Wildwood is…seeing the forest for the trees!

How can big body play support your child’s development of emotional intelligence and self-esteem?


Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. EI is the key to success in life.


In his ground-breaking book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman says “People of high hope…are flexible enough to find different ways to get their goals or to switch goals if one becomes impossible.” (87)


Let’s look at big body play through the lens of Daniel Goleman’s five domains of emotional intelligence; as they relate to the document How Does Learning Happen?


  1. Knowing ones emotions:

Children are physically active and confident in their own abilities.


  1. Managing emotions:

Children feel included and safe with others.


  1. Motivating oneself:

Children experience a sense of competence and autonomy as they explore at their own pace.


  1. Recognizing emotions in others:

They begin to show concern and empathy and take action to assist others.


  1. Handling relationships:

Children are learning from each other.


How can the adult (educator, parent, and caregiver) support this development?


According to Forest and Natures School’s guide, “The educator both leads (invites, nudges, pulls) students beyond their comfort zones and misconceptions into deeper thinking and understanding, and follows their interests.”(18)


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