Can you remember a time when you experienced a new place and didn’t know a single person? Or a time when you were placed in a group of people to figure out a problem or work on a project together? These are situations that people are faced with every single day and to make it through these types of situations successfully, a person must use their social and teamwork skills to the best if their ability. Both sets of skills are developed when we are only children and progress as we get older.
According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the first few years of a child’s life are the most important because this is when the most neural connections are being formed. More than 1 million neural connections are formed in a child’s brain every second. This builds the foundation of everything else the child will learn in their life. That is why it is important that all crucial social, mental, and physical skills are taught at very young ages to children.
Social skills are how we interact with one another. We use them to make new friends, negotiate conflict, and work together. It is important that a child grasps these concepts as it will affect so many parts of their life as they grow. During the early years of a child’s development it is important they learn tasks such as taking turns, reading facial expressions, teamwork, and paying attention. Below are a few fun games, activities, and more information that will enhance these important social skills.
- 101 Ways to Teach Children Social Skills A ready-to-use reproducible activity book by Lawrence E. Shapiro that lists 101 ways to teach social skills to children using writing and play activities.
- Social Skills Activities for Children and Teens Parent Science lists activities that will help develop social skills in age demographics from toddlers, to “big kids”, to adolescents.
- Downloads That Build Social Skills Use the growing digital world by downloading these 7 educational apps that are meant to build your child’s social skills.
- Child Development Tracker Use PBS Parents Child Development Tracker to browse by age and find what social skills they should be learning along with some ideas for activities.
- 8 Social Skills Students Need A step by step guide from teachers on how to teach their most 8 important social skills to children.
- What Are Social Skills in Children? This site defines social skills and their development during childhood, and strategies to teach them to children.
- Social Intelligence: Helping Children Develop Social Competence A list of tips on how to raise a “socially intelligent” child.
- 5 Highly-Rated Kids Games for Practicing Social Skills A list of five games for working on social skills, behavior, and confidence. You can play these games one on one, at home, or in a therapy session.
- 12 Games to Teach Students Social-Emotional Learning Help students develop not only social skills, but also tap into their emotional skills with these 12 games.
- Autism & Special Needs Social Activities and Games These activities and games will help children with autism and special needs have fun while developing their social skills.
- Social Skills for 6 Year Olds These social skill themes games and activities are designed to help children who are around the ages of six years old.
- Social Skills Activities Jumpstart’s free educational printables and activities that help children learn about social skills.
- The Benefits of Board Games Scholastic explains how board games are filled with learning opportunities for young children and the lessons that they can teach them.
- Social Skills Toys A list of toys and games that will help children develop their social skills.
- Understanding Your Child’s Trouble with Social Skills A guide to understanding the warning signs that your child may have difficulty with their social skills.
Teamwork is the ability to work together with another person or a group of people to solve a problem or complete a project. Children learning teamwork skills early on in life will help prepare them for situations where they might work on a class project together with other students or even in a future career trying to solve a problem with coworkers. Below are some teamwork games and tips for children.
- Team Building Exercises for Children A list of 8 games that challenge children to work together and interact with their peers.
- 16 Fun Team-Building Activities for Kids A list of 16 fun ideas for a team to bond and share a fun experience together.
- 15 Team-Building Activities for Kids Your kids or students will love working together to play these 15 team building games.
- 10 Team-Building Games That Promote Critical Thinking These games will provide children with a lesson in critical thinking and good communication skills while having fun too.
- Icebreaker Ideas A list of 21 fun team building exercises for work, kids, or small groups.
- Fun Team Building Activities for Kids A list of team building activities and an explanation on why they are beneficial to children.
- Children and Empathy: Teamwork An article by Michigan State University on how teaching children the value of teamwork can develop empathy.
- 3 Ways to Teach Kids the Importance of Teamwork A list of three tips that will help teach children about team work while having fun.
- Teaching Your Child to Be a Team Player Teach your children how to excel in a group environment with this list of teamwork tips.
- Songs for Teaching This site teaches your child values, morals, and life lessons through fun and educational music.
- Common Ground: Teaching Kids the Benefits of Working Together A guide to teaching children the importance of teamwork and communication.
- Let’s Work Together A comprehensive list of activities that promote working together and team building in children.
- How to Get Kids to Work Together Teach your child to work better with others with these team building activities.
- Teamwork! Five simple activities that promote cooperation, communication, and collaboration between children.
- The Top 10 Friendship Games and Activities A list of ten activities that promote teamwork and show the meaning of friendship.
- MSW Online: Learn how to grow within social work by pursuing an MSW degree