Guess what? Kids ALL learn differently. It doesn’t matter if they are neurotypical or neurodivergent, they all need different approaches when they are learning things. When it comes to social skills, the best way to teach is by play. Positive peer influence ranks as the numbe one way that kids learn from age 4 up.
For this reason, we’ve come up with a list of 6 social skills activities for kids, that they will love. Some of them we even use in our Rally Points!
1. Team Word searches
This is one we use often and it has some amazing benefits. You need at least 2 people/kids to play this. Find a wordsearch and then have the kids take turns finding words. But, don’t let them just point or mark the word, have them communicate with you on where the word is. This helps with socialization for kids, patience and giving directions.
Seriously, the kids have so much fun with this one. It’s like a normal game of Charades, but only with emotions. You can write the emotions on little pieces of paper, give one to each child and then have them act out the emotions. Kinda like Angry Birds, even the angry faces get lots of laughs. An activity like this helps them learn how to read different emotions on other’s faces.
3. Category A-Z
Not a conventional name, I know. I’m sure you’ve played a game like this, we just play it a little different for the kids. Start by picking on category, say Pets. Then go around to each kid and see how long they can keep the alphabet going. Like this:
Category is Pets
Brian - Alligator
Suzie - Baboon
Brian - Cat
Suzie - Dog
I’m sure you get the picture.
4. Emoji Bingo
This is a fun one. You will need Bingo cards with different emoji faces on them. At first, when calling the emoji, use words to describe what it is. As the kids are looking for the respective on on their cards they will have to describe it back to you. Emoji Bingo helps them learn to be more descriptive while also learning the patience to listen… and it’s Emoji’s, just wait til you call the Poop Emoji hahaha.
We’ve done this one a few times, and it really makes me chuckle. Part of good social skills is being able to follow a train of thought. That can be very difficult for some of our kiddos. Improv makes it fun by allowing them to make just enough connection to keep it going without completely losing the original concept. It’s simple to do, just start a story and let each kid add on their version of events.
6. Simon Says
Buidling social skills for listening, self-control and more is super important and nothing does it better than Simon Says. Make sure each kid gets a chance to play Simon, because then you’re adding in a little bit of leadership skills as well!
There’s no doubt that social skills are important for kids. Yes, we need to world to open up to them a bit more sometimes, but they also need to work to be open to the world around them. Without good social skills, they will constantly be fighting an uphill battle.
I hope you enjoyed these 6 social skills activities for kids and know that your kids will find a lot of joy in them as well!