This Post is Sponsored by Sago Mini Box
Just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t make teaching your children social skills any less important. Of course, social distancing rules make it that bit harder.
Thankfully, there are ways you can continue to teach preschool children social skills despite social distancing — you just need to get a little creative. Read on to find out how.
Encourage thoughtful solo play
Play is an important part of socialization for children, and solo play provides a great opportunity to teach your child social skills. Let your child play with toys naturally, acting out exciting scenarios that they come up with themselves, just as they would normally.
But this time, encourage your child to think about how each character in their play feels. Ask them to consider if their feelings are hurt, or if they feel left out, and so on. It’s a simple process, but one that helps your child develop empathy through play.
The Sago Mini Box subscription is a good and affordable way to source some new and educational toys during the lockdown. It comes with a variety of activities that stimulate your child’s imagination, from pet cafes and airports to fairy tales and space exploration.
Host a virtual dance party
Dance is a great confidence booster, plus it’s a handy way to keep your kids active during the lockdown. Use an app like GoNoodle to host virtual dance parties for your kids and their friends.
Being active, even inside your own home, stimulates the release of endorphins. These improve mood, helping lift your child’s mood during a time when they might be feeling stressed and anxious.
This is also a great solo activity to enjoy with your child, helping them feel confident in themselves through the joy of dance.
Go for walks and have conversations at a safe distance
We’re still allowed out of our homes for daily exercise, so why not make the most of that? Go for a walk around your neighborhood and stop by their friends’ places to say hello (at a safe distance, of course).
This reinforces social skills without an activity as a conduit. Kids often use play in lieu of social conversation, but this teaches them to have a conversation without distraction. This will put them in good stead as they move through school and grow beyond play.
Go on a virtual field trip
While most museums, aquariums, zoos, and so on have been closed, many places are still offering webcams that let visitors check out their favorite exhibits. From kittens to koalas, there are plenty of free animal webcams your child can view from home.
Set up a video call with your child’s friends and have them watch the same animal webcam together, taking notes of interesting events or elements. Afterward, have them all discuss what they noticed, and share their own thoughts about the experience.
No, it’s not the same as a real trip to the zoo or aquarium. But it’s a great opportunity to teach discussion skills, letting each person share their thoughts and bounce off each other at the same time.
The tips above are just a few ways you can teach your children important social skills during the lockdown. Of course, they’re no substitute for the real thing, but they provide valuable opportunities to help your kids grow and develop socially during these unusual times.