My DD is 4 and has been shy/reserved since she was a baby. We all know this, and my DH and I are not super extroverted either. I met with DD's preschool teacher this week and she mentioned that she would like to see DD open up a bit more such as contributing in group settings, being more vocal in answering questions, etc. She also thought her extreme shyness could be a hindrance later when she's in school, but she did say she's at the top of the class as far as milestones/expectations. Now, I don't exactly share the same philosophy as the teacher on this point, and I don't think there's much we can do concretely to change her personality, that's just who she is. But, I would like to give her some tools to help her socially. For example, yesterday, we were at the playground early and there were only 3-4 other kids (usually there are 40+ kids). One little girl around her age wanted to play (and she's seen this girl before), but my daughter basically hid in my skirt and covered her eyes with her hands. I encouraged her and after a little prodding, she eventually went off with the other girl and they played for more than an hour. Another example is that my daughter will often physically turn away when people try to engage with her, both acquaintances and strangers. I've told her she has to at least say hi, otherwise people will think she's rude, but her reflex is to turn away.

Does anyone have any tips? Or if you were a very shy child, what helped you open up a bit more?