10 January Social Skills Activities that you can do at home.
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I don’t know about you but January often feels long and is cold which mandates continuous indoor time and the need to find activities. Here are ten activities that you can do with your child(ren) while working on social skill development.
- Keep the balloon up in the air
You will need a balloon for this activity. (You don’t want the balloon filled with helium as you want it to fall back to the ground and not stay at the ceiling). Tell the child that they must keep the balloon from touching the floor. Encourage your child to count how many times they hit the balloon before it hits the ground. This activity works on teamwork and communication skills especially if played between siblings or with another peer.
- Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a great way to work on the social skills problem solving, taking turns and working together. Utilize the cards below to create a fun and engaging scavenger hunt throughout the house.
You can down a PDF version of the scavenger hunt below.
- Emotion Charades or Emotion Pictionary
Act out emotions or draw out emotions. Feelings in a jar can be used to act out the emotions if you’d like.
You can also play the game Feelings in a Flash. This game focuses on feelings and how to cope with each feeling while building confidence and empathy.
- Play the conversation alphabet game
This game utilizes every letter of the alphabet to discuss a topic. For example if the topic is food, you would go through the alphabet A is for Apple, B is for Blueberry, C is for Casserole…. O is for oatmeal….. S is for Salmon and so on.
- Have a staring contest.
Making a contest out of eye contact not only practices the skill of eye contact but can be really challenging for some children.
- Read a book about emotions and feelings
Some of our favorite books related to emotions and feelings include…
The Color Monster is a great book that helps to unpack feelings that we all experience through colors. This book can help open the discussion about how your child is feeling and help them relate feelings to situations.
The Way I Feel is a great book that helps children connect words to emotions. It also discusses the acceptance of emotions and how we feel throughout the day in a non judgemental way through the exploration of many emotions not just our “negative emotions.”
For the child who loves superheroes, Even Superhero’s have bad days is a great book that discusses how everyone has bad days, even superheroes. It depicts that when superheroes have bad days it can get bad for everyone but superheroes can also utilize their superpowers to help gain control of their strong emotions of anger and frustration and cope in a more positive way.
- Play Pretend Restaurant
This activity can be done with pretend food or Playdough and it works on manners. You can practice role modeling manners by being the customer while your child is the waiter. Remember to say please, thank you and to ask questions about the menu. Switch roles with your child.
- Virtual show and Tell
Virtual playdates can help give your child a sense of togetherness even if they are far apart. The child can take turns showing items around their home that they would otherwise not be able to bring to school or on an in-person playdate.
- Social Stories
Create your own social story. Social Stories are a visual tool that helps teach children how to do certain things, master social skills or help navigate unfamiliar social situations. Examples of social stories include how to ride the bus, how to act at a wedding or in a restaurant or how to perform daily skills such as dressing or bathing. Social stories can even help children navigate through problem behaviors such as bitting, hitting, spitting or kicking. Social stories can help reinforce the expected behavior for unfamiliar situations.
- Social Questions and Active Listening Activity
Cut out the following cards and place them face down on the table or in a bowl/hat.. Take turns asking questions and actively listening to the responses. Feel free to add your own questions too.
You can download a PDF of the social questions below.