’s attempts to interact. Cries, makes sounds, or uses body movements to signal caregiver for assistance, attention, or the need for comfort. Turns toward sight, sound, and smell of mother as opposed to an unfamiliar adult. Shows preference for primary caregivers. Establishes an attachment with the primary caregiver and other consistent adults in the child’s life. Is quieted by or seeks comfort by an attachment figure when crying. Lifts arms to be picked up by an adult. Establishes and maintains interactions with caregivers. Shows preference for familiar adults through smiling and gestures. Gestures and babbles back and forth with caregiver. Uses body movements to initiate social interactions (pats adult’s face). Looks for caregivers’ response in uncertain situations. Follows caregiver’s gaze to look at toy. Gives cues to initiate and maintain interaction with the caregiver by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond consistently and promptly to child’s cries and needs for comfort, reassurance, and to celebrate accomplishments.  Develop consistent daily routines; following the child’s lead around care giving needs (when is the child usually hungry, tired, alert). Provide a child-safe environment (free of hazards associated with dangerous toys or materials, free of violence, equipped with adequate shelter/housing, food, clothing). Show respect for child and everyone in his/her environment. Talk to, smile at, cuddle with; and allow infant time to respond to you. Provide words to the infant’s expression of emotion (hungry, peaceful, happy, sad, sleepy).

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Goal 28: Children develop friendships with peers.

Developmental Growth: Shows interest in babies and other children.

Child Indicators: Initially responds and prefers caregiver’s face and voice. Gazes and smiles spontaneously at other children. Shows enjoyment in interactions with other children by kicking and reaching, and using gestures, facial expressions, and vocalizations. Responds verbally when interacting with peers (laughing or babbling). Shows interest in other children and visually tracks their actions. Observes other children and imitates their sounds, actions, and motions. Becomes sad or cries when other children are crying. Begins to show awareness of feelings displayed by others by matching facial expressions and smiling responsively.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to be around other children. Model positive response to a child’s sounds, cries, and moods with verbal and facial expressions. Respectfully imitate child while playing in give and take interactions and describe the interactions to other children in the setting. Make different facial expressions and allow time for the child to mimic or respond to the expression (happy, sad, excited, surprised). Talk about the child’s expression of emotion (hungry, sad, sleepy), as you provide care. Point out features and behaviors of babies and older children as the infant looks at or hears them. Post pictures of babies and their families in the child care program classroom.  Talk about the children in the pictures.

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Goal 29: Children demonstrate positive negotiation skills.

Developmental Growth: Initiate and respond to caregiver’s attempts to interact.

Child Indicators: Communicates needs through crying, vocalizations, and movements. Uses voice to interact with caregiver in a conversational way (e.g. baby says, “ooh” and caregiver says, “ooh”). Reaches out to touch adults, other children, or others’ toys. Expresses self through differing vocalizations (differentiated cry, hunger, pleasure, protest). Mimics facial expressions and simple movements. Gives eye contact and follows movement in the room. Gives or takes toys from a familiar adult. Gives cues to initiate interaction with caregiver, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Interact with child by holding, cuddling, hugging, smiling, and laughing with child as appropriate to the child’s responses. Nurture child during stressful times by using touch, verbal responses, or gestures. Learn to recognize child’s intent and various vocalizations, facial expressions, gestures, and body language. Use words to label or narrate daily routines or child’s expressions. Give child time to respond to interaction and then describe their response (e.g., “You are so excited about this big red ball!  Do you want to hold it?”). Allow give-and-take when interacting with child. Follow the child’s lead.

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Goal 30: Children demonstrate awareness of behavior and its effects on others.

Developmental Growth: Become aware that their actions may be linked to another’s response.

Child Indicators: Repeats actions many times to cause a desired effect (smiles because it makes caregivers smile and laugh). Recognizes that certain adult actions are associated with expected behavior (“When my caregiver puts me in my crib… I am supposed to go to sleep.”). Repeats vocal sounds or screeching to gain caregiver’s attention. Pushes or drops items off highchair and looks to caregiver for reaction. Repeatedly bangs or waves object and looks to caregiver for response. Anticipates specific reactions to their actions, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond consistently to child’s behaviors with similar actions, tone, and words. Play turn-taking games with child (Peek-a-Boo). Respond to child’s needs and celebrate achievements. Expand on child’s vocalization or actions (e.g., “Da, da, da – that sound is fun to make!”  “Look at you sitting up all by yourself!”). Provide opportunities for child to explore your face and to lead the interaction (e.g., “You are looking at my eyes, what do you see?”). While sitting with the child on the floor, provide opportunities for child to lead the interaction and describe what you see (e.g., “You really like that book, it has pictures of babies.”). During care giving routines, give child cues to what will happen next, and allow time for them to respond. Respond to child’s cues and expand on their response (e.g., “I can hear you are hungry.  I will warm your bottle.”).

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Goal 31: Children participate positively in group activities.

Developmental Growth: Begin to develop awareness of self and others.

Child Indicators: Reaches out to touch other children or grabs their toys. Smiles at other children and adults. Expresses contentment or joy when with other children, or when a familiar adult is present. Participates in simple give-and- take with adults, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities and supervision for child to observe play groups. Provide opportunities for child to play in a variety of environments with other children (park, friend’s home). Provide consistent, but flexible daily care routine.

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Goal 32: Children demonstrate sympathy and empathy.

Developmental Growth: Learn about their world through observation.

Child Indicators: Watches and observes adults and other children’s reactions and behaviors. Smiles when seeing a smiling face. Shows caution or distress when someone is crying or upset. Responds to others by vocalizing or cooing. May reach out to others to touch. Reacts to human face more than to objects. Responds to another’s cry, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond quickly to baby’s sounds, cries, and moods in a gentle and reassuring way.Support and stay with baby during stressful situations. Name emotions expressed by the baby and respond empathetically.Model empathetic behavior with adults, children, and animals. Name emotions expressed by others (e.g., “She’s sad because she fell down.”). During care giving routines, provide opportunities for baby to observe and respond to caregiver’s face up close. Provide opportunities for baby to interact with other babies.

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Goal 33: Children develop a sense of humor.

Developmental Growth: Laugh with pleasure, often in response to primary caregiver.

Child Indicators: Giggles and laughs in response to environment or people. Starts to differentiate familiar from unfamiliar. Reacts to small surprises such as sounds, faces, and Peek-a-Boo. Reacts to physical sensations (rocking, lifting). Reacts to gentle tickling and tummy “raspberries”. Begins to initiate interactions with caregivers or other children. Watches and observes the environment and the people in it. Recognizes and takes interest in new experiences and objects. Has ability to engage in a relationship.

Caregiver Strategies: Develop secure relationship where child can trust caregiver responses and routines. Become familiar with child’s temperament. Use surprise faces/expressions. Play Peek-a-Boo.Laugh out loud.

