As parents, we frequently concentrate on teaching our children their letters, numbers, and how to sing the alphabet song. But did you know that in kindergarten, social and emotional abilities are equally as essential as academic skills? Self-regulation and the capacity to identify emotions have been equally crucial to success as academic performance in recent research! There are a few options, and they don’t have to be complicated. For example, you may use these ten simple social skills exercises for toddlers to help them develop their social awareness.
Activities to help your child with social skills
Remember that the capacity to recognise emotion is the first step toward controlling it. So, while your child learns these new abilities, be patient with them.
- Use books- You can utilise specific books to start a conversation with your children. Self-awareness and the capacity to communicate feelings are two of the most important social skills you can teach your child. So use books to teach kids these skills!
- Although children are capable of spontaneous gestures of compassion, they might be wary of strangers. So what can we do to educate kids that a stranger is a friend? Having young toddlers engage in fun acts of reciprocity with strangers is one effective technique. Taking turns pressing buttons on a toy, rolling a ball back and forth, or passing toys to each other are examples of these activities.
- Name game for kids- Kids roll or toss a ball to someone after calling out their name in this basic game. Even toddlers can benefit from social skills games like this to help them remember their classmates’ names. It demonstrates that they are aware of others and is a first step toward getting to know them.
- Virtual games– Even if your child cannot have in-person play dates, they can still spend time together via video chat and other online platforms. By gazing at their buddy on the screen during video chats, children can make eye contact. Adapting to new conditions becomes a crucial skill, whether in social interactions or the future career. Problem-solving abilities improve due to coming up with new methods to spend time together, which adds to a set of important social skills.
- Step Into Conversation is a card game designed for autistic youngsters. The game includes organised social skills tasks such as initiating a conversation and discussing particular topics using cards. The game teaches youngsters how to communicate effectively with others and hold a discussion with perspective and empathy. It instils excellent manners and self-control in children by demonstrating how to start a conversation respectfully, when to speak and when to listen. You may add structure to talks by utilising socialising games like this to help them acquire the social skills they’ll need to deal with various circumstances in their everyday lives.
- Rhythm games can be used as a social skills activity at home or in school. Your youngster may be creative while following directions and identifying patterns in these music-making activities. Kirschner and Tomasello found that making music together improves social behaviour in a 2010 research.
- Pretend play- These social skills exercises rely on your child’s natural desire to engage in play. You may interact with your youngster through toys such as plush animals or dolls. Kids learn to notice actions and convey their feelings by having dialogues with toys. They practice their social skills with the toys in a safe, imagined setting without worrying about hurting the toys’ feelings.
- Building games- To bring their invention to life, children must communicate, take turns, and understand each other as they work together to construct anything, such as a tower out of blocks. The children will collaborate to devise a technique for constructing their object. When they put it into practice, they learn to try again if the creation fails, and they applaud each other’s unique skills when the project is completed successfully.
- Children can join a school team, join a leisure team, or simply play with their friends in their garden. Team sports teach children how to collaborate toward a shared objective while remaining focused on the game. They also learn to detect emotions, such as when someone is injured or when a goal is scored, and react correctly when they win or lose.
- You are teaching social skills with expressions when you play this game with your youngster. Mimicking your expressions helps your youngster grasp what particular expressions signify and identify them in real-life situations. When youngsters with social difficulties learn to understand facial expressions, they become more comfortable in settings involving them.
Evidence-based social skills activities and games allow your kid to develop social skills while having fun. Any of these activities may be adapted to something that will captivate your child and allow them to be creative in their socialising.