Empathy between children and the world is a main developmental objective for preschool children.  They don’t differentiate between themselves and others.  Cultivating relationships with animals, both real and imagined, is one of the best ways to foster empathy during childhood.  Children want to run like deer, slither along like snakes, be clever as a fox, and quick like a rabbit (adapted from Sobel, David. 1999)

Ideas for parents:  Looking for activities for 3 year olds – or older or younger siblings? Try playing a simple game of Animal Charades with the whole family. You can have lots of fun moving and making sounds like some of your favorite animals, and in this fun way, help your child develop a greater capacity for empathy. And of course, we can’t help but mention that group activities for kids that support parent involvement in early childhood education, such as Kindermusik, are one of the best ways for music and learning about empathy to go hand-in-hand.

– Contributed by Theresa Case, whose Greenville, SC program, Kindermusik at Piano Central Studios, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide.

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