Social Activities: Introduction
Summary of Social Activities for Toddlers
to Remember about Presenting Social Activities
- Greet the child by name.
- Use social activities to help the child
recognize emotions in others.
- Promote peaceful ways of solving problems
- Develop a repertoire of relaxing body
movements and accompanying rhymes and
- Include opportunities for quiet sharing
as well as more overt social interactions.
The following social activities give the toddler opportunities
- explore in a social situation
- develop concentration
- expand sensory experiences
- recognize and imitate facial expressions
- imitate body movements
- understand and follow instructions
- make music in a group
- recognize and identify others
- share materials
- recognize and name feelings in self and others.
Social Activity 5: Listening To and Following Instructions
Practicing listening skills involved in simple social
Developing ability to follow instructions; developing
Work mat. (A work mat is optional for an activity
such as this one, where you are not working with
materials. However, a work mat is helpful for younger
toddlers who are still learning about delineating
You and the toddler.
- This activity appeals particularly to the
interests and abilities of toddlers
1518 months old.
- Choose an area of the center where there is
space for movement, then put the work
mat in place. Encourage the child to help.
- Stand or sit so that you and the child are
facing each other, with the work mat
- Looking directly at the child, announce that
you are going to make a particular body
movement and invite the child to imitate you.
Choose a movement the child can
easily imitate. For example, say: Lets
touch our noses. I am going to touch my
nose. Then you touch your nose.
- Slowly and deliberately, make the movement.
- Give the child ample time to make the movement.
- If after a time the child does not try to
make the movement, ask: May I help?
Then gently guide the child. For example, gently
guide the childs hand to touch
- Holding your position, pause for a moment
and smile at the child.
- Announce another movement. For example, say:
Now lets crouch on the floor. I
going to crouch. Then you crouch.
- Repeat for five or six different movements.
Ideas for movements: stomp our feet;
tap our hands on our shoulders; pat the top
of our head; hold our hands in
front of you and clap once; wiggle our fingers;
touch our toes; jump gently up and
down; put one hand over one ear; wave.
- Invite the child to suggest a movement. For
example, say: Now you tell me
something you are going to do. Then Ill
do it. Do not cajole the child or correct
her/his language skills.
- Continue the activity for as long as the child
- When the child has finished the activity,
involve the child in returning the work mat
to its proper place. This completes the activity.
- Stand in a circle with two or three toddlers
and take turns suggesting and imitating
movements. This activity could also be turned
into a version of Simon Says.
- Introduce specific words. For example,
use words for contrasting movements, such
as high and low,,
big and small.
Place emphasis on the contrasting word
being emphasized. For example, say: Let
s swing our arms high. Then
say: Lets swing our arms low.
Or say: Lets stand big as
a bear. Then say: Lets
curl up small as a mouse.
- Make movements imitating things that make
interesting sounds. For example, trot
like a horse and make a clopping or neighing
sound. Other ideas: other animals that
make interesting sounds (such as snakes, frogs,
cats); vehicles (such as fire trucks
and trains); nature (such as wind, river, rain,