Teaching Early Social Skills and a Fun Resource to Help




No matter how you look at it, having effective social skills is a vital component in our everyday lives. That's why it's never too early to teach children the importance of successful communication and social skills. Learning and mastering these skills will help lay down a foundation for continued success as they get older and find themselves in a range of different situations. It will also help them succeed in their personal and work relationships.

Every child's personality is different. Having strong social skills isn't based off of whether someone is an extrovert or introvert. The key is that they are able to pick up on social cues and are aware of appropriate ways to act during various circumstances.


Social skills can encompass a broad range of components. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Effective problem solving
  • Being able to communicate properly with others (attentive listening and making eye contact)
  • Cooperation, generosity, taking turns, etc.
  • Expressing one's own needs and/or feelings
  • Showing kindness and compassion (having empathy for others)
  • Learning self-control during certain situations (For example, staying calm during a frustrating or unpleasant event)
  • Practicing positive manners, such as saying "please" and "thank you"
  • Learning to be flexible when things don't always turn out as planned
  • Positive emotional development
  • Picking up social cues from others

This list can go on and on, but I think you have an idea!






When it comes to teaching younger children all about social skills, there's nothing like real life, firsthand experience. Of course, it's also a good idea to have several fun, age-appropriate activities lined up for them. I am always looking for new and inventive ways to discuss positive social skills, such as sharing and good manners. Just recently, we've been working through Social Skills Matter from Carson Dellosa Education. This book has been a tremendous resource to help with teaching and reinforcing all of the items above and then some. It's also important to note that while this book is labeled for special learners, it's wonderful for all children, since it helps teach some very important lessons in daily living.


The entire book contains over eighty mini-books to help teach essential social skills that children should learn from pre-kindergarten through second grade. Each mini-book can be reproduced as many times as needed, so this resource is perfect for one child or multiple children.






The skills that are taught not only cover manners, but the importance of good communication skills, dealing with different ranges of emotions, handling routine changes, and developing positive relationships with others. Characters in each story go back and forth in narrative to navigate through typical situations that real children might find themselves in.







REPETITION TO HELP REINFORCE WHAT WAS TAUGHT

At the end of each book there is a goal chart that allows children to check off a box each time they read a story.






Social Skills Matter is divided into seven different sections:

  • Communication
  • Cooperative Play
  • Learning about Feelings
  • Keeping Calm
  • Manners
  • My Day at School
  • School Routines

The last two sections are particularly helpful for students who attend classes outside of the home; however the discussions are just examples and can be adapted to each individual student's own circumstance, making this helpful for both homeschoolers and those who attend school in a classroom setting. Each section has a broad collection of different topics, so there is no shortage of lessons to learn.


 



REWARDS FOR LEARNING ACHIEVEMENTS

At the end of each section, children will earn a certificate of achievement to celebrate their social learning accomplishments. What a nice incentive to award children for their continued effort!







KID APPROVED

From the moment that I received this book, my son has taken it over. I was able to "borrow it" in order to reproduce some of the mini-books, so that we can use them in our life skills discussions. Other than that, he enjoys reading this book as is, from front to back. That's over 350 pages worth of stories! He is so interested in the stories; he can sit there for long periods of time just reading each one. Of course, making the mini-books offers a fun multisensory experience that he also enjoys taking part in. There's also a blank mini-book template in the back of the book, so that kids can create their very own story.






Even practicing proper hygiene is covered in the book








If you're searching for new activities to help teach children important skills that are essential for everyday living, I highly recommend Social Skills Matter. This is a wonderful resource to help reinforce positive behavior and communication skills. It can really help prepare young children for a lifetime of success.













Carson Dellosa Education had sent us a complimentary copy of Social Skills Matter to use in our homeschool; however, I was not required to write a blog review in exchange. We really enjoy this wonderful educational resource so much; I just wanted to share it with my readers and hope that it can benefit you and your children.