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Goal 34: Children adapt to diverse settings.

Developmental Growth: React differently to different settings and people.

Child Indicators: Actively observes surroundings. Demonstrates recognition of a new setting by changing behavior (looks to parent for guidance). When ready, explores new settings with support from caregiver. May show different reactions to familiar and unfamiliar people, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Establish family rituals, routines, and activities. Provide adequate transition time and talk with child about upcoming changes to schedule or setting. Provide child with his/her special blanket or other object for comfort during changes.

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Goal 35: Children recognize, appreciate, and respect similarities and differences in people.

Developmental Growth: Become aware of the differences between primary caregiver and strangers.

Child Indicators: Observes self in mirror.  Initially does not recognize the image as self. Focuses attention on others. Notices others’ physical characteristics (pats another person’s hair). Will respond more to a familiar face than a stranger’s face. Can distinguish primary caregivers from others, by the end of this period.

Caregiver Strategies: Share and explore family and community culture with child. Model appreciation for diversity with other adults and children. Recognize that introducing a child to a second language has cognitive benefits.

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6 - 18 Months

Goal 27: Children trust, interact with, and seek assistance from adults.

Developmental Growth: Develop sense of self in relation to familiar adults.

Child Indicators: Gives cues to initiate and maintain interaction with the caregiver. Explores environment, with support. Enjoys solitary play (playing alone with books or toys for a few minutes). Distinguishes between familiar and unfamiliar adults. Seeks support and security with familiar adults. May exhibit separation reaction by crying when caregiver is not in sight or clinging to caregiver in the presence of strangers (separation anxiety increases over time and then diminishes). Cries out or follows caregiver when he/she leaves the room. May seek comfort from a favorite blanket or toy especially when a favored caregiver is absent. Turns excitedly and lifts arms to a favored adult on reunion after an absence. Calms quickly after primary caregiver returns. May display anxiety when an unfamiliar adult gets too close. Reconnects with the caregiver by making eye contact with him/her from time to time. Plays confidently when caregivers in the room but runs or crawls to him/her when frightened. Seeks assistance and attention from caregiver using verbal cues, words, sounds, or body movements. Shows awareness of feelings displayed by others by matching the facial expressions and smiling responsively.

Caregiver Strategies: Prepare child for transitions (e.g., “I’ll be right back,” when taking a break.  “I’m going to fix lunch.  What do you want to play with while I make your lunch?”  “It’s almost time to pick up.”). Provide space and materials for child to engage in play on their own.  Include indoor and outdoor play time. Maintain consistent and responsive care giving for the child (minimum transitions between teachers). Help review experiences so that the memories can be integrated into their self-narratives by describing the environment. Create and keep alive good, warm, and joyful memories by talking about what happened during the day. Establish predictable family traditions. Respond consistently and promptly to child’s cries and needs for comfort, reassurance, and to celebrate accomplishments. Provide opportunities for child to engage in games such as “Patty-Cake” and “Peek-a-Boo.”Allow time for child to explore and practice self- help skills.

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Goal 28: Children develop friendships with peers.

Developmental Growth: Begins to show interest in peers

Child Indicators: Initially engages in self play. Reaches out to and engages momentarily with other children. Pats/touches child nearby.Pokes or reaches at other children to explore. Pushes toys toward another child.Hands toys to other children. Takes objects from other children. Observes other children and mimics their behavior (sees another child banging a toy and they begin to bang their toy). Babble, make sounds toward, and respond to other babies and older children (talking, smiling, babbling). Shows interest when other children are crying and tries to help (brings child a toy) or begins to cry. Engages in parallel play or briefly plays beside other children.

Caregiver Strategies: Verbally acknowledge a child’s feelings so that peers are aware of each other’s feelings (e.g., “Sam looks sad.  Let’s go help him.”). Provide supported opportunities for child to play and interact with other children (keep close proximity to children at play to help with language, sharing, and playing together). Play turn-taking games with child (Peek-a-Boo). Provide active songs and finger plays with children in small groups (Three Little Monkeys, Three Little Ducks). Provide opportunities for interactions near other children (rolling the ball or running together).

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Goal 29: Children demonstrate positive negotiation skills.

Developmental Growth: Give cues to initiate interaction with caregiver and peers

Child Indicators: Uses others’ facial expressions, gestures, or voices to guide behavior. Uses repeated actions to let others know what is wanted, or to have fun. Accepts adult intervention to settle disputes over toys. Takes or leads others toward desired toy or activity to play (takes caregiver’s hand and leads them to a toy). Initiates an interaction by pointing. Gives and takes toys from other children or adults. Asks for help through sign language, crying, or simple speech. Calls out to caregiver from across the room. Looks over at caregiver to check- in. Shares food with significant caregiver. Engages in a series of actions with caregiver and peers by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond promptly physically and verbally to child’s cues (e.g., “I’m warming up your bottle Jayden…here I come.”). Model appropriate negotiation and conflict resolution skills with children (e.g., “You both want this ball.  Let’s get this other ball so you both have one.”).  Engage child in play and social interactions with other children (dancing, movement, talking at meal time, Peek-a-Boo). Provide child with opportunities to make some choices. Verbally describe child’s emotions and actions (e.g., “Look at you reaching.”  “Do you want me to pick you up?”). Expand on child’s language (e.g., “You said, ‘No,’ you don’t want Jacob to take your toy.”).

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Goal 30: Children demonstrate awareness of behavior and its effects on others.

Developmental Growth: Begin to anticipate reactions to their actions.

Child Indicators: Uses others’ facial expressions or gestures to guide own behavior (“I will look at my mother as I reach for the electric outlet.”). Begins to respond to words and tone of voice for redirection. May repeat behaviors despite negative consequences. Shakes head “no” or “yes” in response to questions, mostly “no,” even when child means “yes.” Uses simple gestures or signs to indicate needs or wants. Shows understanding that characters from books are associated with certain actions or behaviors (animal book and animal sounds). Brings or gives toys to others to connect or play. Moves towards or reaches for caregiver to be held. Uses repeated sounds or words to gain caregivers attention or reaction (e.g., child says, “ba, ba, ba,” and caregiver responds, with “ba, ba, ball.”). Modifies behavior in an effort to solicit others’ actions or responses, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Anticipate the actions of child to prevent them from hurting themselves and others. Around care giving routines, give child cues about what will happen next (e.g., “I’m going to wipe your bottom.  Oh… is that a little cold?”). Be aware of your responses to child’s behavior. Talk with child about what they see or what they are doing. Respond to child’s cues and expand on their response (e.g., “Do you want me to hold you while mom says goodbye?”). Be aware of the child’s preferences and provide opportunities for child to make simple choices. Use words to describe the emotion or action the child uses. Respond to child’s cues lovingly and consistently.

