Top 25 Social Skills Activities For Teens And Young Children

Social Skills

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Do you want to help your teen develop good social skills? Are you a concerned parent who wishes your teen had a more fun social life? If you agree to these and similar questions then reading this article may help you.

It is extremely important for kids to have good socialization skills. These skills help prepare them for their life later. The need and manner of socialization also change once the kids grow up and become teenagers. These years are rife with confusion, rage and grumpiness as a result of puberty. Kids with poor socialization skills may become even more aloof as teens. Poor social skills at times may also manifest as rage or depression. Kids who lack proper social skills often tend to have difficulties in maintaining meaningful relationships as adults.

Thus, it is important to help teenagers learn proper social skills. Parents play a crucial role in this area and can do a lot of good by helping their teenagers participate in social activities. Here are some ideas for games and activities to help your teen and young kids develop social skills.

10 Fun Social Skills Activities For Teens

1. Theater:

Theatre is a great activity for teenagers to meet new people and expand their horizons. Visit the local theater groups in your town/city and see if they have open spots for kids. Theatre may help your shy kid to open up and help your social kid to thrive in a creative environment. Kids who don’t like the limelight can also consider working in the costume or production department of theater companies. You should also encourage your teen to take part in school plays.

[ Read: Group Activities For Teenagers ]

2. Activity Camps:

Summer camps with lots of fun activities are perfect for kids of all ages. Find a camp that is appropriate for your teenager. Camps are great places to make new friends, interact with strangers and also work alongside them. One-day or weekend camps are especially effective for teens who lack social skills. A day of interaction with new people and partaking in different activities can help even shy kids learn the skills needed for proper social interactions. There are tons of options for camps such as drama, dance, music, sports, science, etc.

3. Volunteer Work:

Volunteering is a great activity for kids of all age groups. Encourage your teen to volunteer at retirement homes, child welfare centers or animal shelters. They can also offer to teach useful skills to smaller kids or read books to them. Help them understand how they can organize volunteer works to help their neighborhood or community. Your teen can improve his social skills while helping others.

4. Sports Participation:

There is a reason sports matter so much in life. Beyond entertainment, there is a lot people can learn from sports. Teenagers can learn the value of teamwork, organization, leadership, motivation, fitness and support from playing sports. All these qualities are great for character-building and for improving socialization skills.

[ Read: Fun Summer Activities For Teenagers ]

5. Art Classes:

Help nurture your teen’s artistic talent and get the added benefit of an improvement in social skills through art classes. Not only will your teen interact with instructors and fellow students, he will also get an outlet for creative self-expression. The activity helps shy kids express their views better. Encourage your teens to enroll in any art or craft classes just to test the waters. Painting classes, sketching, fabric art, pottery, sculpting and similar activities help teenagers express themselves to others in a better way.

6. Bonfire Night:

Organize bonfire nights for your teen. Plan events where you can invite your extended family and get to know each other better or reminisce about the good old times. Encourage your teenagers to throw a different kind of birthday party complete with a bonfire night as the perfect backdrop for fun times with friends.

[ Read: Fun Party Games For Teens ]

7. Educational Trips:

So your teen loves museums, great! Plan activities where he can better his social skills. Visit different neighboring towns and explore all museums. Help your teens further explore this interest by bookstore visits where they can buy books about history. Find out about expert lectures and seminars on the subject and offer to accompany them to the event or pay for your teen to go with a friend.

Educational trips are not only a great way to help teenagers explore their interests, but they also offer ample opportunities to interact with new people. Simply asking a question during the Q & A session of a lecture may require great deal of guts from a shy kid. Help them break the ice and converse with the museum tour guide or even interact with a stranger.

8. Game Nights:

Game night during a party or family event is a fun way to help your teenagers open up to others. Make such activities more thrilling by asking people to come up with their games on the spot. Select the best ones through votes and have a blast. The bonding will help your teen develop better socialization skills.

9. Live Events:

Watching live events together as a family or with friends can be an amazing experience for your teen. Championship games, dance performances, music recitals, quiz shows, competitions, etc., are live events that teenagers can watch in a social setting. They would be amidst a crowd, a majority of those people would be strangers. It will help your teen shed his inhibitions while he cheers for his favorite team.

10. Bowling Fun:

Plan an evening of bowling/roller skating/ice skating fun with your teen. Such visits can be great for developing your teen’s social skills as he will be around many people. As he will bowl or skate while others watch, the activity will help him burst his bubble.

