reframing social skills

stimulating social-emotional competence in early childhood


How can we stimulate the development of social-emotional competence in early childhood?

Children with poor social-emotional competences are more likely to end up in childcare (municipality of Rotterdam, 2017). The basis of our social skills is set in the early years of our lives, between the age of 0 and 4 years. At this age, children spend most of their time with their caregivers. So when it comes to social skills, children are very dependent on the social abilities of their parents, who often pass on their own level of social-emotional competence to their offspring.

Therefore, in order to break this circle and improve the development of social skills among youth, not only the social-emotional competences of young children but also that of their parents should be stimulated. Together with Garage 2020 Rotterdam and domain-experts we developed 'Soemva', a set of three games for parents and their children (3-4 years old). Each game targets another key-element of social-emotional development and is designed to initiate a simple and brief daily routine between parents and children. The development of the three games has been an iterative process in which young families in Rotterdam actively participated to help improve and optimise Soemva.

Fifty prototypes of Soemva are currently distributed among young families in Rotterdam, who participate in a 40-day Soemva-challenge. This challenge is included in the CIKEO study on raising children of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam.  

Health and Science
Project kick-off: 
June 2017
Project delivered: 
February 2018
Product Design
Service Design
Project size: 
Project developers: 
Lotte Jacobse
Mother project: 
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