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Goal 31: Children participate positively in group activities.

Developmental Growth: Begin to make connections and associations with other people, places, and regular routines

Child Indicators: Responds to other children in their environment by looking and reaching toward peers. Begins to watch simple associative play of other children, with adult support. Begins to participate in simple parallel play with other children (same toys but no playing together). Sits together briefly during some activities (snack, story time, lap time). Imitates others’ behaviors in the group. Begins to take turns with simple activities, with assistance. Knows some children’s names. Shows empathy for a child who is crying or upset. Becomes familiar with routines and rituals within the group or family.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to play with a few children, with adult support. Conduct group activities on a regular basis with singing and movement games. Provide consistent daily care routine or schedule. Give child warnings before transitions. Have child participate in simple pick up (one or two items).

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Goal 32: Children demonstrate sympathy and empathy.

Developmental Growth: Explore relationships through observation and interaction.

Child Indicators: Explores plants, flowers, and other living things with multiple senses. Expresses interest and excitement about animals and other living things. Recognizes and responds or reacts to strong emotion in caregiver or other children. Likes to look at and can recognize self and caregiver in a mirror. Increasingly uses social referencing (others’ reaction) and emotions to guide behavior. Offers objects, food, hugs to others. May try to comfort another person who is upset. May become upset when others are hurt. Matches emotions of others. Shows interest and excitement about living things around them.

Caregiver Strategies: Be aware and respectful of cultural differences in the expression of emotions. Provide child with regular opportunities for play outdoors. Provide opportunities for child to observe animals in a safe environment. Provide mirrors and opportunities for child to see faces and emotions, including their own. Recognize when baby moves away and looks for the response of a caregiver. Provide opportunities for children to play together using social games and songs (rolling the ball, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes). Follow child’s lead when child is hurt or moving away from caregiver (allow child to react first, then support with appropriate response). Name emotions expressed by others (e.g., “She‘s sad because she fell down.”).

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Goal 33: Children develop a sense of humor.

Developmental Growth: Increase ability to use language and body to initiate social humor.  Have increased awareness of incongruity

Child Indicators: Laughs at incongruities; visual and spoken (pants on head, cow says, “quack”). More secure with concept knowledge allowing flexibility for humor. Exhibits social referencing, joint attention, and reciprocation with adults and peers (plays chase). Exhibit physical humor (falls down and laughs). Begins word play – repeats sounds. Begins to initiate humorous situations. Makes animal sounds. Mimics adults as they laugh, with or without knowing the reason for the laughter.

Caregiver Strategies: Follow the child’s lead. Watch child’s cues to know when to stop and protect child (wrestling, chasing, roughhousing). Read child’s social cues. Use simple rhymes and songs. Use joint attention, social referencing, and reciprocation to know when child “gets it.” Use amused look to communicate. Use humor to extend interactions and glee. Clarify social cues between peers when humor is misunderstood especially with a slightly older child. Avoid tickling young children.  Tickling can be over stimulating and unpleasant.

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Goal 34: Children adapt to diverse settings.

Developmental Growth: Initially become aware and are anxious when their primary caregiver leaves.  By the end of the period can become very upset and cling.

Child Indicators: Explores new settings with support from caregiver. Demonstrates awareness of different settings by clinging or staying close to caregiver. May become anxious when separated from primary caregiver, if not routine. May refuse to look at or respond to unfamiliar people. May show irritability when routines are disrupted.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide child with opportunities to view and explore new environments, with adult support.Reassure child and offer comfort in new setting by staying close.Read child’s cues and body language when in new situation (if child shows distress, stay close, reassure, and limit exposure time). Be sure to speak with child about a new setting in his/her home language. Provide child with consistent objects and routines to help adapt to changes in settings.

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Goal 35: Children recognize, appreciate, and respect similarities and differences in people.

Developmental Growth: Recognize primary caregiver and strangers

Child Indicators: May express curiosity about others who are of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of a different gender, who speak other languages, or have special needs; if they have the opportunity to regularly interact with others. Recognizes self in mirror. Observes strangers from a distance. Seeks primary caregiver if stranger approaches too quickly. Approaches and is curious about other children. Plays in the presence of other children. Can play near others who are different than them, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Use picture books that explore people with different abilities and cultures. Provide opportunities for child to interact with children of diverse abilities, cultures, and ethnicities. Actively support the ongoing use of home language as the English Language Learner (ELL) acquires English. Play music and sing songs in the languages of the children in a group. Provide meaningful opportunities with different languages in the classroom. Include common words in everyday activities (hello, goodbye, colors, counting, songs).

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Children learn to be around others as they construct knowledge about the world through social interaction.

16 - 38 Months

Goal 27: Children trust, interact with, and seek assistance from adults.

Developmental Growth: Develop a growing sense of autonomy from familiar adults.

Child Indicators: Calls to caregiver from across the room to make sure he/she is paying attention. Feels comfortable when playing away from primary caregiver but cries out or seeks familiar adult when they fall down. Talks about transitions (e.g., “Mama goes to work.” “It’s time for snack time, right?”). Shows skillful ways to keep parent/caregiver with them (gestures for one more hug when parent is leaving for work or asks parent to help with one more task).Tests own abilities and the boundaries with familiar adults.  Resists transitions or finds ways to change transitions (bring grandma’s favorite book to her to see if she will read it again after she says, “We are all done reading, and it is time for a nap.”). Imitates adult activities (pretends to cook or read next to an adult who is reading). Initiates interactions and plays with adults. Responds appropriately to adults’ verbal greetings. Seeks adult assistance with challenges. Will play longer independently with toys or outside. May insist on dressing, eating or fixing a toy without help; even if the child struggles. Checks periodically with caregiver for help or reassurance when playing by self or with peers. Knows some rules and limits but will test them. Starts activity after a caregiver makes suggestions (uses adult’s suggestions to find missing pieces to a toy, or items needed for an art activity). Begins to follow and tell basic safety guidelines and requirements (hot – don’t touch).

Caregiver Strategies: Listen with interest to what child says and elaborate and expand on their thoughts or ideas. Offer choices within appropriate limits. Helps child manage feelings of distress and separation by allowing the child to feel and label emotions (e.g., “I can see you’re sad that mom left.  Can I hold you?”). Responds to child’s emotional and physical needs, and verbal and non-verbal communications.Show empathy and understanding to child, and help child identify feelings and situations (“You are really mad at him!  Let’s find a way for you to have a turn with the ball.”). Take opportunities to help child distinguish from self and other (e.g., “Here is my nose.”  “Where is your nose?”). Provide opportunities for child to engage in brief play and activities on their own. Prepare child for transitions with cues (e.g., “It’s almost time to go inside.”  “We have just enough time to finish this puzzle before it’s time to clean up.”). Allow more time and patience for child to dress independently and provide easy-to-get-on clothing (elastic waist band, larger sized shirts, and socks without heels). Offer opportunities for child to pass bowls to other children and adults at mealtime, with adult assistance.

