It could be hard for children of preschool age to make friends especially if they are shy. That is why friendship activities for preschoolers are becoming more and more popular among parents and ECE teachers every day. Sometimes extremely shy children can even experience social anxiety around other people, which could complicate things even further.
Friendship activities are activities that promote friendship and help children to become more social and outgoing.
The Best Friendship Activities For Preschoolers
Friendship Activity #1 - Fun Pipe Cleaners
Whether you are a preschool teacher or a parent organizing a fun play date this activity will not disappoint! Get children’s craft pipe cleaners pack and that’s about all you need!
Regular pipe cleaners packs have from 6 to 10 different colors. Give each child a craft pipe cleaner and ask them to find a child with a matching color. When children match the cleaning pipe colors they are friends for a day and are expected to do most of the activities together. Their first task is to make their favorite animal from pipe cleaners together.
Friendship Activity #2 - Friends Chain Link
Ask children to stand in a line. A parent or teacher stands first and starts the game. An adult says that this is a "friends chain link" and to stand in line - and everybody needs to be friends here. Each child, one by one, says what they like in the child standing next to them. For instance, “I like Matthew because he is very kind”. Or “I like Stephan because he is funny and is always sharing”. When the last child has finished the line, he/ she turns around in the line and goes back - and starts all over again.
Friendship Activity #3 - A Friendly Ball
Children stand in a circle and the teacher or a parent explains the rules of the game to the children. Today, the ball is a friendship ball and when somebody throws it they tell why is it nice to have friends. The child who catches the ball continues the game and says, for instance, “It is nice to have friends because they share toys with you”, “Friends can cheer you up when you feel sad” or “Friends can make you laugh”, etc.
Friendship Activity #4 – Friendship Crafts Sun & Clouds
This is a fine motor skills friendship activity that involves arts and crafts. A teacher or a parent prepare yellow circles in the shape of the sun. First, the children need to make "clouds" from blue construction paper. The sun is a symbol of friendship, and the clouds represent obstacles that could ruin a friendship. For example, “This cloud is not sharing with others, and this cloud is hitting and kicking" – all of these things can ruin a good friendship.
Friendship Activity #5 – Puppets Role Play
Children need to make their own paper bag puppets. Then, need to act out a friendship role-play scenario. The role-play could be about some problem that a child is experiencing in the classroom or at home. For instance, it could be a role play about sharing, being kind and attentive, being polite, taking turns, etc. Play it out with paper bag puppets that you made together with the child.
Friendship activities for preschoolers are a great way of teaching children about healthy socializing, making friends and being more outgoing. They promote language development and personality growth in preschoolers.