When you think about the best social skills activities for preschoolers, you have to look outside of the box. Unlike adults, a mixer or some type of ‘meet and greet’ just won’t cut it. That’s because kids want to do things and interact with those around them.
As children reach the preschool stage, they’ll know more about interacting with other people than they once did, and they’ll have a stronger sense of themselves as unique individuals. They’ll likely want to play with other children and will probably start developing friendships, finding playmates that they especially enjoy.
To help your child continue to develop social skills, here are five preschool-appropriate activities.
#1 Building Blocks
This is a perfect activity to use to monitor and understand how your child is progressing, socially. If you have a couple of toddlers with a set of blocks, they might each use them to build their own designs—working side by side.
At some point, though, they’ll start paying attention to what the other child is building and then build, say, a castle together. Through this progression, preschoolers are learning how to share and listen to one another. They’ll create a plan and learn how to compromise as they work on a project together.
#2 Rolling a Ball
Plenty of versions of this game exist, typically starting by placing children in a circle. Give one child a ball—who can then say a person’s name before rolling the ball to them; or they could name a color, an animal, or whatever else you decide.
That person with the ball must provide a different relevant answer before rolling it to someone else. This game continues until someone can’t think of a new answer. Then you can pick a new category and have them play again. This game helps children to listen to other group members and remember answers.
#3 Team Scavenger Hunt
Give a pair of children a basket along with a list of items they need to find and put in the basket as part of the scavenger hunt. You could draw pictures of a circle, a square, and a triangle, and then have them find objects that match those shapes. If you’re going outdoors, you might cut out pictures of a rock, an acorn, and other objects that they can find in a safe outside space. This activity is one where the preschoolers can collaborate as they seek items. They might decide, for example, to divide the list in half or both look for all the items.
#4 Simon Says
Talk about a classic game! “Simon,” tells the others what activities to participate in: stand on one foot, cross your fingers, or laugh. This teaches children to listen carefully and respond in the right way—and the person playing Simon gets to enjoy a leadership role, one where others carefully listen to his or her instructions.
#5 Pretend Play
Here is one more of our social skills activities for preschoolers: a way to enjoy make-believe. You can ask them to pretend to be statues (which will last until someone moves, and they’ll all probably giggle) or to be cats or dogs or dinosaurs or astronauts—whatever is the most fun.
Horizon Education Centers’ Preschool Program
Children in our preschool program have plenty of opportunities to enjoy social interactions with others in fun age-appropriate ways.
If you’re looking for a quality affordable preschool/child care program that provides the types of educational programs and enrichment experiences that help prepare your child for K-12, contact the Horizon Education Center in your neighborhood.