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Goal 28: Children develop friendships with peers.

Developmental Growth: Engage in play with peers.

Child Indicators: Plays side-by-side with another child. Observes and imitates another child’s behavior or activity. Initiates social interaction with peers (brings toys to child, moves close to child, or takes a child’s toy). Shows enthusiasm about the company of other children. Spontaneously shows preference for familiar playmates. Responds verbally when interacting with peers (talking or signing). Will ask about other children (e.g., “Where’s Rafael?”). Begins to understand how to take turns during play with peers, with considerable assistance. Gives up and keeps objects during playful interactions with peers, with assistance. Mimics other children’s behaviors or movements. Engages in brief social games (rolling the ball, Ring Around the Rosy).

Caregiver Strategies: Help children communicate with others when negotiating toys, space, and feelings by providing words and explanations and expressing empathy for both children. Provide opportunities to engage in open-ended play with other children (dramatic play and free play). Have several duplicates of desired toys/props. Offer a few toys that can be played with by two or more children at one time. Support child if he/she plays with or discusses imaginary friends.Provide books, toys, and materials that show children from many settings, genders, cultures, and races. Facilitate play and communication among children of different ability levels, and linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Provide opportunity for children to engage in interactive games (rolling the ball, give-and-take, follow the leader).

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Goal 29: Children demonstrate positive negotiation skills.

Developmental Growth: Engage in a series of actions with caregiver and peers to solve problems or communicate ideas.

Child Indicators: Brings toys or objects to others as a gesture of play. Spontaneously gives hugs to others. Follows a brief social game (rolling the ball, chasing, Ring Around the Rosie). May push, hit, or bite when another child takes a toy. Uses adult help to take turns, including giving up and keeping toys and other objects. Follows simple directions and will sometimes test limits. Asserts ownership by saying “mine.” Communicates with other children to settle arguments, with assistance. Indicates preferences and intentions by communicating yes/no questions (e.g., “Are you done with that?”  “Are you still using it?”  “Can Javier use it now?”  “Do you want to keep it?”).

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to play in brief social games (Follow the Leader, rolling the ball, dramatic play, etc.). Model, show, and talk with child about rules, limits, and options and explain how they help people get along and keep children safe (e.g., “Rules are to keep you and your friends safe.”). Model and provide child with words to use when in a conflict (e.g., “Tell him he can have it when you’re done.”  “May I have that when you’re done?”). Teach child to avoid aggressive behaviors (biting, hitting, and yelling) and explain how these actions hurt others (e.g., “It’s not O.K. to bite, but you can tell Johnny that you are mad.”). Demonstrate and explain positive effects of taking turns (e.g., “Wow, look at Emma!  When you gave her a turn on the swing, she was so happy because she didn’t have to wait anymore.”). Build problem-solving skills by engaging children in conversations to make decisions and find solutions (e.g., “What can we do, you both want the ball?”).

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Goal 30: Children demonstrate awareness of behavior and its effects on others.

Developmental Growth: Modify behavior in an effort to solicit others’ actions or responses.

Child Indicators: Imitates peers’ behaviors (herding behavior - everyone goes to the block area). Experiments with the effects of own actions on objects and people. Demonstrates understanding that playing with certain objects will get adult’s attention.  Experiences consequences of a specific behavior but may not understand why the behavior warrants the consequence (e.g., “Why can’t I bang on the pot?”). Recognizes that certain behaviors will elicit positive or negative responses from adults. Anticipates the impact of their actions (will squint their eyes or look to caregiver before they drop an object). Can discriminate actions according to age, gender, and circumstances. Will take others’ hand or ask others to come play. Will tell others “no” or “yes” to simple questions. Begins to understand the concept of taking turns in a game. Begins to anticipate the impact of their actions, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Play games with child that demonstrate how behavior and actions cause effects (dump and fill games or sequence songs). Model and explain waiting behavior (waiting your turn in grocery checkout line). Respond positively and with support to child’s cues (e.g., “I can see you would like my help with your shoes.  Can you say, ‘help please’?”). Use words to describe child’s emotions. Provide opportunities for children to play cooperative games (Hide-n-Seek, Ring Around the Rosie, Follow the Leader). Provide opportunities for child to come up with ideas or games to play. Talk with child about rules and safety, and why they are important. Provide opportunities for choices (e.g., “You can choose the red one or blue one.”). Redirect child’s negative behaviors into positive behaviors (e.g., “Your body wants to throw today.  How about throwing these balls into the basket.”)?

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Goal 31: Children participate positively in group activities.

Developmental Growth: Begin to understand and act upon social concepts and how they work in a social environment.

Child Indicators: May spontaneously laugh and squeal in response to other children. Engages briefly with peers in structured play. Uses names of other children. Able to wait to take turns, with assistance. Able to share some objects, people, and space with peers; with adult assistance. Shows increasing enthusiasm about the company of others. Participates in loosely structured group games (chase, dramatic play). Follows family and group routines (meal time behavior). Mindful of own space and toys.

Caregiver Strategies: Identify with child the groups that he/she is a member of (family, school, community, cultural communities). Encourage participation in simple classroom duties and household chores. Provide consistent schedule with ample warning of transitions. Provide opportunities for brief social games and group activities (“Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”).

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Goal 32: Children demonstrate sympathy and empathy.

Developmental Growth: Choose which emotions to show.  Verbalize emotions and feelings.

Child Indicators: Demonstrates awareness of feelings during pretend play (soothes a crying doll). Comforts peers when they are hurt or upset, with adult assistance. Names emotions of self and others (happy, sad). Realizes and expresses how another child might feel (e.g., “Tanya is crying, I think she is sad.”). Acts kindly and gently with safe, child-friendly animals.Increasingly shares with others, helps others, and “cares” for baby siblings. Becomes concerned about objects related to social behavior (broken toys, missing buttons, or puzzle piece). Will initiate interactions with others. Begins to understand that others may have some feelings, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities to identify emotions by the use of pictures, posters, and mirrors. Provide opportunities for social and dramatic play with simple themes and props, including those from own and different cultures. Share the wonders of the natural world with child (playing outside together; reading books and telling stories about the natural world; handling natural objects— shells, rocks, plants). Demonstrate and explain responses to loss, injury, and pain (e.g., “Sam fell down, let’s go see if he needs our help.”). Accept child’s strong emotions.

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Goal 33: Children develop a sense of humor.

Developmental Growth: Increase ability to use language and body to initiate social humor.  Have increased awareness of incongruity.

