Building Social Skills in Kids
Parents and other people are perhaps the best influences in helping children develop good social skills. However, there are different types of toys that can also foster proper social development. The following are four kinds that you can invest in if you want to increase the likelihood of your children gaining proper social skills.
Board games may very well be the best type of toy out there for social skills development. For most games, you need have at least one other player, if not 2-3 more. The interaction required to play a board game by its rules teaches children a variety of skills required for social interaction, including taking turns, playing fair, teamwork, and being able to accept disappointment in a loss.
Pretend Play Toys
Dolls and pretend play toys such as plastic kitchenware and toy medical kit are great toys that reinforce the use of imagination when playing with others. Kids can pretend on their own, of course, but as they get older, they find it’s more fun to play with other children. This promotes sharing, an important social skill. They also learn cooperation and how to express themselves verbally and through actions. It’s important to foster pretend play in both genders, as boys tend to love it as much as girls.
Building blocks are not just for developing your child’s intellectual and motor skills, but also good for developing their social skills as well. You can encourage your kids to share their blocks with others, and discuss what structure to build. This promotes discussion and decision making, as well as teamwork and sharing. Be sure to mention how much easier and faster it was to complete the structure with another’s help, just to reinforce why working together is a good thing.
As with board games, sporty games usually have to be played with at least another person. Getting your child some plastic rackets and a tennis ball to play a game with a neighbor or sibling is an excellent way to get them moving and socializing at the same time. Of course, you can choose from a variety of other sports toys besides tennis.
How do you help build proper social skills in your children? Do you use toys, and if so, which ones?