Art Activities that Encourage Social-Emotional Development

Play helps to build social-emotional skills.


When children practice social-emotional skills, they gain access to a toolkit of strategies that help them build and maintain relationships; recognize, cope with, and express their emotions; collaborate effectively with others; and more. To encourage the social-emotional development of your young child, add opportunities for art and creative expression into your daily routines!

Activity Lists

Children naturally explore and practice social-emotional skills during play, and creative art activities are a great way to introduce your child to new topics in a non-threatening, playful way. In addition to exploring social-emotional skills, creative art activities also provide children with opportunities to build their confidence, problem solve, explore their creativity, and more!

For activity ideas to get you started, view the resource lists below!

Hands-On Activities

Online Games and Resources

wightman park

Series Navigation

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series highlights several early childhood topics to support parents and caregivers who are caring for young children. Use the list below to navigate through each series topic:

Learn more about the series.

Request free printed materials from our Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series.


Picture: A young baby looks up at the camera.
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