SBKC is a place to discover the joy of being with others. We help children develop friendship skills and improve the quality of their social interactions by promoting kindness, building self-esteem, and emphasizing cooperation with others. We engage children in activities that center on team work, problem solving and of course-tons of fun! In today’s competition obsessed culture, SBKC values playing with others over playing against others.

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Our focus



Developing meaningful and positive peer relationships among our members is central to SBKC. Research has shown that early peer relationships set the stage for later social interactions and significantly affect happiness and self-esteem.

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Working together to accomplish something produces better results than working alone which is why we emphasize teamwork with all our activities. Exchanging and communicating ideas allows kids to benefit from their friends’ strengths and talents.

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The ability to understand and share the feelings of others is a key predictor of later success. It not only helps children be understanding of others; it helps them understand the world around them. Empathy paves the way for kindness and compassion.

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SBKC offers social groups that help children develop and strengthen skills that bring forth positive peer relationships. All groups are facilitated by experienced Behavior Analysts and are kept small to ensure that the individual needs of our students are being met. SBKC is a place where everyone is valued and our worlds are brightened by getting to know each other. We target specific social skills into each purposeful activity we plan. Cooperative games promote flexibility, kindness and teamwork while having tons of fun!

Children ages 5-7

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Children ages 8-11

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School Based Services

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Building a Social Network For the Non-sporty Kid

Team sports. There is no question that they are amazing for physical, cognitive and social development. So many important social emotional skills are taught through working together and exercising the body.

SBKC article featured in

Why doesn’t my child have any friends at school?

The bewildering, often gut wrenching question many parents have asked themselves- my child is so sweet and wonderful, how are the other kids not seeing this?


Top 4 Picks for Table Top Games

While all tabletop games have value and teach skills, some just lend themselves more naturally to incorporating social skills than others.


Social Play - It’s Complicated!

Ever look at a group of school children playing a game of tag? From afar you see lots of running around, sporadic chatter, laughter. It seems so effortless.


3 Easy ways to turn any activity into a Social Activity

There are so many great cooperative activities kiddos can work on together but even independent activities can be social just by being mindful of a few details.



Why did I form SBKC?

Too often social skills are taught as lessons that children are supposed to memorize. When asked, the children can tell you what the rules are, how to identify emotions or state the “correct” answer when given a hypothetical situation. However, they are unable to put these skills into practice. SBKC embeds all those vital social skills and nuances to learn into natural activities and games. The children actually use the skills because they are learning naturally that they are beneficial to them. They do not even realize they are working on social skills, they are just having fun!

Who is SBKC for?

SBKC is for children who are experiencing challenges in forming friendships or fitting in group environments. SBKC kids have foundational social skills such as language and the ability to attend to a small group but need the right supportive environment that will specifically target the skills they need to learn and practice.

SBKC is unable to serve students who require significant behavioral intervention. Students who have a limited ability to communicate their needs, exhibit aggressive or eloping behaviors would benefit from a more staff intensive environment than SBKC. If you are unsure if your child is a good fit for our program, please contact us and we will get back to you to help make that determination.

What will my child learn in SBKC?

SBKC has a comprehensive social skills curriculum around which we develop our games and activities. We track your child’s progress every session and will communicate to you what we worked on each week. Our goal is to teach the children the social skills that will help them make friends not just in the context of our small group but for any social opportunity that comes their way!

What happens after I apply online?

We will review the application to determine the appropriate group for your child and get back to you within 2-3 days with further details.

When & where are the sessions held?

Sessions are held weekend mornings at Ryan Park in Palos Verdes, CA. We use the activity room, the patio and the playground area so we can be comfortable inside when sitting down but also enjoy the fresh air during outside play.

What should be my role with the group?

Parents are welcome to stay for the first few minutes of the group but then are encouraged to enjoy their time doing something for themselves, knowing their child is having a great time, engaged in cooperative activities with his/her peers. We ask that you come 10 minutes early when picking up your child so the staff can touch base with you about the session.

About Me

Having worked with children of almost every age group and ability level throughout my career, I’ve found the most joyful experiences are those when children connect with each other in a positive, meaningful way.

For many children it’s not easy to step out of their comfort zone, change their routines or cooperate with others. My goal with SBKC is to provide a safe, kind, yet structured environment where each child feels nurtured and motivated to play, communicate and be silly with each other.

Diana Cortese
South Bay Kids Connection Founder
Board Certified Behavior Analyst


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