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Children learn important social skills through working with and considering others. Playtime gives your child a chance to practice these skills in an interactive environment.
There are lots of opportunities to initiate playtime and give your child the opportunity to play and interact. Taking your child to a playground or community event where other children play provides them with the opportunity to interact with new people.
You can also encourage family members at home to play with your child or invite friends over to visit. Before they visit, talk to your child about what they would like to do with their friends or what toys they would like to share.
As your child learns to share and play, they will learn conflict resolution skills. Support your child to manage and resolve conflict through discussing what actions they can take to deal with conflict in a positive way.
Discuss feelings and emotions with your child and what these might mean. Ask your child to name their feelings and encourage them to talk with others about how they feel. Help your child to understand how to show concern for someone, for example ‘Harry has hurt his knee, let’s go and ask Harry if he is ok.’
Everyone is different and it is important that your child has the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences between people, and learn to be respectful of others. You can help them understand by talking with your child about similarities and differences in appearance, language, dress, ability and beliefs.
Point out skills and positive attributes of others, for example ‘Johnny is a great climber’, or ‘Sharleetti wears a very pretty sari’. You might also encourage your child to take part in activities or games with make-believe roles, to allow them to see things from another person’s point of view.