Social Skills Activities that Teach Kids Communication
August 23, 2021 | In: Autism Resources
Social skills activities are important for children of all abilities. With this in mind, We Rock the Spectrum’s Social Skills Blog Series aims to provide insight into activities and practical tips that help instill social skills in children. In this article, we focus on the importance of communication skills in children and introduce five fun and educational activities that can enhance their communication skill set.
Autism is a developmental disorder that impacts the way children behave, communicate, and interact with others. Although no two children with autism are the same, most children with autism struggle with language and communication skills because of a reduced communication bandwidth between the cortical areas of the brain. To become well-rounded individuals, it is essential for both neurotypical children and children with autism to be given the tools to learn proper communication skills. With this in mind, we have put together a guide on the importance of communication skills for children of all abilities.
Why is Communication Important?
Children of all abilities need to learn communication skills in order to have their needs met and feel connected to those around them. Having good communication skills allow children to express their thoughts, feelings, and physical needs to those around them. If not, there is no way to tell whether a child is feeling pain, anger, or sadness.
Communication activities help children develop the skills they need to learn quickly and pick up on important signals and social cues. This will allow for more effective communication and help form strong friendships and connections. Communication skills will also help improve a child’s behavior. Once a child is able to effectively communicate, they will be able to tell others what they need and how they feel, which allows them to better understand others, follow rules, and improve their social skills.
Parents can help children boost communication skills through a variety of sensory strategies. Sensory communication activities for children work by allowing each child to vocalize themselves in front of others. To help you, we have put together a list of 5 fun activities that teach communication to children of all abilities.
5 Activities That Teach Communication
Ideally, activities that teach kids communication should involve as many of their senses as possible. This will help them remember what they learned whenever they receive stimulation through sight, hearing, touch, or movement. Let’s explore five games and activities that will enhance a child’s communication skills.
1. Picture Storytelling
Picture Storytelling is a fun and creative way to help children develop good verbal communication. To begin, provide the child with a set of photos and have him/her arrange the set of photos to their liking. Once arranged, ask the child to speak about the photos in a story-telling manner. This allows children to make use of their imagination while speaking out their thoughts. It is also a good idea to encourage them to use non-verbal cues, such as body gestures and facial expressions, to enhance their story. This will allow kids to feel more confident while working on their communication.
2. Play Telephone
Play Telephone is a popular game among children that encourages both listening and communication skills. In this game, a secret message is whispered by one person into the ear of the person who is sitting next to them. That person must then initiate communication with the person on their other side, by whispering the message to them without being prompted. Once the last player gets the message, he/she will relay the message out loud. Although the final message may differ from the initial message, children can work together to enhance their communication efforts.
3. Pointing Directions
Pointing Directions is a game that parents can play with their children to teach kids about how to communicate properly. In this game, parents should have their children write down the directions to their favorite place. Ask them to give directions to a location outside of the home, such as the park or their favorite shop. Once the child has written down a location, walk with them to the destination. On the way, parents should help them understand how to better communicate their directions and surroundings.
4. Show and Tell
Show and Tell is a great verbal communication activity that allows children to interact with objects and those around them. In this activity, children will choose their favorite object, food, or photos and speak about their chosen item in front of a group. As the child speaks about their chosen object, they will be able to express their feelings and emotions about it, which can help boost self-confidence, vocabulary, and eloquence. Show and Tell is a fun and exciting way for children to practice their communication skills in a group setting.
5. Play With A Purpose™
We Rock The Spectrum’s Play With A Purpose™ stimulates and exercises a child’s sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch, vestibular system, and proprioception through positive physical, emotional, and social development. At We Rock the Spectrum, children are able to play in a sensory-safe environment and work with fellow We Rockers to grow and foster their communication skills in an inclusive, fun, and exciting space. They will be able to learn how to read the facial expressions of other children, initiate conversations around play, and express their feelings.
Equipping children with good communication tools at an early age will allow them to build strong friendships and bonds. They will interact better with those around them so that in the long run, they can develop the social skills they need to be well-rounded and versatile individuals. We Rock the Spectrum is a franchise that offers a wide range of fun, inclusive communication activities through its educational events, specialized sensory equipment, and Play With A Purpose™ program. Discover more about our mission by getting in touch with us today!