Looking for ways to teach your children social skills through play? Keep reading to learn why this method works and how to implement it.
Learning social skills is a crucial part of your child’s development. These skills help them to succeed at school, and for the rest of their life outside education. They learn skills such as communication and cooperation by interacting with others, and play facilitates and develops those interactions. Children will also use play to act out scenarios. They model behavior that they’ve seen so that they start to understand social situations.
What social skills do children learn through play?
Play can help children to learn and develop some of the most essential social skills they’ll need in life. With some initial guidance and instruction, they’ll start to pick up a lot of social interactions naturally through play.
Play helps them learn how to communicate, how they can approach others, and talk and act in different situations. It also teaches them about cooperation and how to work together with others. They’ll figure out why helping others is essential and will help them, and they’ll learn to compromise.
Problem-solving is another crucial skill for children’s’ development, and they need to learn how to overcome problems with others. It will help them to resolve conflicts and negotiate to come up with solutions. Playing can also show kids how to see things from other perspectives so they can learn empathy. With a bit of guidance, they’ll figure out how to understand what others are feeling and how to respond.
They’ll also be able to understand better how to cope when things don’t go according to plan. They’ll experience how other children might not want to play, or activity might go wrong. It’s important that kids experience these situations and know how to tackle them and adapt to the circumstances.
Work with them to resolve things for the first few times. Make sure to celebrate their efforts rather than focusing on what went wrong.
Play games with others
Younger kids might be fairly happy to play by themselves. However, as they reach two or three years old, encourage them to spend time playing games with siblings or meet up with other parents and kids.
Structured games and activities that involve kids working together are an excellent way to learn team working and cooperation skills. UNICEF Kid Power has some great ideas for team building activities – find more here: unicefkidpower.org. Even something as simple as throwing a ball and catching or playing tag requires them to coordinate with each other.
You could also have regular family games night to help siblings connect. It does not always have to be a specific game.
Talk to your children about how to approach groups that are playing. They can learn ways to introduce themselves or how to integrate themselves.
Set challenges for your kids, such as constructing a den out of certain materials, put together an obstacle course around the house, or send them on a treasure hunt.
Give them guidance to start with about how they can help each other complete the challenge. From there, let them figure it out. It will teach them how to listen to each other. They”ll also learn to communicate their ideas and understand how to overcome issues as a team.
Child-led imaginative play provides a safe space for children to explore and understand concepts and ideas on their own.
Subscription boxes for kids such as the Sago Mini Box from sagominibox.com are a great way to encourage children to take the lead with playtime. Each box is filled with fun, educational make-and-play activities that children can play with together.
The different scenarios will provide them with the opportunity to learn about decision-making and problem solving as a team. And by encouraging child-led play, you’ll be boosting their confidence. It allows them to discover how socializing can make play more fun.
Teaching Children Social Skills Through Play
Play is an essential part of child development that helps them to understand how the world works. It encourages the vital social skills that they’re going to rely on later in life. For more great advice, check out our parenting articles.