This is a brief article that made me think back to the times when I worked in an elementary school. It helps me to remember that elementary school is more than a time to learn about ABC's and 123's. It is also a time when children are learning what it means to interact with others outside of their family structure. The article provides some simple things that teachers/counselors can do with children to help promote and facilitate the development of social skills.
This blog post gives 5 tips for working with younger students on social skills in a group setting. If you have been running groups for a while, it's easy to fall into a rut. This site gives information that I already knew but reading it prompted me to think more creatively about the structure of the group. What new strategies will you use with your next group?
This brief video could be used with younger children about a possible solution to when a friend does not want to play with you. This video is simple and easy to understand for students of all levels. This provides me with a scenario that allows for me to explore feelings (e.g. how do you think that Ernie felt when Bert did not wish to play with him?, perspective taking skills, and problem solving skills based on what they saw.
This book is full of practical guides for kids to learn social skills including step by step directions for the skills that kids need to learn like joining a group, and being flexible. It's a wondeful resource for kids in 2nd to 5th grade and can be modified. I facilitated a social skills group along with my school psychologist and this book worked perfectly for us as we needed to explicitly teach skills. It considers some steps that we often take for granted.