Child Indicators: Laughs at incongruities; visual and spoken (pants on head, cow says, “quack”). More secure with concept knowledge allowing flexibility for humor. Exhibits social referencing, joint attention, and reciprocation with adults and peers (plays chase). Exhibit physical humor (falls down and laughs). Begins word play – repeats sounds. Begins to initiate humorous situations. Makes animal sounds. Mimics adults as they laugh, with or without knowing the reason for the laughter.

Caregiver Strategies: Follow the child’s lead. Watch child’s cues to know when to stop and protect child (wrestling, chasing, roughhousing). Read child’s social cues. Use simple rhymes and songs. Use joint attention, social referencing, and reciprocation to know when child “gets it.” Use amused look to communicate. Use humor to extend interactions and glee. Clarify social cues between peers when humor is misunderstood especially with a slightly older child. Avoid tickling young children.  Tickling can be over stimulating and unpleasant.

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Goal 34: Children adapt to diverse settings.

Developmental Growth: Initially show concern when new people and new experiences are presented without time for adapting to the new idea.  Begin to adapt to new settings and people with some assistance by the end of the period.

Child Indicators: Begins to separate from primary caregiver in familiar settings outside the home environment (not always easily). Explores and plays in a range of familiar settings. Displays ease and comfort in a variety of places with familiar adults (home, store, car, playground). Asks questions or acts in other uncertain ways in unfamiliar settings and environments. May resist leaving a familiar setting.

Caregiver Strategies: Accept that child may be uncomfortable when routines change and comfort him/her. Introduce child to a variety of settings, including diverse cultural settings (libraries, general stores, post office). If child is uneasy or clingy in new environment, reassure the child and consider reducing the time you stay. Visit new environments repeatedly (zoo, library, park) so child can become familiar. Talk with child about how one setting is different from another setting.

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Goal 35: Children recognize, appreciate, and respect similarities and differences in people.

Developmental Growth: Become aware of similarities and differences between themselves and others.

Child Indicators: Becomes aware of differences in gender and other basic similarities and differences between self and others, with adult guidance. May verbalize general differences in gender, clothing, skin color, or hair color. Demonstrates awareness of personal preferences (mommy likes the red car, I like the fire truck). May be shy or reserved with new people or animals.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide child with a variety of social and dramatic play materials reflecting cultures of families in the community. Introduce child to people, experiences, interactions, and social settings that are diverse through books, songs, and people. Infuse child’s environment with music, art, and language; include the familiar and the unfamiliar. Talk to child about preferences and ask questions or expand on their responses (e.g., “Which one do you think Billy would like?”).

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36 - 60 Months

Goal 27: Children trust, interact with, and seek assistance from adults.

Developmental Growth: Show confidence in seeking assistance from familiar adults.

Child Indicators: In familiar settings, separates, with assistance from significant adults, without undue anxiety (younger child may need extra help). Expresses affection for significant adults. Approaches adults for assistance and offers to assist adults. Carries out actions to please adults, at times. Tells feelings about adults (e.g., “I love Grandpa!”). Plays independently but seeks comfort from familiar adults when distressed. Asks questions of adults, as needed, to obtain information. Follows caregiver’s guidance for appropriate behavior in different environments. Identifies known safety roles and distinguishes between trusted and unknown adults (police officers, fire fighters). Brings simple problem situations to adult’s attention. Works independently and asks for help only when necessary. Works cooperatively with an adult to plan and organize activities and solve problems.

Caregiver Strategies: Model, explain, and provide opportunities for child to interact appropriately and be respectful of adults. Communicate expectations clearly by modeling and showing the child how to respond. Show respect for child’s choices and attempts at solving problems (trade with child). Offer support and social cues for child who is working to establish peer relationships. Provide one-on-one time when a child can confide in a care provider/teacher daily. Provide opportunities for child to help and participate in routines such as “picking up.” Offer increasing choices within safe boundaries. Provide activities that encourage child to interact with an adult such as setting up the indoor and outdoor environments (planning and cooperation).

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Goal 28: Children develop friendships with peers.

Developmental Growth: Engage in mutual social play that involves cooperation and shared purpose.

Child Indicators: Plays beside and interacts with peers. Sometimes share toys with other children as they play. Shows enjoyment in playing with other children. Engages with other children in play involving a common idea (dramatic play, block building). Begins to show preference for particular playmate. Tries a variety of strategies to engage a peer. Separates willingly from adults to play with friends. Has at least one other friend. Initiates conversations with other children; asks questions and responds. Makes decisions with other children, with adult prompts as needed (making rules). Can wait briefly for a turn when playing with other children. Leads or participates in planning cooperative play with others. Uses play as a vehicle to build relationships and develops an appreciation for their own ability and accomplishments.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to engage in a variety of play activities with other children (dramatic play, art projects, block building, free play outside, and dance class). Read books, flannel stories, etc. about children in cooperative situations and successful conflict resolution, Help child join other children in ongoing play. Engage child in conversations with another child. Support the child who is nonverbal during interactions with peers using gestures, sign language, pictures or photos, and other visual supports for communication. As appropriate, provide opportunities and support for families and children to explain a disability to other children in a class or in a small group. Cooperate with child and others in daily tasks. Demonstrate and explain how to be inclusive based on gender, culture, language, and abilities.

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Goal 29: Children demonstrate positive negotiation skills.

Developmental Growth: Solve problems and communicate ideas with a peer, with adult supervision.

Child Indicators: Understands the concept of “mine” and “his/hers.” Approaches other children positively. Uses simple strategies to solve problems, either individually or in a group (with assistance from an adult). Uses different turn-taking strategies (bartering, trading, and beginning to share). Without using physical aggression, negotiates with other children to solve a problem, with some adult assistance. States a position with reasons (I do not want to play right now because I am tired.). Seeks out adult when needing help to solve a conflict.Considers the need or interest of another child and accepts or suggests mutually acceptable solutions.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide activities that allow child to negotiate social conflicts (dramatic play, blocks, and a variety of multicultural dress-up clothes). Give child ample time to solve own problems before intervening. Model appropriate strategies for conflict resolution and use questions to stimulate thinking (e.g., “What’s happening here?”). Read stories, use flannel board, or invent puppet plays in which characters solve conflicts appropriately. Build problem-solving skills by engaging children in conversations to make decisions and find solutions (e.g., “What can we do, you both want the ball?”). Model and provide child with words to use when in a conflict (e.g., “Tell him he can have it when you’re done.”  “May I have that when you’re done?”).

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Goal 30: Children demonstrate awareness of behavior and its effects on others.

Developmental Growth: Anticipate the impact of behaviors on others.