Social Skills Activities For Kindergarten:

Your child needs appropriate guidance about good communication and behavior. It’s an excellent way to introduce social games for kids and concepts at varying developmental stages for your kindergarten and preschoolers.

11. Eye On The Forehead:

Social Skills Activities For Preschoolers

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You Will Need:

  • Eye stickers.

How To:

  1. Divide the kids into pairs.
  1. Now place an eye or eyes sticker on one teammate’s forehead.
  1. Encourage the other child to look at the sticker.
  1. The round will end if the player blinks.
  1. Swap the team-mates and repeat the game.
  1. The game will train your kindergarten to look in the correct direction, in a less intimidating way. This is one of the fun social skills activities for kids.

[ Read: Team Building Activities For Kids ]

12. Build The Vocab:

Social Skills Activities For Kindergarten

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You Will Need:

  • A few objects like a kitchen tool, a toy or a stationary

How To:

  1. Hand your child an object and tell him to describe what he thinks about it, according to his perspective. She has to make the object look like something it isn’t. For him, an empty cup can be a duck’s bill or a party hat.
  1. This social skill training for children will develop their vocabulary and story-building skills.

13. Setting The Table:

social skills activities for toddlers

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You Will Need:

  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape.
  • Construction paper in 7 different colors.

How To:

  1. Lay out the table for your little toddler to observe and learn.
  1. Now have your kid draw and cut out the following from the construction paper.
  • Dinner fork
  • Salad fork
  • Soupspoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Knife
  • Plate
  • Water glass
  • Napkin

14. Mimic Me:

Social Skills Activities For Infant babies

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You Will Need:

  • Nothing

How To:

  1. This activity requires kids to mimic you.
  1. If you touch your forehead, tell him to do the same.
  1. If you pinch your nose, tell him to follow.
  1. Box your ears lightly and tell him to do the same.
  1. The activity will help the kids pick up the expression and read them appropriately.

    [ Read: ties-for-kids_00377081″>Conversation Activities For Kids ]

15. Space Invader:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Space Invader

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You Will Need:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Pictures of cartoon aliens.
  • Crayons
  • Glue

How To:

  1. Tell your child to the color the images of the cartoon aliens. Now help him cut it out.
  1. Stick the alien’s pictures to the popsicle sticks. As you affix the images, explain to your kid why respecting another person’s space is important. You can also introduce him to the concepts of using ‘gentle hands’ to get someone’s attention instead of hitting or shouting.
  1. Further, explain to him that the aliens he has colored are you, and he is space, the invader.
  1. When the child puts up his mark of the space invader, the aliens would require a moment to regroup. Make him do the same.
  1. This way, you can explain to him the concept of giving people their space to play.

16. One Question Interview:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - One Question Interview

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You Will Need:

  • Cards
  • Pen

How To:

  1. Write simple questions on the cards like “What’s your favorite food?” or “Do you have a pet”?
  1. Have the kids sit in a circle. Now pass out the cards and tell each of them to read out the question.
  1. Tell the kids to disperse in another room and get into pairs within five minutes.
  1. Now tell the kids to ask each other the questions and listen to the answers.
  1. Now ask every kid individually what they learned about the partner.
  1. The activity will encourage active listening and will let the kids know about each other.

17. Telephone Skills:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Telephone Skills

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You Will Need:

  • Round number stickers.
  • Card stock paper
  • Small sticky notes.
  • Scissors

How To:

  1. Tell your child to make a telephone model of the card stock paper. Cut a rectangular shape from the card stock and replicate the phone’s keys by sticking the round number stickers.
  1. Now give your and your partner’s number to your kid and tell him to practice calling and dialling. You can teach him about emergency numbers too.
  1. Now talk to your kid from your phone when he dials your number from his phone. Carry out the conversation just like you would do with any other adult. This way, you can teach your kid about communication skills and ways of interacting with others on the phone.

    [ Read: Interesting Activities For Kids ]

Social Activities For Young Children

Teaching social skills activities is important for the growth of your child. Here are few such helpful activities for your young and middle school aged children.

18. Emotion Charade:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Emotion Charade

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You Will Need:

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Bowl

How To:

  1. Write down some words related to feelings on small slips of paper. Put all the paper slips in a bowl and shuffle.
  1. Now have the kids take turns at picking out a paper and acting out the feeling written on it. You can also allow the kids to draw the emotion on a black or white board. The other kids have to guess what emotion the player is trying to demonstrate.
  1. Instruct the kids clearly that they cannot talk. Neither can they draw the emotion using a face. They have to express it by drawing the situation and body language that can lead to the feeling. This game is one of the excellent social skills group activities for kids.

