Building effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills is essential to child development. Group games that focus on these skills help children learn to interact with others effectively.
In this high-energy communication game, participants lock eyes with a teammate across the circle and ask, “Yes?” The participant then relays a scenario that only their teammate can guess.
Children can’t always verbalize their feelings, but these hands-on kids’ activities allow them to express their emotions with a smile. They’ll also learn to recognize other people’s feelings, an important part of understanding empathy.
Use this emotion charades game to teach kids how to recognize emotions by focusing on physical cues. Kids can play this game one-on-one with a parent, with siblings around the dinner table, or in a large group at a holiday party.
Another fun way to play charades is this feelings charades game, which teaches kids how to communicate their emotions without talking. Using this social skills activity, you’ll want to include a variety of pleasant and uncomfortable emotions so that kids are exposed to a wide range of feelings.
To play, write inspirational words on paper and place them in a bowl. When it’s a child’s turn, they pick a card and act out that emotion while the other players try to guess. If they are successful, they get to go again.
Another great way to practice kids communication games and activities is listening skills with a musical twist on the classic musical chairs or musical statues game. Instead of just playing to the music, call out an emotional word and ask kids to freeze their bodies when the pause hits. Then, when the music resumes, have them talk about how they felt and might have reacted differently.
Color Circle Time
Making eye contact with other children is an important social skill for children. This game, where children circle up while holding an instrument and a sleeping puppet, is a great way to help develop this. Children must work together to pass the device around the circle to practice listening and turn-taking skills. The final part of the game, where the teacher asks the children to freeze on their spots, helps to encourage self-regulation.
Use this simple and effective active teaching strategy to review colors and color words with your students. Demonstrate by shouting out a color (e.g., red) and running to a classroom poster with that color on it. Then repeat with another color. This can also be used as a classroom scavenger hunt to help build problem-solving skills.
Put flashcards for anything in a bag – letters, numbers, exercises, yoga poses, animal cards etc. Pass the bag around the room, and each child can pick a card to show the class. They can then identify and act it out so everyone can learn it. This is a great way to get kids talking in a fun and interactive way while helping them build their vocabulary. You can also use this to encourage various emotions by asking Would you rather questions and using our collection of printable faces to identify feelings.
Many kids and teens are so used to communicating through their cell phones that they are not accustomed to in-person conversations or face-to-face interactions. This can create social issues when the student is asked to speak with a teacher, coach, or potential employer in a real-life setting. If your child or teen is ready for a phone, find one that allows you to set up strict limits and restrictions on the internet, social media, and text messaging.
The telephone game, or broken telephone or whispers, is a fun group communication game that kids of all ages can play. The goal is to send a message from the first person in the circle or line down to the last player without it being distorted or changed along the way. The message can be a simple word or phrase like “Mandy is wearing red today” or a more complex idea like, “I had oats for breakfast.”
This fun game can help children develop social-emotional skills that are important to success. According to experts, social-emotional skills include communicating feelings, empathizing with others, and managing emotions (Social-Emotional Development). Kids must have healthy models of these behaviors to learn how to build and maintain strong relationships with others.
Role Playing Game
One of the best ways for kids to learn how to work with their peers and resolve issues is through role-playing. These games aim to help children understand and empathize with the other players and the scenarios they are acting out. These activities can be based on a scene from their everyday life, another person’s life or even in an imaginary fantasy setting.
Children participating in these games are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary and quickly become familiar with the words needed for a particular scene. This helps them communicate better with their peers and develop confidence in their verbal skills. Kids can also build their listening skills when they are engaged in these games.
Role-playing games can be passive, like board games or more active, such as the game “Islands” or “Timeball.” Over time, playing these games has been linked to improved prosocial behavior among participants (Flook et al., 2015).
In addition to social and communication skills, role-playing also helps kids hone their physical development. When kids act out scenes from their own lives, they use their hands and feet to mimic the action. This helps them develop fine and gross motor skills. They may be jumping around to pretend they are a firefighter or running up the stairs to pretend they are climbing out of a burning building.
In conclusion, fostering strong social skills in children is essential for their overall development and success in life. Communication games present a fun and effective way to boost these skills, enabling children to become confident, empathetic, and skilled communicators.
Through the use of interactive activities like role-playing, storytelling, and group discussions, children can practice active listening, expressing their thoughts clearly, and understanding the perspectives of others. These games not only enhance their ability to connect with peers but also help them navigate challenging social situations with ease.