Be a Social Spy – Perspective Taking Activity


When working with young children it is easy to be part of the group and to prompt them to pay attention to social cues but with older children, it becomes more difficult for a prompting adult to blend in with the group. I teach kids to be a “social spy” to figure out new social situations.

Be a Social Spy – A Perspective Taking Activity that Develops Social Awareness

Be a Social Spy - Perspective Taking Activity

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In order to encourage kids to pay attention to social cues, I give them “homework”: a list of questions for them to answer by observing their peers. You can also use this activity in group situations to build more understanding and social bonding.

Be a Social Spy – Perspective Taking Activity to Build Social Awareness

Social Spy worksheet PDF

Target Skills:

  • Observational skills
  • Recognizing facial expressions and emotions
  • Perspective taking
  • Social skills

Tell the child(ren) that it is their job to be a social spy in their next group activity. Have them fill out the worksheet and then discuss their findings. Try a variety of places to spy on: the playground, grocery store, a sidewalk cafe. For children that are easily overwhelmed, you can watch a show and fill out the worksheet while you are watching. Any way that you can encourage linking observation with a perspective taking activity you will reinforce this social skill.

It is your job to be a social spy in your next group activity. Fill out the worksheet and then discuss with each other. If there is no answer you can leave it blank.
Name some people in your group.

Name someone who looked happy.

Why do you think that they looked happy?
Name someone who looked bored.
Name someone who looked upset.

Why do you think they looked upset?
Name someone who seemed friendly.
Were you friendly with them? If so what did you do that was friendly?

Pick one person and tell about 3 things that you know about that person.

Pick one person to “spy” on next time. What is one thing that you want to know about them?


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