Are you concerned that your teen isn’t learning the social skills he or she needs? To help remedy the situation, here are 10 great youth activities to help teach your teen social skills.
Every generation thinks they had it toughest when they were teenagers. What most of us remember is feeling socially awkward and unsure of where we fit in.
Then there were those kids who always seemed to be at ease with themselves. They were confident and seemed to glide effortlessly through their teenage years.
Often these kids were the jocks or they somehow stood out from everyone else.
The reason those kids made it look so easy was that they had great social skills. Some people innately know how to socialize with others. For the rest of us, we need to learn those skills.
One way to learn those skills is through youth activities. Here are 10 fun activities that can help turn your teenager into a confident young person.
1. There Are Tons Of Youth Activities At Camp
Camp is a wonderful place for children of all ages to learn better social skills. And there are tons of different types of camps out there.
Some camps are focused on a specific theme like band camp or for soccer. Other camps offer a wide variety of activities from swimming and boating to horseback riding and archery.
But there’s one thing that every camp has in common, it’s a great place to learn how to socialize with different kids.
Usually, kids at camp are from different towns and even states. They’ll learn how to get along with kids from different backgrounds while having fun.
Camp counselors make sure that everyone feels included in all the activities.
2. Have Them Join The Theater
Many people find the mere thought of getting out on stage in front of an audience to be completely terrifying. Yet, learning how to walk on stage and speak to an audience with confidence is a huge social skill that will help them throughout every stage of their lives.
One of the best social skills activities you can choose for your teenager is the theater. They’ll learn how to get in touch with their emotions to use them safely within a role.
Theater teaches kids how to use their words to speak clearly and effectively so their voice captures an audience. Kids learn how to use their body to communicate.
There are plenty of social groups for teenagers to get involved in and drama club is no exception. The friendships formed here can last a lifetime.
3. Get Them To Volunteer
Volunteering isn’t always top of the list of youth activities people tend to think about, but the skills one learns can’t be ignored.
There are tons of opportunities to volunteer. If your child is interested in a specific career, one way for them to learn more about it is to volunteer there.
They will learn all about their potential career, learn the skills necessary to perform that job and create a network of people who can help them find a job when the time comes.
Volunteering teaches you how to work together as a team to achieve a certain result. You learn problem solving, adaptability, and leadership skills.
Teenagers learn social skills, how to plan, and how to prioritize. Even if they volunteer somewhere that doesn’t lead to a career, learning to how to put others above themselves is always a great skill to possess.
4. Try Out Sports Programs
Social games for kids are great ways for them to learn how to work well with others and communicate. Sports are great social games and they’re even good for kids who don’t possess great hand-to-eye coordination skills.
While there are plenty of sports programs like soccer, baseball, football, and lacrosse, there are other sports to think about.
The whole point is for your child to let go of their shyness and to learn how to work and
communicate with others in a team effort.
Not everyone enjoys a high impact type of sport. Activities like swimming, golf, and skiing are also fun, competitive, and social but not as team oriented.
Then there’s the chess club and the mathletes for those who prefer to get a good workout with their minds.
Sports teach kids that while you don’t always win, what’s most important is how you played the game. And they’re getting physically fit while doing it.
5. The Arts Are Perfect For Learning Social Skills
Not all social groups for teenagers need to be activity based.
Drawing, painting, playing an instrument and singing all are excellent ways to get involved with social skills activities.
Kids will learn how to express themselves creatively in a safe environment. They will also interact with fellow students as well as their teacher.
It’s a great environment for kids who are shy or feel socially awkward. A good first step is to enroll your child in an art or craft class to see if they enjoy it.
There are painting classes, sketching, pottery, sculpting, and even costume design which can help teenagers express themselves in a social setting.
6. Game Nights
Try playing social games for teens at least once a week with a group of people. Game nights are a lot of fun and they’ll get your teenager away from electronics and social media at least for a little while.
Try playing games that force teenagers to interact with one another in order to win the game.
Games like charades are good for the imagination and to help them learn how to express themselves clearly to others.
Try heading to an escape room near you so the entire family learns how to communicate and work together effectively.
Even board games are great as learning tools. Kids learn how to take turns, play fairly, and play together in harmony.
Best of all, it’s a great way to bond together while having a lot of fun.
7. Educational Trips
You don’t have to wait until your kid’s school takes them on a field trip. Instead, plan one yourself.
Help teach your kid to get out of their shell and experience life outside of the town you live in.
Visit museums in neighboring towns.
Take them to the bookstore or library to find books on nearby historical subjects. Take them to lectures and seminars on the subject so they can learn more.
Not only will an educational trip help your teen explore their interests further, they will receive tons of opportunities to interact with new people. Encourage your teen to ask questions during a lecture or tour.
8. Attend Live Events
When it comes to social skills activities for teenagers, live events are often the most fun. You can attend an event as a family or allow your teenager to go with friends.
There are tons of live events to choose from. Whether it’s a sporting event, a dance performance, music recital, or an art opening, they are all opportunities for your child to learn social skills.
Being in a crowd can get tough for some kids. There is a lot of energy in one space and some people feel overwhelmed by it. They can’t hear themselves any longer and it’s tougher for them to function.
Learning to be a part of a crowd without feeling lost, overwhelmed or scared can help teenagers learn to become more independent. They’ll also have to interact with others to find their seats or buy a souvenir.
Live events are also wonderful opportunities to show your teenager proper social behavior in a crowded setting.
9. Hire A Coach
Sometimes teenagers just aren’t quite ready to play social games for teens. If a traumatic event has occurred or it’s just that your teenager is ultra shy, sometimes you need extra help.
Before you toss your kid into social groups for teenagers, see if they’re ready for it. Some kids aren’t and it can be traumatic for them if they’re thrust into a social situation before they are ready.
Hiring a coach can help. A coach receives social skills training for teens so they can help you reach through to your child and help them get out of their shell.
The one-on-one help can assist your teenager in learning the proper skills they need to begin thinking about joining in more social skills activities.
10. Model UN
Model UN is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn great leadership skills. It’s also an opportunity for them to mingle and socialize with kids from other schools and neighborhoods.
Kids vote on real-world-type issues, learn how to solve problems together, and speak in front of an audience.
Even if your child doesn’t love politics, Model UN helps kids learn about today’s problems.
Working together, they realize they have the power to change our world into a better place.
Never Give Up
With some kids, you’ll get lucky and find plenty of youth activities that they love. With other kids, the search might take a little longer until they find their niche.
That’s okay. Some of us get lucky and find our place in life. Others find they need to search a little longer to find where they belong.
And that’s okay, too. Just don’t give up. There are tons of activities out there to try.
And we’re here to help.
To learn more parenting skills and give yourself a little extra boost of support, keep reading this blog.