Wednesday, July 7, 2010

classic games that promote social skills for kids

I used to assume that children need to spend lots of time with peers to develop strong preschool social skills.
I found out this is a common misconception.
Play dates and preschool attendance can add stimulation, cognition and fun in a child’s daily life. But socialization; the process of learning how to get along with others is not the same thing as socializing. Frequent socializing with peers does not necessarily lead to better social skills. Often kids learn bad examples of socialization when they are still young. Getting a good foundation of learning with a focus on socialization is really helpful. Classic games from our own childhood are actually rich in socialization.
Here’s some classic games that encourages kids to practice self-control, communication and problem solving.

Classic Games that Promote Social Skills:
Make The Statue Laugh: Kids freeze like statues, then one child--who is “it”--must try to get them to break character and laugh. The first one to laugh becomes “it” for the next round.
Charades: Kids engage in a variety of social skills activities in this game. A player draws a slip of paper from a container and silently reads the word written there. Then he tries to convey this word to his team mates through pantomime. What gestures are most likely to communicate the crucial information? The best players are good at perspective-taking--at imagining what it’s like being in the audience. They are also good at reading body language and other social cues. After each round, encourage kids to engage in analysis. What gestures worked? What didn’t? Why?
Follow The Leader: Have the kids line up behind the leader want follow him through the obstacle course. Kids must stay in line, and take turns as they pass through each section of the course.
Hot Lava: Section off a large area with tape or simply find a large shallow puddle. Kids have to jump over the area without touching the perimiter or the middle.

What are some classic games you love?


Theresa Milstein said...

I love teamwork games with the older students. It makes them socialize with people they'd normally avoid, preferring their little circles. Having them line up in birth order without talking. Or having them hold crossed hands and figure out how to maneuver to uncross is a lot of fun too. It fosters good cooperation skills, which they often lack in middle school.

Barbra Stephens said...

I remember my high school teachers having us play those games. She always had us working in groups, even taking tests in groups. We all had to turn in one test paper as a group and convince to others of the correct answer.
I really learned a lot about teamwork back then!