Games are a great way to introduce and teach social-emotional learning skills to kids and young adults. Social skills help kids become more self-aware, develop positive relationships, show empathy towards others, manage emotions, use self-control, resolve conflicts, and make positive decisions.
Some social skills are already there in kids like communication skills, but they need to be nurtured and put into practice because they might be dormant in them and often affected by an individual’s personality. While there are others like problem-solving etc. which need to be inculcated in various ways.
Children develop social skills by being in different social situations. But for some kids, even after experiencing many different social settings, they still need a little help. Educators and parents can make use of resources like stories, videos, games, and
activities to make kids understand different social skills and how to improve them.
Here is a list of such educative and fun-filled games/activities for kids focussing on social skills.
1) Team Pictionary: There can be several teams of 2 or more people where one kid can draw a word/expression and others have to guess. This can also be played as dumb charades. The essence is to learn teamwork and coordination. Decoding skills and understanding other’s perspective plays a big role in this which is also the foundation of social skills.
2) Guess Who: This is like 20 questions or finding the answer from clues. This aids in problem-solving and critical thinking. They need to have an eye for details to listen and interpret each clue to get closer to the answer.
3) The Telephone Game: This is like the Chinese whisper games which call for active listening and interpretation skills. This helps them be attentive and enhances their focus as well. To play, have kids line up or make a circle. Whisper a sentence to the first person, and have them whisper that exact sentence to the next person in line. This will continue until the sentence gets to the last person. That person will then announce what they heard to the entire group. It will be fun to see how the sentence gets changed. Use this as a lesson to teach kids that listening is important so that the meaning of what they need to know is not lost.
4) Emotion Bingo: Kids can begin to recognize emotions and what they mean by playing this game. This is played exactly like traditional Bingo, with the only difference being that emotions are displayed on the Bingo cards instead of numbers and they have to enact what is mentioned if they have the number being called out.
5) Continue My Story: Everybody loves stories and telling one by themselves makes it more exciting. This game begins with a prompt with someday starting a story, and then the kids keep adding to it on their own. This helps to boost their creativity and also their listening skills. The story must not lose track and should continue in a logical way.
6) Board Games (Individual and Team): There are various types of board games that can help in building social skills. Many individual and team games are available like Trouble, Cluedo, Monopoly, and others which help to hone different social skills in kids. Social Skills Board Games which can be a collection of various activities with worksheets, and other fun doable things can be purchased both online or offline.
If you are trying to build certain social skills in your child, try any of these specific to the skill and you will surely notice a positive change and learning in them.