Psychologist

Social Skills and Play

Social Skills and Play

What are Play Skills

Play is the voluntary participation in self motivated activities that are normally associated as enjoyable and fun. Play may consist of amusing, imaginary or pretend, constructive, interpersonal (play with others) or intrapersonal (solitary play) interactions. Play is the way that children learn about the environment, their bodies and their place in the world around them.

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What are Social Skills

Social skills are important in allowing an individual to have and sustain positive interactions with others. Many of these skills are crucial in making and maintaining friendships. Social interactions don’t always run smoothly and an individual needs to be able to implement appropriate strategies, such as conflict resolution when problems in social situations arise. It is also important for individuals to have ’empathy’ (i.e. being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and recognise how they might feel). Empathy allows individuals to respond in an understanding and caring way to how others are feeling.


Social skills begin to develop in early childhood and continue to develop throughout an individual's life. Some children and people may have difficulty understanding or building interpersonal skills independently and may require support.