In the captivating world of childhood development, where learning extends far beyond textbooks, a remarkable synergy emerges between physical activity and the cultivation of crucial social skills. Physical activity, when performed with other peers, offers a type of socialization that is unique for the student. Thus, the playground, gymnasium, and sports field become more than areas for athleticism. They stand as arenas of growth, becoming spaces that allow kids and young adults to learn how to socialize with the world.
The Sociability of Physical Activity
So, how does one gain social skills (and through physical activity, no less)? Social skills is defined as the ability to communicate and interact with each other, the basis of healthy relationships. Engaging in physical activity offers a dynamic platform through which kids can develop an understanding for relationships, both with others and oneself. Physical play presents a way for the younger generation to learn invaluable skills such as:
Communication. Is. King! The skills that follow in this list don’t mean anything if people aren’t able to communicate their ideas and intentions to each other.
We see collaboration and teamwork regularly in the work place, personal life, and at home. Collaborating, negotiating, and compromising are all aspects in sports. Being able to work together to achieve a larger goal is how we as humans accomplish great things!
The concept of leadership is closely tied to the notion of teamwork. Most sports and activities allow opportunities for individuals to step into a leadership position in which they may guide, facilitate, inspire, or motivate their team.
- Self Awareness
Having this skill is, in fact, vital in maintaining healthy interactions and relationships with others. Whether it’s building up more confidence or being aware of how their actions affect others, kids can develop this skill through team play.
Lastly, physical activity can simply become socialized spaces for relationships to blossom. In the same way we might have gym buddies and hiking clubs, kids can develop circles of lasting friendships.
To give you some ideas on how you can equip children with social skills through physical activity, here are three ways you can incorporate Hiveclass with your library programming!
- Classic Pick-Up Game
The most casual and fun way to get everyone moving is to host pick up games of the team sport of your choosing. Whether it’s basketball or soccer, set up two teams and designate two team captains to start! This way, kids can have the opportunity to practice both teamwork and leadership.
- Group Meditation
True, meditation does seem more like an individual practice. But meditating in a group can create a peaceful and harmonious environment. Take lead as the meditation group leader and have everyone sit in a circle. Conduct a group meditation, and after, ask questions about how one feels and what one thought of during the session. Meditation can be a great way to increase support and understanding for each other.
- Field Day
Who doesn’t love a field day as a kid? Set up groups and empower them to create a team name and mascot. Kids will then have to compete in small-level games (like a relay race of different sports skills assessments). Each activity is short enough where it’s both competitive and fun.
The social skills that kids learn through physical activity lasts a lifetime, and can translate directly into your career or personal life. From teamwork forged on the soccer field to the negotiations transpiring on the basketball court, each step and jump contributes to the child’s journey of building connections. Join us in exploring the connection between active play and vital social skills, and let’s discover how physical activity lays the foundation for a brighter, more interconnected future.