Social Skills for Kids: A New Book From Encourage Play

Be a playful group leader - have fun AND practice social skills!

Social Skills for Kids Book Encourage Play

Help Your Students Learn Skills Like:

Problem Solving

Taking Turns

Having conversations

Working Together

Being Flexible


and much more!

Written by Janine Halloran, LMHC

  • a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with more than 15 years of experience

  • an experienced school counselor

  • an experienced small group leader

  • and author of the best-selling Coping Skills for Kids Workbook

If your students are having a hard time making and keeping friends, or struggling in social situations, they may need some extra practice working on different social skills. This book makes it easy for you create those teachable moments in a small group to reinforce when things go well, and an opportunity for learning when things don't go as smoothly.

There are a few different types of activities for groups included in the book:

Playing & Games

Simply playing is a perfect way to learn skills. By setting up group play situations, kids will work on at least a few social skills at the same time. Teachable moments will occur and kids will naturally practice social skills.

Group Challenges

Giving kids group challenges also works wonders for creating these teachable moments. Often times, the kids love the idea of a group working together to accomplish something or to reach a goal. It can give them confidence when they make it through. It’s also an opportunity for them to have a shared positive experience with their group members.

Visual Lessons

Using visuals is a powerful way to teach kids. Often those are the lessons that stick longer, because incorporating a visual is such a useful learning tool. I’ve also included some visual lessons to target a few different social skills.

Creative Outlets

Kids benefit from being creative. They work on being flexible and thinking about things differently, especially when they see the variety of ways other kids create with the same prompt. Some lessons have kids create their own item to take home to use or reference later.

Praise for the Social Skills for Kids book!

"Social Skills for Kids is an awesome resource for therapists, teachers, counselors and others who work with children who need extra support with social-emotional skills.  This great book takes the guesswork out of planning lessons for social skills groups and provides a solid foundation for kids to be able to develop the skills they need to interact with their peers in a healthy, happy way."

Claire Heffron & Lauren Drobnjak,



Dyan R.

Founder of And Next Comes L


Want a peek at some of the lessons?

Use paper airplanes to practice following directions

Create a kindness wall of fame in your school to recognize acts of kindness

Set up a treasure hunt to practice working together


"Play isn’t the enemy of learning, it’s learning’s partner. Play is like fertilizer for brain growth. It’s crazy not to use it."

-Dr. Stuart Brown


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