Ever wonder why there are kids who are shy and would rather hide from people, avoiding interaction with them while there are others who make friends easily and engage in conversation fearlessly? The reason is social skills.
Social skills are some of the most challenging life skills to develop. After all, friendship is not ready-made. It is to be made and nurtured.
In other words, for kids to develop social skills, they have to learn to make friends.
So what are social skills?
A social skill is the ability to interact and communicate with others through verbal and nonverbal ways such as speech and body language. Speech includes conversation or presentation. Body language or sign language includes facial expressions and gestures.
How to develop social skills in kids? By providing them plenty of tools to playtime and equipping them with the right tools – toys and games appropriate for developing the skills.
Here are 5 toys and games that help kids develop social skills:
1. Board games. Board games are often played with two or more players, urging them to interact with other people such as schoolmates, friends and family members. Board games teach children social skills such as waiting, taking turns, making conversation, coping with losses and sharing the joys of wins.
~An adult teaching kids the role of chess pieces~
Click this link to browse through a wide range of board games that develop social kids available at snooplay.
2. Pretend Toys. Role-playing or imaginative play is one of the best ways to interact with and communicate feelings to other children. Modern toys and pretend play or pretend games boost imagination and creativity, encouraging children to think of various situations that can involve problem-solving. They get to share toys, distribute roles and enact them. While doing so, they get acquainted with how other children accept or deny roles and, in the process, help them handle situations. Playing with pretend toys prepare children for many emotional roles that they will be taking in the future.
~A boy pretending to be a superman using a black polythene as a cape~
Choose one of these pretend toys for your kid and their peers and let the game of pretend play begin!
3. Construction toys or building blocks. Although building blocks or construction toys can be played with alone, playing with them with other children is more fun however challenging. Kids get to convey their ideas on the design and how to go about them. They get to ideate which blocks would go and would not, how big or tall the building should be and what other things to add in order to come up with a wonderful building block structure. Reinforce this activity by letting them share their thoughts behind the structure. Have them take turns in explaining their work.
~Two kids helping each other in building a structure out of construction blocks~
4. Sports toys. Most games are played with multiple players. Badminton, baseball or cricket needs another player to make the play more fun, interesting and interactive. Playing these sports with others builds camaraderie and bond. Sports toys teach children how to be a good sport and the importance of teamwork. They get to share sports strategies, handle losses and celebrate success with teammates who play a major role in their wins.
~Kids building social skills while playing soccer on a grassy field~
Take a look at some of these wonderful sports toys that are available on our website. They are perfect gifts for kids of all ages.
5. Arts and Crafts. Creating arts and crafts can be an individual or group activity. But by creating something with others and finishing an art and craft project together, children improve their social skills. Arts and crafts involve a number of trials and errors, hence they teach children to manage their frustrations when projects go wrong and are patient to do the projects again.
According to Marygrace Berberian, a licensed therapist and clinical social worker, when people make art and crafts together or engage in a creative process together, it’s a natural form of empathy-building because you’re doing something together, mirroring each other and celebrating each other’s artistic practice.
~A team of three kids creating paper crafts~
A few arts and crafts to choose from are available at snooplay. Grab one to start developing social skills in your child.
Social competence is characterized as the ability of a child to engage in social and meaningful interactions with peers and adults effectively. Having social competence is a mammoth task that if developed at an early age, children fare better in dealing with life’s circumstances. As parents, social skills are as important as any other life skills that their children need to master. This is achievable by providing kids with the right tools -toys and games and enough playtime to play with them and with their peers.