Child Indicators: Asks “why” questions to understand effects of behavior (“If I do this, why does that happen?”). Asks “what” questions to understand effects of behavior (“What will happen if I do this?”). Demonstrates understanding of the consequences of own actions on others (“If I share my toy, they will be happy.”). Recognizes other children’s kind behaviors. Shows sympathy and/or empathy for physically hurt or emotionally upset child. Understands the need to wait for a short period of time for a fun game or activity. Understands the reasons for rules and routines within the group and accepts them. Begins to accept the consequences of behavior. Logically connects actions and reactions.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for dramatic play so that he/she can practice taking others’ role or perspective.Have child create “if-then” scenarios (e.g., “If I pick up my toys, then we will go for a walk.”). When there is a conflict between two children, demonstrate empathy and understanding for both children and clarify their feelings and the situation. Provide opportunities for children to participate in developing rules for the environment (e.g., “We walk inside.”  “We keep our hands on our own bodies.”) using “what” and “why” questions.

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Goal 31: Children participate positively in group activities.

Developmental Growth: Participate in a group activity in a cooperative manner and sustain play toward a common goal with other children.

Child Indicators: Notices and comments on who is absent from routine group settings (play groups). Identifies self as a member of a group (refers to our family, our school, our team, our tribe). Uses play to explore, practice, and understand social roles. Joins a group of other children playing, with adult prompts, as needed. Understands and complies with group rules.

Caregiver Strategies: Promote a sense of community and interdependence within groups (cleanup or meal preparation). Engage child in dramatic play that promotes group work and an understanding of social roles. Model teamwork with others to accomplish a task (have children watch adults prepare a meal together and ask them to contribute simple tasks to the team effort).

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Goal 32: Children demonstrate sympathy and empathy.

Developmental Growth: Recognize and respond to another’s emotions and situation.

Child Indicators: Notices and shows concern for peers’ feelings. Continues to observe others’ reactions. Adopts a variety of roles and feelings during pretend play. Communicates appropriate feelings for characters in stories. Considers what is alive, not alive, and dead. Keenly aware of what is unfair to themselves. Labels own emotions and, increasingly, the emotions of others

Caregiver Strategies: Model a friendly, positive, and respectful manner when listening and responding to child’s comments and suggestions. Name and discuss feelings (e.g., “I see that you’re sad because...”). Provide opportunities for child to play with friendly and gentle animals, with close supervision. Promote play with other children to promote understanding of others’ intentions and feelings, with adult support. Offer opportunities for child to take care of living things (plants, pets, butterflies). Acknowledge a child’s interest in things that die (plants, pets, butterflies). When significant people in the child’s environment die or leave, consult with the child’s family to discuss strategies to help the child that are culturally sensitive. Be attuned to the child’s play themes of loss and grief and reflect on how you might proceed with the child’s needs.

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Goal 33: Children develop a sense of humor.

Developmental Growth:  Use novel language, sounds, and meanings to initiate interaction with adults and peers.  Use physical humor for social purposes.

Child Indicators: Likes simple verbal jokes/riddles, although may not be able to replicate format (Knock-Knock); pre-riddle stage. Participates in group glee. Mimics impersonation. Uses slapstick, physical humor.Laughs for the delight of laughing. Uses body function humor. Makes rude noises. Makes up sounds and rhymes without meaning. Combines nonsense and real words. Uses distortions of familiar attributes/concepts (man’s head/dog’s body, changes in size, shape). Laughs at gender reversals and incongruous actions (a cow on skates).

Caregiver Strategies: Expect jokes and group silliness; know how to guide. Monitor intensity of experience. Use humor as a behavior management strategy. Read silly books and sing silly songs. Understand role of humor in cognition and social development. Use humor as a tool for language development. Clarify social humor between children. Use joint attention, social referencing, and reciprocation with child when humor is tentative. Clarify and support joking/humor between peers.

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Goal 34: Children adapt to diverse settings.

Developmental Growth: Adjust/transition to new settings and people, with and without adult assistance.

Child Indicators: Explores objects and materials and interacts with others in a variety of new settings. Adjusts behavior in different settings (home, playground). Adjusts to transitions from one activity/setting to the next during the day.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide child with reminders when changes in schedule are planned. Demonstrate and explain appropriate behavior for different settings. Involve child in signaling transitions (ringing bell, singing particular song).

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Goal 35: Children recognize, appreciate, and respect similarities and differences in people.

Developmental Growth: Are curious about why they are different to and similar to others.

Child Indicators: Compares similarities or differences of others (height, hair color) in his/her circle of contact. Develops awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of own gender and cultural identity. Includes other children in his/her activities who are of a different gender, ethnic background, who speak other languages, or who have special needs; with guidance. Asks questions about other families, ethnicity, language, cultural heritage, and differences in physical characteristics. Demonstrates an understanding of inclusion or fairness through words and actions.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to describe own physical characteristics. Celebrate cultural, linguistic, and physical similarities and differences of all children and families. Demonstrate and explain that one person may play different roles (father and teacher). Invite parents and others from the community to tell stories and read books to children. Host volunteer visitor days where people of all abilities, age, race, and gender are included.

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Young children’s ability to form and sustain social relationships with adults and other children is at the heart of their social development.

60 Months - Kindergarten

Goal 27: Children trust, interact with, and seek assistance from adults.

Developmental Growth: Use strategies to interact with familiar adults in a variety of situations.

Child Indicators: Shows confidence and positive feelings about relationships with significant adults in addition to primary caregivers (teachers, next door neighbors, custodian, bus driver). Plays independently but seeks comfort from adults when distressed. Uses words to express needs and negotiates with adults. Seeks adult assistance to resolve conflict or safety concerns. Asks questions and checks with an adult before deviating from rules and routines. Confides in at least one adult. Demonstrates knowledge of culturally-specific communication styles and their appropriate uses.

Caregiver Strategies: Offer child suggestions for overcoming challenges when he/she asks for assistance. When a bias situation occurs, use the experience to discuss solutions and alternatives. Offer opportunities for the child to talk about and be listened to around emotional issues; individually with trusted adults.Model acceptance of individual differences. Specifically identify trusted members of the community (what their role is). Supports child’s social negotiations. Engage in meaningful conversations with child, following child’s cues. Offers increasing choices and independence within safe boundaries.

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Goal 28: Children develop friendships with peers.

Developmental Growth: Engage in cooperative interaction with peers.

Child Indicators: Gives social support to others (offers to help a peer who cannot find his/her toy). Have friends in different settings (neighborhood, school, extended family). Maintains ongoing friendship with at least one peer. Carries on conversations with peers. Sustains interactions by cooperating, helping, sharing, and suggesting new ideas for play. Completes simple projects with other children. Sets goals with other children for play and projects.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to initiate play in small groups in which each child has a specific role and responsibility. Actively address bullying behavior or child’s attempt to exclude others. Support conflict resolution and rule negotiation. Support children as they create play themes and ideas. Model positive, social, problem- solving skills. Promote acceptance of linguistic, cultural, individual differences, and other forms of respect.

