Summer is the time for playing! To encourage play, we’re doing a giveaway, full of toys and games that are fun to play AND can help kids learn social skills. Here are some of my favorite toys and games that we’ve collected for our giveaway! These games can be used at home on a playdate, in a counselor’s office, or for playtime in a classroom.
Inside: An overview of 10 games that can be used to work on social-emotional learning at school, in small group settings or at home.
What was your favorite game to play as a kid? For me, it was Monopoly. My sister and I played this game all the time - it would keep us entertained for hours on a cold winter day.
What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us Summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and if you're lucky the ocean.
As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a real chore! Activities in nature, especially when done socially with their friends, family or teachers, don’t just keep restless kids busy or entertained. They also offer great developmental benefits that will help them academically and socially.
For as long as I can remember, playing video games has been way of connecting and spending time with my family.
I vividly remember when my big brother got the original Nintendo with Duck Hunt. We were in our cozy family den with my brother and sister, so excited to try it out. And he finally let me try it too! Guess what - I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved watching my brother play.
It’s been the longest week ever. You’ve been texting your best friend all week about just relaxing on Friday, watching that new Netflix show you’ve been dying to see and eating your favorite takeout. After your commute home, you change into yoga pants and get settled onto the couch. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. You open up the door and see your best friend.
Inside: A guest post from Greg Heilers at education.com with a writing activity that is also a good way to meet new people and potentially start a new friendship.
Whether they know it or not, fourth graders are natural authors. They’ve got lots to say, even if it happens to come with fearless spelling sometimes. And every time they create a sentence, whether it’s for a card, letter, shopping list, or complaint to you, they’re expanding their reading and writing skills.
Inside: a list of social skills, both external (interacting with others) and internal (your inner thoughts & feelings) with playful ways to practice them.
Recently I went to a symposium on play where Stuart Brown, author of Play: How it Shapes the Mind, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul, was speaking. I took off my mom yoga pants and put on real ones, drove to the symposium and sat down at a table. I pretended that I'm not an introvert and started talking to my neighbor. After I gave her my 30 second description of Encourage Play, she said “that sounds great but what does that really mean?”
Inside: A simple and fun game you can play with your kids to practice making decisions. You can play it at home, in restaurants, car rides or while waiting.
It’s Sunday and it’s my meal planning time for the week. I sit at the kitchen table, sip my coffee, and ask myself “what should we have for dinner this week?” Often, I ask my family for input, but let’s be honest, I get a lot of “pizza!” and “pasta!” answers from my children :-)
Inside: 10 fun and enjoyable social skills group activities designed to help kids learn through play. Perfect for social skills group centers or for groups at school.
What kid has ever wanted to attend a social skills group? I’ve never heard a kid say “Yes, please sign me up for a group where you point out how awkward I am and then make me talk about it.”