Play and Social Skills in Children.
Social skills have an important role in the life of almost any person. We are social creatures; we need interaction with one another. To be socially competent is being able to fit into basic social exchanges situations such as a conversation or a meeting at the office.
However, social skills are not easily acquired. The process must start in early childhood by putting our children in situations where social interactions are necessary to fulfill a task. Even though this is a complicated process, the rewards ratio is so big that we cannot ignore it.
In this study about the relationship between play and social skills Effects of Play on the Social Development of Preschool Children the authors made an interesting recollection of other scientific studies from where they extract the following quote:
Children who have a good grasp on their social skills will find that they are able to adapt easier, enjoy their childhood, and later on, be adaptable in various situations as adults (Dewi et al., 2017)
What is the part of play in social skills?
As you know from our previous posts, kids learn through play. This apparently trivial activity actually has a great influence on child development because playing is the first approach of kids to their environment.
When playing, children acquire motor skills, problem-solving abilities, emotional development, and other crucial factors for their later growth.
Social play has a place in the different stages of play. First, children play with themselves, which is called independent play. Approximately by the age of 2, children begin to notice their peers and copy their behaviors without actually interacting with them, which is called parallel play.
Playing teaches children about their own emotions and how to manage them properly. Once a child engages in cooperative play —this means playing with others— their emotional development begins to manifest by knowing how to deal with others’ feelings; understanding each other place, and finding solutions to commute problems.
Social play is the perfect type of play to develop important human emotions such as empathy, solidarity, and sympathy. Playing and social interactions are great tools for children to engage with building relationships and bonding overall. Another quote from the study we talk about above says the following:
According to Whitman (2018), in a social context, play is important. The reason being is that at this stage, children will begin to develop relationships, build trust and establish long-term bonds. Play will enhance the imagination by allowing children to be creative and engage in pretend play. It also improves communication skills for children and develops language skills while playing.
We want to focus a little bit more on the last part of the quote. When children are involved in social situations like playing pretend, they have to communicate with each other, invent and follow the rules, solve any type of conflict it might appear during the games, and so on.
Social skills, emotional development, and problem-solving abilities can all be mixed up in one single playing session. If children understand how to deal with each other, their path for social interactions is already looking good.
How can you help to develop these social skills?
Here are some recommendations you can follow:
- Make time to play with your child. Their first social interaction is with the immediate family.
- Encourage role-play or play pretend situations.
- Teach your child how to deal with certain emotions. Every time your kid has a tantrum, or if they are feeling joyful or sad, make the time for them to understand how to process that emotion. This will help them later when playing with other children.
- Having a playground is always a great way to gather children in a single location.
At Spimbey, we encourage playing as a way to experience and live a better, joyful life.
For us, there is no such thing as “just playing“.
We design our products thinking about how they can help your children to develop and be all they can be.
Visit our website and check our social media profiles for more quality information and products.
Spimbey is where a Playground is a game away from a Castle.