3 ways to develop all-important social skills

Three ways to build those crucial social skills—all the better to have fun when playing and interacting with other kids!


1. Ball games

A classic game for a reason! Rolling a ball back and forth is a way to build relationships and learn about taking turns. It is also one of the easiest games to scale up as your child grows and becomes more skilled.


Try:

  • Saying somebody’s name before they roll the ball to them

  • Asking a question before you roll the ball to them and having them answer as they roll it back

  • Singing a song as you roll the ball back and forth


2. Role play

Role-play enables children to try out social behaviours and even take risks they would not take in real life. It gives children a safe space to explore, be creative, and even mimic the behaviour they have seen around them.


Try:

  • Role play going to the grocery store and shopping for fruits and vegetables

  • Role play visiting the doctor's office and going for a check-up

  • Role play going to to an amusement park with your friends and going on your favourite rides


3. Listening games

Play some listening games! The process of carefully listening to instructions and adapting behaviour as necessary helps children develop social-emotional skills as well as vital abilities like focus and attention.


Try:

  • Playing Simon Says is a great way to practice impulse control and listening skills. The catch is that you must only perform the movement or action if the leader says, "Simon says..." first.

  • Red Light, Green Light. Just like in real life, red means stop and green means go. You must always pay attention to the leader because if they see you going after they signal a red light, you must turn around and start over.

  • Freeze Dance is a timeless kid favourite and an excellent way to learn impulse control. Just play some music and get moving, but be careful! You must also stop your body if the music stops.