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Goal 29: Children demonstrate positive negotiation skills.

Developmental Growth: Communicate with peers to solve conflicts, negotiate solutions, and share ideas.

Child Indicators: Attempts to settle disputes or solve problems with another child through negotiation, addressing own rights, and the other child’s needs; with assistance (e.g., “I’ll use the paste for these two pieces of paper, and then give it to you.”). Acknowledges that play includes issues of fairness, rules, intentions, or motives. Verbally asserts needs when disagreeing with friends, without aggression. Offers solutions and is open to suggestions when solving problems with others (e.g., “You can have it now, if I can have it later.”).

Caregiver Strategies: Support child’s attempts to problem-solve and manage conflicts, rather than solving it for them (e.g., “What should we do to solve this problem?”). Discuss alternatives to situations and responses (e.g., “What do you want to try first?”).Model vocabulary for negotiations.

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Goal 30: Children demonstrate awareness of behavior and its effects on others.

Developmental Growth: Are increasingly aware that certain behaviors bring positive response and others do not.

Child Indicators: Describes how own actions make others feel and behave. Cooperates with peers to complete a project or games, with little conflict. Engages in empathetic, caring behavior so others respond positively. Explains his/her response to others’ actions and feelings (e.g., “I gave her a hug, because she was sad.”). Engages in and can maintain conversations. Differentiates interactions with family members, acquaintances, and friends depending on the settings and circumstances.

Caregiver Strategies: Demonstrate and provide opportunities for child to take others’ perspective before making decisions (e.g., “What would Maria think or feel if you gave her your books?”). Engage child in a discussion of how he/she likes or dislikes to be treated.

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Goal 31: Children participate positively in group activities.

Developmental Growth: Sustain group participation and work toward a common goal.

Child Indicators: Follows simple rules of participation in group activities. Participates cooperatively in large and small group activities (sometimes a leader and sometimes a follower). Participates in classroom and group routines (join other children feeding the fish or building a structure). Willing to join in the middle of an on-going group activity with friends. Invents and sets up activities that include more than one child. Sometimes part of the audience; sometimes active participants in group events.

Caregiver Strategies: Engage children in group discussions and decision-making and encourage them to contribute their ideas and listen to others. Encourage participation in group games, allowing children to makeup or modify rules. Model positive negotiation and problem-solving skills. Assist child who needs extra help in sustaining group participation, by suggesting tasks for that child within the group.

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Goal 32: Children demonstrate sympathy and empathy.

Developmental Growth: Can adjust their plans in consideration of others.

Child Indicators: Communicates others’ feelings. Comforts family members or friends who are not feeling well or are upset. Expresses excitement about special events and accomplishments of others within cultural context and expectations. Volunteers to assist and comforts peer by using words and actions. Adjusts plans in consideration of others’ wants and needs, at times. Treats the earth and living things with respect. Has a growing sense of what is fair and unfair for self and others?

Caregiver Strategies: Help child to assist others and take others’ perspectives into consideration. Set an example for child by respecting the natural world and discussing why it is important (not littering). Provide opportunities for child to care for classroom pets or plants. Discuss why a character reacts as he/she does in a story, while considering cultural differences.

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Goal 33: Children develop a sense of humor.

Developmental Growth: Use humor to consolidate understanding of concepts and language use.  Use increased abstract thinking and humor as a social skill.

Child Indicators: Uses more word play, rhymes, magic tricks, and jokes. Begins to tell riddles and jokes with a format (Knock-Knock); riddle stage. Participates in social interaction with humorous situations (silly pretend play). Uses deliberate, humorously provocative actions. Uses physical humor (jumping, silly walks). Uses humor for leadership and group acceptance. Likes gag jokes and toys (plastic poop or vomit). Likes stories with funny characters, expressions, or outcomes. May use humor to initiate interaction with a trusted adult. Uses humor with peers to initiate or extend social interactions.

Caregiver Strategies: Respond to and create opportunities for humor. Recognize differences in expression/response of humor. Provide books with wordplay and situational humor. Understand role of humor in cognition and social development. Use humor to extend child’s thinking. Clarify jokes and humor for child who is slightly younger to scaffold understanding. Find a riddle book and routinely engage child in “riddle time”.

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Goal 34: Children adapt to diverse settings.

Developmental Growth: Begin to anticipate what to expect in new settings.

Child Indicators: Expresses anticipation of special events in different settings. Accommodates a variety of settings throughout the day. Anticipates diverse settings and what will be needed in them, with assistance (e.g., “We’re going to the park, so I’ll bring a ball.”  “We’re going to the lake, so I’ll need my swimsuit.”).

Caregiver Strategies: Prepare child for transition to kindergarten through a variety of activities (visit a kindergarten classroom, practice taking a school bus). Encourage child to think about and be prepared for diverse cultural settings. Include child in planning culminating or celebratory activities associated with transitions (going to kindergarten or first grade).

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Goal 35: Children recognize, appreciate, and respect similarities and differences in people.

Developmental Growth: Recognize and are curious about differences and similarities in people.

Child Indicators: Shows concern about personal fairness within a peer group (e.g., “Everyone else gets a turn.  That’s not fair.”). Recognizes others’ abilities in certain areas (e.g., “Jamie sings really well.  Marie is a fast runner.”). Names and accepts differences and similarities in preferences (food preferences or favorite play activities). Notices that other children might use different words for the same object (mother is said differently in different languages). Begins to examine a situation from others’ perspective. Defends their right and others’ rights to fair treatment.

Caregiver Strategies: Discuss why it is positive to celebrate and learn about others’ lives and experiences. Actively address bias behavior and teach anti-bias responses (correctly pronounce and use children’s names). Engage child in songs, rhymes, and counting games in a different language. Assist child in developing simple rules for fair play.

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Grades 1 - 3

Goal 27: Children trust, interact with, and seek assistance from adults.

Developmental Growth: Interact with familiar and unfamiliar adults in a variety of settings.

Child Indicators: Attends to facial cues, tone of voice, and uses situational and past experiences to determine how to interact with or ask assistance from adults. Seeks help, when needed, before attempting a new task. Becomes responsible and independent to get needs met. Distinguishes ability, effort, and luck in attributions for success and failure. Can wait for adult’s attention. Sees teachers and adults outside of family as trusted resources. May deliberately seek adult approval. Seeks adults for arbitration. Evaluates own achievements against peers and perceived teacher’s expectations. Initiates independent social interactions and responds to negative and positive interactions with adults, by the end of the period.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide stable environment and routines throughout the day. Offer opportunities to solve social conflicts without direct adult support. Acknowledge a child’s pain, fear, and anxiety if the child is having difficult times with trusted adults (divorcing parents, economic trauma, or a loss). Support child’s ability to explore new concepts, accept different expectations, and view self as a learner. Acknowledge cultural values and beliefs about educators and education. Communicate frequently with the child’s family to support them in the child’s education and learning. Support various learning styles and rates of learning.

