Saturday, June 19, 2010

Learning Social Skills

Social skills is an area of development that many kindergarten teachers find are weaknesses in children coming to kindergarten. Before the teachers can teach children basic academic skills important for building a great foundation for success in school, they must have children who will listen, share, take turns, keep their hands to themselves, follow rules and are healthy.

If your child is an only child, be sure you take them to places where they can learn social skills by playing with other children.  This may be a playgroup that meets in someones home, a mom's morning out program, church, playground, or any other place where you child can regularly interact with other children.

Unless you guide and teach them these skills, they won't learn them "on their own." You can also do things at home to teach these skills. Give them a simple activity to do with 2 or 3 steps. Play games together were you take turns. Read together. A couple Discovery Toys items that would be great for teaching these kinds of things is Roll & Play, Giant Pegboard and Match Up Books: Hide & Seek and Ride & Go.

Another skill that is important for teachers and should be for you, is to teach your child to put things back where they belong and to help clean up messes. You can help teach this by having only 10 or 12 toys for your child to choose from at a time.  Have the rest put away and rotate them on a regular basis. (This will also help your toys last longer because when they come back out they will be "new" again). Placing labels or pictures showing where the toys go will help as well. When they spill something or make a mess, have them clean it up at home. Don't make them leave it alone and you take care of it. Have them help you.

Teaching your child these things early will prepare them greatly for school. It will also make your family life more enjoyable. If you have any questions or would like suggestions of other products that can help, please contact me.

posted by:
Cara Retz
Educational Leader, Discovery Toys

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