For some preschoolers, making friends seems to come easily. While for other children, it may appear that they need a little assistance finding a companion or two.
In the classroom, teachers can facilitate friendships by encouraging activities that show little learners what it means to be a friend. How a friend is supposed to act and what friends like to do together are some of the topics covered when exploring the concept of friendships and peer relationships with preschoolers. Teaching children social skills, such as kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness and helpfulness, provides a lesson on friendship that supports the development of positive relationships in preschool. Because friendship fosters a sense of connection, builds self-esteem and boosts self-confidence, it is necessary to encourage young students to make friends. To facilitate preschool friendships, here are a few helpful ideas to include in teaching lesson plans.
Preschool Friendship Lesson Ideas
Circle of Friends Sign
Support the beginning of peer friendships with the help of this activity that includes everyone in the classroom. With a poster board, some different colored paints, a paintbrush, and a marker, this Circle of Friends sign can be created as a group art project. To get started, teachers can draw a large circle on the poster board. Next, children can then stamp their handprints on the entire line of the circle (not on the inside of the circle). When the paint has dried, preschoolers can write their name as best they can in the center of the circle. Little learners will enjoy creating this friendship circle work of art as they practice teambuilding skills and begin to form new peer relationships.
Block Center Community
Encourage children to construct a neighborhood out of blocks. By working together, preschoolers can develop friendships while they build houses, a park, and even a school in their block center community. Suggest the idea of including roadways through the neighborhood. Incorporate mini figurines and small transportation vehicles upon completion for additional play activities. Supporting group cooperation and emotional development, block play provides an active lesson on communication, problem solving, and building friendships.
With the help of finger puppets, preschoolers can become familiar with the positive behaviors of friendship. Using poems, stories, and role-play activities that incorporate the help of puppets, early learners can learn the social skills necessary to develop good friendships. Sharing, listening, and taking turns are some of the characteristics of peer relationships that puppets can help with. Explaining how friendship feels can also be done with the finger play puppets. Put on a show at a puppet theater or encourage team puppet play interactions.
Reading about friends and friendship to children is a great way to introduce the topic of companionship. Books such as A Color of His Own by Leo Leoni, With My Friends Lap Book by Laura Verderosa, and A Rainbow of Friends by P.K. Hallinan include areas of focus that help children better understand the concept of friendship. Sharing stories about peer relationships allows children to explore the emotions of friendship while inspiring social interaction.
Through planning classroom activities, encouraging routine behavioral practice and supporting peer relationships, teachers can foster opportunities for children to develop friendships. Building relationships that are meaningful and successful can strengthen the ability to form and exercise positive social skills both in school and life.