Identifying facial expressions is a social skills activity that helps kids learn to relate to others by recognizing different emotions. The activity requires a set of flashcards or photographs displaying a person acting out a variety of facial expressions, such as anger, surprise and happiness. The activity should start with easily identifiable expressions, such as sadness and fear, and graduate to more subtle expressions, such as boredom. Social intelligence makes kids less likely to develop conflicts with peers.
One way to demonstrate politeness and friendship is to encourage kids to give one another compliments. Each person in the group chooses a name and takes a turn sharing kind words about someone else. The group leader should make it clear that only positive, respectful comments are allowed.
Social scripts let kids act out common scenarios and learn how to respond appropriately. For example, a small group can pretend to visit a restaurant or complete a mock interview. In the latter scenario, kids can choose the right behavior to make a good impression as a job applicant, or they can take on the employer’s role of evaluating a candidate. Another helpful scenario is attending a funeral, where kids would be required to understand complex emotions, such as empathy.