Review these suggestions for promoting friendship in children during activities and routines.
- Have children share cubbies and coat hooks. Put pictures of children on their cubbies and have them point to and say the names of their friends.
- Have one child assigned to pass on name tags as children walk in. Teach the children to ask for their name tag.
- Have plenty of centers that include activities with multiple children. Plan activities that have to involve two or more children (e.g., ball play, board games) and teach them to use and play together. Provide positive comments and reinforcement for playing and taking turns.
- Assign center-time buddies and have children select and participate in centers together.
- Have children take turns passing out props or musical instruments. Reinforce children throughout the day for playing together.
- Use larger carpet squares and assign circle time buddies. Have children share their carpet squares. Play simple games like “Simon says” or “duck duck goose” and have children take turns leading.
- Have each child take turns passing out the snack items. Assign snack-time friends and have two children pass out items together. Teach children to share and ask for items.
- Have children practice complimenting each other while eating their snack. They can go around the snack table and give a compliment to one child.
- Arrange the outdoor environment with toys and games that involve two or more children (e.g., wagons, teeter-totter, tricycles for two children).
- Teach children to take turns to push each other on the swings or slide. When going on field trips, assign buddies and have children hold hands, sit together, and stay near each other.
- Read books about friends and friendship skills.
- Make books about the children in your classroom using friendships skills. Use real photographs of the children playing with each other, sharing toys, and taking turns.