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For Early Childhood Education

Friendsgiving and The Power of Friendships in Early Childhood

Who doesn’t love Friendsgiving? Good food and good friends is a hard combination to beat.

Many of our Schools are celebrating with classroom feasts and Thanksgiving activities this week, encouraging children to reflect on and appreciate the relationships they have built – and continue to build – with one another.

Though they may not always be easily apparent at drop-off or pickup, these friendships are sincere, and in many cases, they endure outside the walls of The Malvern School. Most of all, they are extremely valuable to your child’s development.

“One of the things that I think early childhood educators sometimes overlook is the power of peer-to-peer relations, friendships, at a very young age,” says Jane Bertrand, an expert in early childhood development from the University of Toronto.

While we consciously encourage authentic friendships in all of our classrooms – from Infants through Kindergarten Enrichment – this is a great reminder of the proven benefits of socialization for children, including enhanced socio-emotional and cognitive development, even at a very early age.

“We now know from [the] science that it’s not just parallel play and real friendships that develop at age five. Real friendships develop in infant rooms with young babies noticing each other,” Jane adds.

There’s more to friendships and social interaction in early childhood than meets the eye, and Jane shares more expert insight on the topic in the interview below. Give it a look, and you’ll start to see the way your child interacts with their peers and their environment in a new light.

The power of friendships in early childhood – video

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