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Bullying Mental Health

Fun Social Activities That Can Help Kids Relate To Their Peers

author
Kay Hall - March 18, 2022

Friendships are formed whenever kids and teens come together in school, however, there’s also a very big chance of being made fun of, called names, discriminated against, and even physically bullied. According to data released by the National Center for Educational Statistics in 2019, one in every 5 students reported being bullied, making that 20.2% of the whole student population in the US. In the same study, the reasons for being bullied reported by students included race, gender, disability, religion, and physical appearance.

It is believed that the strongest and most effective anti-bullying campaigns shouldn’t only involve parents and the school faculty, but should include the students themselves. Creating opportunities wherein kids or teens can bond in a safe and fun environment, such as social activities, can help them learn about respecting each other’s differences, cultures, and perspectives in life. The more time they spend with their peers and the more engaged they are with each other, the more likely that bullying will be stopped. According to Pacer.org’s Bullying Statistics, school-based programs that focus on preventing bullying decreased bullying in schools by up to 25%. Getting kids engaged in social activities can bring about a multitude of benefits, and here are four activities that can help kids relate to their peers. 

Playing Sports

Studies show that sports have psychological benefits for children and adolescents. It teaches them important life skills, such as building confidence, developing new skills, as well as helping them develop better ways to cope with the ups and downs of life. Ice skating is a great way for kids to learn a new skill while also having fun. They can learn to figure skate, race, or play ice hockey. Organized sport has been known to promote psychological and social benefits for children. You don’t even have to wait for winter to allow kids to learn ice skating as synthetic rinks are available all year round. Most places with synthetic ice are committed to maintaining a synthetic ice rink throughout the year so this can be a great sport and social activity kids and teens can get into to help them gain confidence, understanding, cooperation, and have fun with their peers.

Board Games

Playing a board game like Monopoly may be a simple activity, but it promotes teamwork, cooperation, confidence, and assertion. Moreover, playing board games lets kids learn how to lose gracefully. A study conducted at Dartmouth College revealed that board games help teens become more assertive in their responses, gained more inclusive perceptions of other social groups, and even allowed kids to question their own biases. The conclusion of the study also showed that board games lead to greater empathy, improved understanding of others, and an improved ability to accept diversity. This study shows that social skills board games can help reduce bullying by helping to develop a more accepting character.

Create Something As a Group

Teachers can assign group projects to students where they create something – art, meals, a video, or any project that would involve an exchange of ideas, materials, promote teamwork, and highlight individual strengths of individuals. Research has shown that the positive impacts of cooperative construction can help build positive social skills in kids. One study that involved children on the autism spectrum revealed that children who worked on a project involving blocks showed improvements in their social interactions.

Volunteering in the Community

Volunteering in the community, such as getting involved in beach clean-ups, feeding programs, and other social service activities has been known to boost confidence in teenagers, and build social skills. Role models also provide an opportunity for teens to come into contact with responsible teens and positive adults. The act of giving your time for free to a social cause encourages kids to see the world in different ways. It also fosters a sense of belongingness, connections, as well as builds self-confidence, improved mental health, and overall well-being.

Social activities that allow kids and teens to spend time with their peers can help prevent bullying by giving these kids a different view of the world they’re used to. When they develop positive social skills, understand how others think and feel, and create connections with peers who are different than them, understanding and empathy are achieved, and thereby, reducing incidents of bullying in the academic space.

author

Kay spent several years working as an e-safety officer, dedicated to educating both children and adults on enjoying cyberspace in safety. Since starting a family of her own, she has returned to her first love of writing, and contributes to a number of websites on the topics that matter to her.