Social skills games are great for helping kids develop valuable social emotional skills. Many of us that work with children accept that play is the language of kids. When you can make a lesson fun it’s easy to keep kids engaged. For this reason, I choose to teach social skills with the following social skills games. Children love these social skills games because they are simple and fun. These games teach kids a variety of social emotional skills such as making and keeping friends, communicating with others, showing empathy, and more.
What are social emotional skills?
According to CASEL (Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning), social-emotional skills are the skills that help us “communicate and interact with each other, understand and manage our emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” These are all skills children will continue to need even as they transition into adulthood.
Benefits of healthy social emotional skills
Some people view social skills games as a waste of time. They don’t see the value in taking the time to teach kids social emotional skills. However, there’s substantial research findings that suggests that social and emotional skills play an integral role in a child’s ability to find success in school and in life. Children with healthy social emotional skills are able to:
- Make friends easily
- Express their emotions in a healthy way
- Resolve conflicts appropriately
- Show empathy
- Follow rules and directions
- Wait their turn
- Interact with others in a positive manner
- Deal with frustration
- Manage their anger appropriately
- Problem solve
- Self Soothe
- Listen and communicate clearly
- Work well with others
- Set and achieve realistic goals
- Have a healthy self-esteem
- Do well academically
- Exhibit self-control
- Make better choices
- Are able to adapt to major life changes
Social Skills Games
Here are some social skills games that can be used with elementary school aged kids. These social skills games give children an opportunity to learn and practice emotion self-regulation, making friends, cooperating with others, feelings identification, and negotiating conflicts.
These winter themed social skills games include feelings bingo, feelings charades, feelings puzzle, social skills file folder game with social situations to help kids explore different social scenarios, positive behavior sort cards, and more! The games in this Winter Themed Social Skills Games are designed to help kids learn appropriate ways to interact with others, practice self-reflection, and also to be able to identify their feelings.
Young kids love these pumpkin feeling faces. They can be used to play feelings match and feelings role play. The feelings cards can also be used to get children to talk about how they experience each emotion on the feelings card. The positive self talk apple tree helps kids practice talking to themselves in a positive way. This social skills games bundle also includes making friends, coping skills, and decision making activities.
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to discuss the importance of friendship. The activities in this bundle teach kids about giving compliments and identifying coping strategies to use when they are upset. Kids also practice taking turns and following directions, and using listening skills with these Valentine’s Day Social Skills Games.
St. Patrick’s Day Social Skills Games (March Social Skills Games Bundle)
In the Leprechaun Luck game kids learn how to behave in socially acceptable ways in different scenarios. The Pot ‘O’ Feelings activity gives younger kids a chance to work on feelings identification. Upper elementary and middle school aged kids are able to learn and practice problem solving skills with the problem solving activity included in this March Social Skills Games Bundle.
Free Easter Themed Social Skills Games
These activities are egg-cellent because kids get to make good use of plastic Easter eggs to complete them. Who knew plastic Easter eggs could be used for more than an Easter egg hunt! Check out all the ways you can use them below.
The feelings memory game is played like the classic Memory game. Kids learn to recognize and identify feelings in this game where they search for matching emoji faces.
Other Skills Games
Most children are natural born givers and enjoy doing nice things for others. However, research shows that around age eight and nine, children are socialized to think more about themselves and less about others. The good news is that there are strategies children can learn to help them more likely to be kind. In this Kindness Explorer Game kids learn about the importance of being kind and discuss different random acts of kindness they can do for others.
Gratitude Game and Journal
According to recent research, gratitude helps people form, maintain, and strengthen supportive relationships. Research findings suggest that grateful kids are happy, optimistic, have significant social support and strong relationships with people in their family, school, and community at large. Gratitude is an important social skill for children to learn because it teaches them how to interact with others in a positive way. In this Gratitude Journal and Game children practice self reflection and explore different ways they can express gratitude in their lives.
These emoji cards can be used to play a variety of social skills games such as Feelings Charades. Students choose a feelings emoji cards and acts it out while others try and guess what emotion the person is acting out. Research findings suggest that playing charades help children learn and practice perspective taking. Additionally, this game allows children to interpret and use non-verbal communication techniques.
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