Your child has so much ahead of them. Their life is going to hold so many experiences, both good and bad. They will travel and explore, experiencing excitement and love, and they will live through disappointment and sadness. They will have an exciting and full life that will be shaped by their experiences and adventures. While we would love to protect them from any hurt or sadness, their ability to bounce back from tough times will form who they are as people.
How your child navigates their life – through both the good times and the bad - will be shaped by their resilience, their kindness, their creativity, and their ability to live and learn with compassion. As a parent, you have a vital role in providing a model for appropriate behaviour and giving your child opportunities where they can exercise and test their behaviours in a safe and respectful space. Kids learn in several ways, but one of the most effective ways kids learn is through play.
Through play, children learn how to cooperate, to negotiate conflicts, and to behave fairly and gently. They learn leadership, and they also learn the subtle art of caring and helping others while letting them learn for themselves. Play is critical to your child’s development, helping your child explore sharing and social skills as well as strengthening neurological pathways that will go on to form the basis of their motor skills. At Ascot Childcare, we encourage freedom, creativity, expression and imagination because we know that your child’s social skills are being honed and enhanced every time they play with their peers.
We want to share six vital social skills activities for your child to show you how play can make a real difference in your child’s ability to live with empathy, kindness and creativity.
1. Turn-taking skills
Babies and toddlers can be capable of kindness, but they can be shy around someone new. A way to encourage children out of their shell is by getting them to play with a new child or friend in a simple game of reciprocity. Things like rolling a ball back and forth to each other or handing toys back and forth provides a way for kids to engage in turn-taking with a new person. We encourage sharing and provide ample play-based opportunities for your child to learn and test their limits in a safe and gentle way.
2. Getting attention and building social conventions
It is important that your child knows the importance of getting someone’s attention prior to speaking to them. A way to develop this skill is by getting children to sit in a circle and having them speak someone’s name before rolling the ball to that child. Children learn to associate a person’s name with their attention which helps to develop this social skill.
3. Games of self-control
Self-control, restraint, focus, and the ability to restrain impulses are all vital parts of getting along well with others. The pre-school years are a vital time in your child’s learning, and we help them develop these skills with games like Simon Says and other attention and discipline games.
4. Working with emotions
A game-based learning environment can help children learn how to recognise emotions in themselves and others. One such game might involve children and teachers taking turns acting out emotions, with everyone else guessing what feelings might be on display. When engaging in play like this, it is very helpful to have time to speak about how the body can display certain emotions, or why a facial expression can show one emotion or another.
5. Stories for discussion about emotions
Another way that we can help your child to explore emotional states is to read a story with some emotional context and then discuss the characters after the story is over. When children are engaged in a conversation about their emotions, they can think about their own lives and how their emotions can affect them. Kids can talk about shared ideas for how to handle negative emotions (things like: when I get a hug from my mum, I feel better; or if I feel sad, I play with my dog) and how positive emotions can make them feel.
Playing with blocks, building something together, and working as a group on an activity can all be part of building your child’s cooperation skills. We often have group activities at Ascot Childcare because we understand the importance of allowing children to engage in a group dynamic.
At Ascot Childcare, we provide a purpose-built environment where the focus is on your child’s enjoyment, care, and development. We provide nutritious morning and afternoon teas, lunches, wipes, sunscreen, and nappies, as well as plenty of fun and play. If you have any questions about our Government Approved Kindergarten Curriculum or would like to visit the centre with your child, please call us on (07) 3268 2748 and speak to our friendly carers.