Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Social Development



  • A book about families
  • Family photographs
  • Pre-cut cardboard or poster board frames
  • Masking tape
  • Markers or crayons
  • Collage materials (buttons, sequins, tissue paper feathers, shells, or beads)
  • Oak tag paper, lined paper, and drawing paper
  • Colored glue (glue mixed with tempera paint or food coloring)



  • Fine-motor
  • Social-emotional
  • Language
  • Creative development



Send a note home explaining that children will be learning about their classmates' families. Ask each family to send in a family photograph to use in an art activity in which children will decorate frames for their portraits. Families who may not have a group photograph can work with their child at home to paste together several photographs of family members to create one family portrait. Pets can also be included.

Provide children with precut picture frames that will fit each of their family photographs. Set up the art area with a variety of art materials. Invite small groups of children to create decorative picture frames for their family photographs. Use colored glue for children who enjoy the process of dripping glue to create interesting patterns and textures.

Use glue to mount the children's family photographs onto a sheet of oak tag that extends about one-half inch beyond the edges of the photograph. Use masking tape to affix the edges of the mounted photograph onto the back of the frame.

Work with children individually to discuss their families. Record children's comments on paper to create a banner that can be attached to the bottom of their family portrait.



Family Potluck Gathering: Provide families with an opportunity to get to know one another at a potluck breakfast or dinner. Create a list of items for parents to bring and include them on a sign-up sheet prior to the event. Children can make invitations, sponge-paint tablecloths, decorate napkin rings, and create a special dish for the event. Children may enjoy teaching parents a favorite fingerplay or greeting song.



Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier

Who's in a Family? by Robert Skutch