A child’s early years are crucial to his or her development of physical, cognitive and social skills. Parents have a large role in promoting activities that help children develop skills that lay the foundation of their learning and development later in life. There are several ways to help supplement the socialization of children in addition to family activities. Exposing children to new environments and many new friends helps them learn skills such as sharing and communication. Here are four programs that are both fun for children, and useful for developing social skills.
#1. Mommy and Me Classes
Enrolling your young child and yourself in “mommy and me” classes promotes bonding between mothers and their children through fun activities. The classes also allow socialization between other children and parents in a friendly, supportive environment. Mommy and me classes are available in a variety of contexts to suit many interests, such as mommy and me fitness classes, swim classes, music classes or yoga classes. Mommy and me classes focus on social skills as well as cognitive and physical development. They also give children valuable time with a parent focusing on them, resulting in positive attention that children of busy parents crave. Participating in group activities along with a parent makes children feel more comfortable even in new situations. They may be more likely to socialize with other children knowing that their parent is nearby.
#2. Playground Time
Most children view a visit to the playground as a fun treat. Nowadays when kids spend an estimated seven and a half hours in front of screens a day, time to run around and engage in physical activity is desperately needed. A visit to the playground is a great way for children to meet new friends, and develop social skills without spending money. If you are brainstorming ideas for kids birthday parties, one inexpensive option is hosting the party at a playground. Kids love the chance to run around and play, and can often come up with imaginative games that keep them entertained for long periods of time.
#3. Dance Classes
Dance classes provide a great opportunity for children to make friends, exercise, develop hand-eye coordination and learn a skill that they can carry with them for life. Dance classes for children promote social skill development as children learn to work together as a group to learn dance routines. Children learn that by following directions and putting in their individual effort, they can create a beautiful dance routine in cooperation with their peers.
#4. Summer Camp for Kids
Summer camp for kids allows children the unique opportunity to make friends in a new environment. Suitable for children who are old enough to handle some independence, summer camp for kids lets kids participate in many outdoor activities, emphasizing positive social traits such as teamwork, cooperation and camaraderie. For children who would enjoy summer camp but are not quite ready for overnight camp, many options for family sessions of summer camps or day camps are available, where parents can stay with their children.