Encourage social skills for children’s academic success

Learning social skills can increase a child’s chance of academic success. Consider these easy activities to encourage social skills.

Encourage social skills for children’s academic success

We live in a world where social interactions happen all the time. These interactions now take place in traditional formats, but now with social media and technology, social interactions can happen anytime and anywhere. Children need to learn and understand how to navigate social situations. Research shows children that have strong social skills are better prepared to enter school and do better in school.

Social skills include things like being comfortable in social settings, interacting with others, reading and responding to social cues, showing empathy for others, communicating and showing tolerance. Children need opportunities to learn social skills and practice these new skills.

Try these fun ways to help encourage social skills in children, recommended by Michigan State University Extension.

  • Play charades using emotions; act out different emotions and have children guess what you are feeling. Being able to identify feelings in other people is an important social skill.
  • Have a staring contest. It’s not only fun, but helps children learn to keep eye contact.
  • Play stop and go. Move around the room when someone says “go” and stop in place when someone says “stop.” This will help children work on their listening skills and will also help them learn how to control their movement.
  • Roll a ball back and forth. Seems simple, but rolling the ball back and forth actually teaches children to share with another person.

Encouraging the development of social skills will help your child be ready for school. For more ideas about activities and articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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