Simple Interactions

Simple Interactions is an approach and a tool that empowers adults to deepen their relational practice with children. Simple Interactions is for caring adults from all contexts - educators of infants to teens, caregivers in homes and residential settings, librarians and museum educators, social workers and healthcare providers.

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Fred Rogers and the Simple Interactions Approach

Fred Rogers believed that human relationships are essential to children’s development at any age. Through television, Fred modeled the kind of human relationships that fostered trust, provided support, and inspired respect. Fred’s message to parents and professionals alike is that they are already capable of building and sustaining a beautiful relationship with the children in their care. Developed by Dr. Junlei Li, SI is grounded in this particular aspect of Fred’s legacy as well as in the convergence of developmental theory and research evidence.

The Simple Interactions approach affirms the importance of human interactions in children’s lives. We capture and build on what professionals and caring adults already do well as the basis for their learning and growing. Our approach is based on the understanding that the “active ingredient” in a child’s growth is the developmental relationship between the child and another human being. The basic building blocks of such relationships are the day-to-day interactions between children and the adults who teach and care for them.

Simple Interactions engages children’s caregivers through strengths-based, practice-focused, and community-supported learning sessions. By using the 1-page “Simple Interactions Tool” along with learning sessions based on authentic field videos, we help professionals build and sustain a “community of practice” across a wide range of child-serving settings, from child care to classrooms, from out-of-school time programs to orphanages.

Simple Interactions Partners

Simple Interactions is a partnership between the Fred Rogers Institute, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Support Us

Your financial support of the Institute helps us expand our initiatives and resources so that educators and children's helpers can continue to learn and grow from Fred Rogers' legacy. Thank you!