Eight Games That Help in Developing Social Skills

Sometimes we may notice that our children become uncomfortable in social settings. They may avoid gatherings, not go out with classmates or in general become awkward when asked to socialize. They are awkward because they do not know how to act around people, manage emotions or socialize with others. 

Kid’s Social skills Development Is Critical!

Parents should not ignore this kind of situation; a kid’ s social skills need to be given as much importance as their extracurricular and academic development. If they are socialized from an early age, they will grow to become stubborn, awkward, underwhelmed, unapproachable and aggressive around people. As a parent, you need to focus on their social-emotional well-being when they are kids. 

Just like you teach your toddler to walk, speak, read, write, eat, etc., similarly, you need to focus on their social-emotional behaviour. Look for a holistic development education in Singapore that caters to the all-around need of your child.

Understanding Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the development of self-awareness, interpersonal skills and self-control that are central to success in school, work, and life. SEL effectively encompasses everything from problem-solving and self-discipline to impulse control and emotion management. As children become empathetic, they start recognizing and considering others’ feelings. 

A few key indicators should be worrisome and mean your child requires more attention. 

  • Shows aggression when irritated or frustrated 
  • Troubles and bullies others
  • Is sad and withdrawn in a group or alone
  • Have anxiety with parental separation
  • Lack of interest in most things that peers enjoy

There are a few activities that can help the child learn social and emotional skills. They become more independent and learn how to interact with others. Here are eight games that can help your child become social.  

1. Turn-Taking Games

Kids are naturally kind but may be nervous around new people. A powerful way to help kids socialize with new people is by engaging them in playful acts of reciprocity with a stranger. This can start at a very young age and could involve taking turns to press a toy’s buttons on a toy, passing toys to others and rolling a ball back and forth.

2. The Name Game

Young kids must try and get the person’s attention before they want to speak to them. So, to enable this social skill by making preschool children sit in a circle. Now give a ball to one of the kids and ask them to name another person in the circle and roll the ball to them. The kid who receives the ball should repeat this and so on. 

3. Social Problem-Solving Board Game

Social problem-solving is all about gauging a social situation and dealing with it in a socially suitable way. Present your child with a social problem, and ask them to come up with a solution after evaluating the consequences and choice of their decision. This will lead them to make a decision fit for the situation. 

4. Staring Contest

Many children are unable to maintain eye contact when having a conversation. Conduct a staring contest that allows them to make eye contact with their peers while focusing on the task at hand. Your child may still feel uncomfortable, in which case you can start with smaller tasks like placing a sticker on your forehead and building a conversation while making them look at that. 

5. Virtual Playtime

If your child cannot have play dates in person or go out and play with friends, it does not mean they cannot play at all. Make them spend time with their friends via video chat and other online modes. Video chats also improve kids’ eye contact as they must keep looking at their friends on the screen. 

6. Emotion Charades

This is a really unique and fascinating social-emotional group activity for kids. This game of emotional charades includes writing multiple emotions, each on individual strips of paper. Ask the child to pick one out and try and act out that emotion. This helps children to learn and recognize emotions using body and facial cues. 

By acting out and displaying emotional expressions during group activities, children learn the management of emotions which helps them communicate feelings at later stages in life. 

7. Pictionary

Pictionary is a social skills group activity for children which is quite similar to emotion charades. It helps children to work together as a team and develop other valuable life skills. To play Pictionary, split the group into two teams. Each team needs to nominate an artist that will draw for them. The artists select a card with a phrase they will demonstrate on paper or a board. Both artists draw simultaneously, and their teams try to guess the correct phrase. Whoever guesses wins. 

8. Topic Game

Pick a topic to discuss and let each kid add to the discussion till the topic points have been exhausted, or the topic has changed. Choose themes children are fond of such as vegetables, fruits, books, etc.

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