10 Activities to Teach Kindness and Social Skills

kindness and social emotional skills

Social skills are some of the most important qualities that children learn when they interact with others at school. Most children don’t automatically know how to ask to play, share toys, or help someone out, which is why it’s so helpful for parents to help teach these skills at home. When children come to school with the knowledge of how to be kind to and play with others, they will be more set up for a happy and healthy life! Check out these activities for teaching kids about kindness and social skills: 

 

Activities to Teach Social Skills 🫂

 

1. ‘Give a little something, to get a little something’ 

    • Talk to your child about what happens when something doesn’t go their way. How does it make them feel?
    • Sometimes, we need to give a little something, to get a little something.
    • Next time your child encounters an argument or disagreement, remind them or encourage them to use this phrase.
    • Solve the problem together by offering suggestions… e.g. your friend can play with the toy for five minutes, then you can play with the toy for five minutes.
    • Extra challenge: can they create a fun ‘tattoo’ with face or body paint with this saying so they ‘don’t forget it?’

 

2. ‘Teddy bear’s picnic’

  • Create a teddy bear’s picnic with toy food and as many teddy guests as your child would like!
  • Give each teddy (and your child) a plate.
  • Can your child share the food to make sure that everybody has the same amount?  

 

3. ‘Out and about’

  • When you are at the park or out and about with your child, encourage them to engage with their peers by talking about what they are doing. 
  • E.g. Oh look what are they playing with…? Can you see him building? I wonder what he’s making… What do you think?
  • If your child seems interested, prompt them by modeling how to say, ‘Can I play?’
  • If the other child’s answer is ‘no,’ praise them for asking nicely and to try again with someone else. There is always someone else to play with if you wish to!

 

4. ‘Can I play?’

  • Whenever you are playing with your child at home, model and use the language your child might need when they are interacting with others.
  • When your child is playing, sit down beside them and ask ‘Can I play?’ 
  • Show your child that you’re happy when they say yes! Remember that it is OK for your child to say no, they may wish to play independently. 
  • Keep the communication going while playing by asking ‘What are you playing? How did you build that? Can I help you?’ etc. This is language they can then use with their peers.

 

kids sharing toys

5. ‘Honey bear, honey bear’

  • Children can get upset when they don’t get to have a turn, especially in games. This activity explores having a flexible mindset and that it’s OK when things don’t go their way, maybe they will get a turn next time round!
  • Explain that your child will be the honey bear. Ask them to close their eyes.
  • Hide a tin of pebbles, a box of spoons, wrist bells, or something noisy from your child. It needs to be noisy so that with their eyes closed, the child can still hear it. This is the bear’s ‘honey’!
  • Once you have hidden the honey, ask your child to find it!
  • Repeat the activity, hiding the noisy item in a different place each time.

 

Resolving Conflict with Others ⚠️

 

6. ‘Pitch it’

  • Talk to your child about what happens when someone does something that they don’t like. How does it make them feel?
  • Explore together: ask your child to ‘pitch’ ideas about the types of things that people can do or say, that might make us feel better again. E.g. saying sorry, helping to fix something that got broken.
  • Write all your ideas down (on pieces of paper or popsicle sticks) and store them in a clear jar or bowl.
  • Next time your child finds themselves in this position, where something sad happened to them or they did something sad to someone else, refer back to their ideas to give your child a strategy they can use.

 

Teaching Kids about Kindness 💕

 

7. ‘A kindness card’

  • Create ‘kindness cards’ with your child. Design the cards together, they can be as big or as small as you like. What ‘kind’ images can you think of to draw or paint on there together? E.g. heart, flower, smiling face, playing together, hugs…
  • Once finished, use these cards to give to your child when they have been especially kind or had a day where they have demonstrated lots of kind acts!
  • Encourage them to display it proudly.

 

kids helping each other

 

8. ‘Ten stars of kindness’

  • This activity is a great activity for helping children explore how to help those with a physical impairment.
  • Draw ten stars on a piece of paper.
  • Every time your child shows an act of kindness e.g. holding a door open, carrying something for them, asking if they need help… they can color in a star.
  • Once they get to ten, add ten more stars!
  • Once they get to twenty, add another ten stars.
  • Keep going… Can they get to 100?
  • Talk to your child about helping everybody, in different places. Kindness doesn’t just happen at home. Talk about the different ways that might be helpful, for different people.

9. ‘Bring kindness into the world’

  • Helping those with a physical disability is an important way of including and supporting everyone in the community.
  • Ask your child to create a cloud and rainbow with paints or colored pencils, on a piece of paper.
  • Ask them to cut it out.
  • Now write some ‘acts of kindness’ on different colored pieces of paper, or on paper that they can color in… e.g. smile, say ‘hello’, offer to help carry shopping, bring some groceries…
  • Cut these ‘acts of kindness’ into raindrop shapes and attach them to the cloud with different lengths of string.
  • Hang this somewhere for your child to refer to and talk about showing these acts of kindness to all, as often as possible.

 

10. ‘Being a supportive friend’

  • Explore mental illness in young people and talk to your child about what it might look like. Sometimes it is hard to tell when someone has a mental illness.
  • Can your child think of supportive statements they could say to a friend who might be finding things overwhelming.
  • E.g. I am here if you want to talk? Is there anything I can do to help? Would you like me to get an adult for you?
  • Ask your child to write these down to remind themselves at another point in time.

 

There are many ways to teach children about social-skills and kindness. The most important thing is that caregivers lead by example. When your little ones see you being kind to others and helping out those in need, they will follow. 

 

Teaching Kindness and Social Skills with Lingokids 💙

 

Interested about learning more about how the Lingokids App helps teach kids about kindness and social skills? Download the app and check out the content on our YouTube channels!

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