Between chatting with the person next in line at the grocery store, to making new friends at the playground, and seemingly mistaking your friends as their houseguests, it’s no surprise that preschoolers know a thing or two about being social. According to science, the reason for their growing independence has at lot to do with a daily routine they learn at school.
It’s circle time.
A recent study showed that children develop a sense of community and sense of belonging during a period called circle time. This is especially beneficial for those who are shy, anxious, or socially awkward. Another study found that sitting in a circle puts people in a talkative, more collaborative mood. Consider this the next time you find your party guests watching television instead of socializing.
Several of my clients live in homes with rooms historically known as the parlor. In earlier times, homeowners would invite guests into the parlor, sans television and smartphones, for a lively conversation over cocktails and small bites.
Furniture placement was essential for fostering conversation. Here are a few examples:
Four chairs around an ottoman
Gather around the game table
So, the next time you host a social event, invite your guests to circle time. Your preschooler can certainly show them how to break the ice and how to become expert conversationalists.