19. Improvisational Storytelling:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Improvisational Storytelling

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Social skills may be delayed in some children, especially those with special needs. This is one such social skills activities for autism.

You Will Need:

  • Pictures of emotions.

How To:

  1. Place the images of the emotions face down on the surface.
  1. Now tell the players to think about elements that must appear in the story. It can be anything, from a dog to a banana to a lemur.
  1. Tell the first player to pick a card and start his narration. He is free to take the story in any direction he likes. But the catch is that he must incorporate the emotion on his card.
  1. After he has finished, have another child take his turn at picking a card and making up the story. Kids have to build on each other’s idea, making use of all the story elements.

20. Swinging:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Swinging

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You Will Need:

  • Nothing

How To:

  1. Take your child to the nearby community park for swinging.
  1. Make an eye contact with him as he swings back and forth.
  1. Also, tell him to try to reach for you with his right foot if you are standing on his right and left foot if you are standing on his left.
  1. The activity will help him direct his focus to you and will calm him down.
  2. Kids love to swing and so this can be one of the favourite social activities for children.

[ Read: Educational Activities For Kids ]

21. Freeze It:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Freeze It

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This is one such best social skills activities for high school students and teens to improve their team building skills.

You Will Need:

  • Nothing

How To:

  1. Assemble the kids in the hall room or garden.
  1. Choose an ‘it’ and ask the other children to line up horizontally.
  1. Now ask the kids to freeze like statues. The ‘it’ now has to try to make the other players laugh.
  1. The first kid to laugh will be the ‘it’ for the next round.
  1. The game will teach kids self-control and patience, few of essential social skills.

22. Manners And More:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Manners And More

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Social skills activities for middle school students help their personal growth and development. This is one such social development activities for children that can help them to understand about the social skills and thereby develop them.

You Will Need:

  • Construction paper.
  • Magazine
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Colors

How To:

  1. First, talk to your kids about good and bad manners. Tell him that there’s only a thin line between good manners and bad manners. For example, greeting an elder while sitting versus greeting him cordially while standing up.
  1. Now tell him to make a collage on good and bad manners with the magazine cut out.
  1. You can even ask them to make a slogan on the manners.

23. Word Strips:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Word Strips

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Double-sided tape.

How To:

  1. Draw and cut the words like ‘peace’, ‘clean’, ‘silence’, ‘neat’ and ‘hygiene’.
  1. Now talk to him about the relevant rules like ‘maintaining silence in the library’, staying quiet when someone is on the call,’ ‘keeping the wardrobe clean’ and so on.
  1. Now cut out the strips and tell your child to stick when he think it’s appropriate.

24. Who Has The Peanut?

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Who Has The Peanut

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You Will Need:

  • 1 peanut in the shell

How To:

  1. The purpose of the game is the find out who has the peanut.
  1. Have the kids sit in a circle, placing their hands behind their back and closing it tightly.
  1. Now select one kid to be the ‘peanut passer’. Holding the peanut in his hand, tell him to go around the circle, sliding his hands through the other kid’s hand until he secretly passes off the peanut. He has to go through the circle one full time before giving the peanut.
  1. As the passer walk around, the other kids have to chant ‘Mr. Peanut where are you? Mr. Peanut come to me.”
  1. Now select a kid and ask him who he thinks has the peanut. Keep asking until you find the actual location of the peanut.
  1. When you’ve found the peanut, the kids have to chant, “we’ve found the peanut! Pass the peanut, but not to me”!
  1. Repeat the game with another peanut passer.

    [ Read: Outdoor Activities For Kids ]

25. Name Game:

Social Skills Activities For Kids - Name Game

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need:

  • A ball

How To:

  1. Make the kids sit in a circle and give one of them a ball.
  1. Now ask the child with the ball to name a fellow player and roll the ball to him.
  1. The recipient has to do the same thing.
  1. The process will repeat itself through the game.

As a parent, you can do many things to help your teen improve his social skills. All you need to do is plan activities, which help motivate and encourage him and in no time your shy kid will blossom into a confident teenager.

Do you often plan activities for your teens to help them improve their social skills? Please share your ideas with us. Leave a comment below.

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