Did you know that knowing how to introduce themselves is an essential life skill that impacts your little ones’ social interactions and confidence at every stage in their life?
It's aways a little unnerving when you introduce yourself in new and unfamiliar environments isn't it? So imagine how it might feel for your little one... Intimidating at the very least. So, here is an "all you ever need" guide to help your kid practice introductions early in their journey. It's going to be a confidence booster, trust us!
Download our delightful Introduce Yourself Activity Kit here for free. It comes with a story, two games and a pretend play guide.
0-2 years old
“Where’s (name of child)?’
Standing in front of the mirror, pointing to themselves is one of the first steps towards identifying and introducing themselves. This simple activity helps them see themselves as individuals and lays the foundation for building their individual identity, seperate from other family members.
2-3 years old
“When we go to the playground, let’s say hi to the other kids and tell them who we are.” Practice with a soft toy!
What is your name? ‘Neil’
What is your teddy’s name? ‘ Fluffy’. "Say Hi Fluffy" "Hi Neil"
As our little ones start to meet other kids and adults in playgrounds and in the neighbourhood, teaching our little ones to introduce themselves may be as simple as “My name is.. " and learning to say Hi. Taking the time to teach them to say hi, smile, wave and say their name makes them feel safe and comfortable in new environments with new people.
3-5 years old
“When you go to school, tell the other kids who you are. But also tell them what you like to do. This will help you to make friends and play together.”
"Hi, I'm Ami. I like dinosaurs and playing with blocks. What's your name?"
As our little ones play more with other kids, teaching them to talk about not only who they are but what they like to do helps them form connections with their teachers and friends. It boosts their self confidence, builds their identity and helps them to start friendships.
6-8 years old
“ Priya might not like reading. But, that’s okay. You don’t need to like the same things. Ask her what she likes to do.”
"Hi! I’m Ami. I love reading. But we don’t have to read books today . What would you like to do?”
As our little ones grow older, they may not meet people who like exactly the same things they like. They need to learn how to find common ground with people who are different from them.
Our foolproof 10 step guide to practice intros
- "Hi, my name is [Child's Name], and I love playing soccer and drawing pictures of animals. What about you?" Teach our little ones to start with their name and a little about themselves. They can talk about things they like to do or play. They can talk about their family or their pets.
- Say hi to the grocer or our new neighbour. “ Hi.. I’m …. What’s your name? It’s nice to meet you.” Let them see us do it. Introduce ourselves to new people in front of our kids.
- “When I look at someone in the eyes and smile, it shows them that I like them and I’m interested in what they are saying.” Teach our little ones to make eye contact.
- “Do you like watching Paw Patrol? It’s my favourite show.” Asking questions is a skill that our little ones need to learn. Play a questions game where we practice asking each other questions about the things we like to do.
- "You did an excellent job introducing yourself! I loved how you shared your hobbies and asked questions.” Let our little ones know we noticed that they made an effort to introduce themselves. Ask them how they felt while doing it.
- "Let's pretend that each of the stuffed toys have to introduce themselves in school. What would they say?” Role play is a great way to practice introductions while having fun.
- “At Nana’s house today, why don't you introduce yourself to Priya Aunty? It will be great practice!" Encouraging our little ones to practice in familiar, safe settings will help them feel more confident to try introducing themselves to strangers.
- "We're going to a playdate today. How about you introduce yourself to your friend's mom when we get there?" Set expectations before we head out the door about whom they are going to meet and gradually expose them to new situations.
- "When meeting someone new, it's nice to shake hands with them. Practice a gentle handshake with me. You can even give them a high five if you want. Or you can wave your hand to say hi. What would you like to do?” Let our little ones know that they have choices in the way they greet people.
- “When you ask someone to play, say 'please,' and if they share something, say 'thank you.'" Reinforce kindness with our little ones. It will not only help them learn to be kind but also learn how they should expect to be treated.
Common concerns and how to address them
- "I understand it can be a bit hard to say hello to new people. Let's start by practicing at home with Papa or Priya Aunty. Once you feel more comfortable, we can gradually try it elsewhere. Does that work?” It’s natural for our little ones to feel a bit shy or anxious about introducing themselves. Acknowledging it and helping them to practice at home will help ease their discomfort.
- "Don’t worry if you make a mistake; we all do! The important thing is to be yourself.” Sometimes we worry about saying the wrong thing or forgetting what to say.. It’s natural to feel that way.So, make sure we reassure our little ones. Maybe tell them about how we made a mistake once too.
- “Let’s start with inviting only Diya and Aaron home.And if that goes well and you have fun, we can have a bigger party.” Large groups can be intimidating for some of our little ones. “ Let our little ones know that they have a choice of how many people they want to have over for a play date
- “We touch Nani’s feet because she is older than us and she gives us her blessings.” Let our little ones know that different people have different ways of saying hello. They can talk to you about what they are comfortable with.
- “What if they don’t want to play with me?.” Our little ones, just like us, have a fear of being rejected. “It’s natural to want to be liked. Just be yourself. If someone doesn’t want to play, that’s okay. There are many friendly people who will want to play with you and we’ll find them together.”
Names can be a big part of introductions and building your child's confidence. Read more here about how to talk to kids about their names. Have you seen our custom name art designs inspired by culture?