Developing Social Skills: Ages 4-5
- Practice sharing with a joint arts-and-crafts project. Learning to share markers and crayons will be a beneficial skill when your child gets to school.
- Memory games, such as the shopping game, are a great way to socialize with a big group of people. Go around the circle and let each player add something to the shopping list!
- Use the word game to learn all the different things that can be associated with just one word! This is a great way to get kids interacting with one another.
As children enter their fourth year, they start to interact purposefully with other kids. Communication is now developed, and skills such as cooperation and turn-taking become an increasingly important part of their play with others.
Helping children develop social skills is one of the most valuable things that a parent can do to prepare a child for school. Those who enter school already able to share and take turns while interacting with other children will not only acclimate better, they will be able to learn from their peers too.
“Helping children develop social skills is one of the most valuable things that a parent can do to prepare a child for school.”
By teaching your child how to share and take turns before they enter school, they will have plenty of time to develop these key social skills. Check out some of these play ideas to help shape your child’s social development!
- Arts and crafts are a major activity done in early childhood classrooms. Not only does it help your child unleash their creativity, but it helps them learn to share art supplies and work with others. Try incorporating some crafty fun at least twice a week.
- The shopping game is a great memory game to play with your child and engage in conversation. The first player will say “I went to the store and I bought a [whatever item they choose],” and then the next player will repeat that sentence and add another item to it. This pattern is repeated until a player forgets an item.
- Practice vocabulary and social skills with the word game! In this example, the first person to start says any word they can think of, and then the other players must say another word related to the previous word. For example, if the first word is “chocolate,” the next person could say “milk.” The following player could say “drink” and so on.
- Enhance risk assessment and confidence with some outdoor time! Walking along a low garden wall, fallen trees or even just a line drawn in the park will help your child learn important skills.
Practicing these important social skills will help your child understand how to play cooperatively with other children. It will also boost their self-esteem as they realize they can cope without your support. Good luck and happy playing!