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Goal 28: Children develop friendships with peers.

Developmental Growth: Initially are aware of and respond to others’ needs.  Use understanding of others’ needs to help with positive interaction with other children by the end of the period.

Child Indicators: Develops social structure with peers on the basis of proximity (neighborhood, classroom). Develops social structures with peers on the basis of gender, ethnicity, and popularity. Develops a strong sense of belonging to a peer group. Creates a social structure of leaders and followers. Uses codes to identify informal groups (dress, vocabulary, activities, interests). Develops aggression and hostility within informal peer groups and outside of the informal groups. Understands that acceptance from peers may be related to likability (viewed by peers as a worthy social partner).

Caregiver Strategies: Intervene non-judgmentally and early when negative behaviors are developing.  Allow children time to solve social dilemmas. Provide opportunities for all children to be leaders and followers in a safe, structured environment. Coach, model, and reinforce positive social skills that can improve peer relations.

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Goal 29: Children demonstrate positive negotiation skills.

Developmental Growth: Negotiate and solve conflicts using reasoning, judgment, critical thinking, and a wide- ranging vocabulary.

Child Indicators: Applies awareness of others’ emotions to negotiate conflicts. Uses cues to interpret others’ feelings. Understands, anticipates, and considers others’ perspectives during negotiations. Uses problem-solving strategies to find solutions to solve disputes. Tries various strategies before seeking adult help. Uses a wide-ranging vocabulary of negotiation concepts to help solve problems.

Caregiver Strategies: Label and model various emotions. Foster development of mediation and negotiation skills according to child’s developmental abilities and cultural beliefs. Model vocabulary for negotiations. Support child to select phrases and vocabulary to resolve conflicts.

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Goal 30: Children demonstrate awareness of behavior and its effects on others.

Developmental Growth: Initially engage in positive relationships with acquaintances and friends.  Have skills and strategies to adapt behavior for most social settings and relationships by the end of the period.

Child Indicators: Internalizes standards of the group; but may still need adult monitoring, modeling, and reinforcement. Clarifies and creates links between moral rules and social norms.Interprets behaviors and words of others. Refrains from saying something that might embarrass or hurt others.  Learns self-regulation within society or smaller groups based on actions and reactions. Begins to create rules for games and activities. Reads subtle cues quickly and accurately to respond and to modify behavior.

Caregiver Strategies: Promote and model moral sensitivity, judgment, motivation, and character for all children. Learn about cultural variations in acceptable behavior. Acknowledge cultural variations in behavior.

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Goal 31: Children participate positively in group activities.

Developmental Growth: Participate in invented games and cooperative play with peers.

Child Indicators: Follows rules of participation in more complex group activities. Participates cooperatively in large and small group activities (sometimes a leader; sometimes a follower). Participates in classroom and group routines (joins other children in group assignments). Willingly joins in the middle of an on-going group activity with friends. Invents and sets up activities that include more than one child. Assigns roles to other children during group play. Participates in play with informal peer groups during unstructured activities. Chooses friends and play activities based on skills and interests.

Caregiver Strategies: Discuss the importance of teamwork when working with others to accomplish a task. Clarify purpose of group activities and support the follow through to completion of task. Offer opportunities for both formal group times, and for participation in groups that form spontaneously and informally.

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Goal 32: Children demonstrate sympathy and empathy.

Developmental Growth: Has growing understanding of how another person feels.

Child Indicators: Communicates others’ feelings and is developing the ability to understand that others can have more than one emotion at a time. Comforts family members or friends who are not feeling well or are upset. Continues to have difficulty with mixed emotions. Refines de-centering skills to take another person’s point of view. Facilitates cleanup or supports living things with respect. Has an increasing sense of justice and fairness; will “stand up” for a friend. Can comfort another without guidance.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide opportunities for child to share and discuss feelings. Help child to assist others and take others’ perspectives into consideration. Implement classroom routines of protecting the community, natural resources through recycling, public awareness, neighborhood cleanup, and writing to elected officials and business leaders. Support conflict negotiation skills. Read poems and books and offer creative art opportunities for a child to express loss and grief.

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Goal 33: Children develop a sense of humor.

Developmental Growth: Understand multiple meaning for words and situations and expand abstract abilities.  Can follow sequences in stories to conclusions.

Child Indicators: Likes cartoons/jokes and can follow sequences to punch line. Likes riddles and jokes and may memorize some favorites. Likes stories with combinations of word play and situations. Shows empathy; is not mean- spirited.  Can sometimes self-monitor, with support. Can sometimes use teasing and humor to be mean. Can use humor as a part of a full range of expression. Starts using humor as a coping mechanism. Works on sense of appropriate timing for jokes. Starts to like practical jokes, sometimes on self. Starts to de-center.  Can take another person’s point of view about what is funny. Uses humor to demonstrate meaning and understanding.

Caregiver Strategies: Understand role of humor in cognition and social development. Provide opportunities for child to act out humorous roles. Provide books with wordplay and humorous plots. Use humor to extend thinking and understanding. Monitor and resolve use of mean humor and conflict between children. Place ample riddle books in the book area.

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Goal 34: Children adapt to diverse settings.

Developmental Growth: Initially begin to react differently to different settings.  Adjust more quickly to unexpected events by the end of the period.

Child Indicators: Develops fears directed to new concerns including physical safety, achievement, and peer relations. Adjusts to special events in different settings. Recognizes that other people have opinions and sometimes worry about what others are thinking.

Caregiver Strategies: Provide activities for child to express fears in a safe environment (journal writing or drawing pictures). Make professional support available to parents and child when child’s fears interfere with the ability to grow, develop, and learn. Create opportunities for child to develop and carry out activities associated with transitions.

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Goal 35: Children recognize, appreciate, and respect similarities and differences in people.

Developmental Growth: Initially are aware of the differences between primary caregiver, family, and strangers.  Able to respect similarities and difference and begin to create solutions to biases by the end of the period.

Child Indicators: Recognizes others’ abilities in certain areas and how others’ abilities differ from their own abilities. Names and accepts differences and similarities in preferences (food preferences or favorite play activities). Notices that other children might use different words for the same object (mother is said differently in different languages). Examines a situation from others’ perspective. Recognizes stereotypes and culturally or linguistically unfair or biased behavior.

Caregiver Strategies: Demonstrate and explain why it is positive to celebrate and learn about others’ lives and experiences. Actively address bias behavior and teach anti-bias responses. Engage child in songs, rhymes, and counting games in a variety of languages. Assist children to discuss issues where similarities and differences cause conflict.

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