Friendship Activities for Preschoolers

The Importance of Developing Friendships in Childcare

We are social creatures and building social skills is a key skill for preschoolers to obtain. It is really important that preschoolers learn the fundamentals of social interaction. The first building blocks of friendship are activities for preschoolers.

What makes a good friend activity?

Above all else, fun is the most important element in friendship activities for kids. Fun creates enjoyment and helps to lower social barriers. Other key factors to consider when choosing friendship activities in kindergarten for or preschoolers in general are that the activities contain the building blocks of friendship. These building blocks include helping people to remember names, and appreciating that others can have similar interests but different points of view and that’s OK!

10 Great friendship activities for preschoolers

two young girls participating in friendship activities in preschool

The following friendship activities for kids can be adapted to suit any size group or situation in the classroom, or at home. A little tweaking of the activity can make them suitable for any group. They can even be adapted to allow older children to be involved thereby, both developing friendship in childcare while helping younger children to develop trust.

1.Show and tell

A popular old favourite and often used in friendship lesson plans, show and tell is a simple activity where children get to show others their favourite possessions such as a toy, game, book or even photographs. This activity is an awesome way to develop children’s social skills while they become familiar with each other. It is a great idea to have some emergency items on standby for those children who for whatever reason don’t bring their favourite show and tell item. At least they will have something to talk about and won’t feel  left out.

2. Paired Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts can be great fun – and even more so when you have partners team up to go on the hunt. You can make this easy, fun and inclusive by using picture cards for the hunting parties to search for.  You can set it up so that each group is looking for a different pair of picture cards. That way everybody comes out a winner.

3.Copycat

Another old favourite that is easy to organise. The children stand in a circle. The game starts when the adult taps one child on the shoulder. The child then performs an action such as rubbing the top of their head or clapping their hands and the other children copy the action. The adult  then progressively taps each child on the shoulder and the game is repeated. The game continues until everyone has had a turn.

4. Say Something Nice Game

There are a number of ways to play this simple and effective  game. Essentially the children gather in a circle and nominate others to get a turn. They can do this by simply naming another child, tossing them a ball or bean bag or drawing  a name out of a hat. Whatever the method used, the object is for one child to say something nice about another one.

5. Who is Under the Blanket?

To play this game you need a music source and a blanket. The children walk around the room while the music plays. They must crouch down and close their eyes when the music stops. One of the players is then covered with the blanket. Then the children are told to open their eyes and guess who is under the blanket.

6. Chinese Whispers

A classic learning game that teaches children about gossip. The game is sometimes called Telephone but the premise is essentially the same. The children sit or stand in a circle.One  child chooses a sentence or phrase to pass around the circle. They whisper the message to the person on their right and the message is relayed around the circle in whispers until it reaches the last child who then  says the sentence out loud. The sentence is then compared to the initial statement and children learn a valuable lesson about how information gets confused as it is passed on.

7. That’s Me

A simple game requiring no materials at all, That’s Me by getting everyone to sit together in a circle. Choose one child to start the game standing up and telling everyone something about themselves  – just a simple thinking like their favorite game, colour or football team. Then everyone in the group who enjoys the same thing, stands up and says, “that’s me!” The person who originally stated the fact then chooses somebody who shared the same like to go next. This works really well as an icebreaker.

8. Find the Matching Pair

If you have a sufficient number of matching picture cards, this can be a great trigger to developing friendship in childcare. Shuffle the picture cards then give one card to each child. The children then need to  walk around searching for a friend with a card that matches. Once they find a partner with the same card, they should  stay together until everyone is matched up. This makes a great way to pair kids up for other games to follow.

9. Make a friendship chain

This cooperative friendship activity needs some basic craft materials, safety scissors, glue and some colored craft paper. The children make a chain by linking the paper together using glue (or tape) The chain can then be hung from the ceiling or along the walls, perhaps with pictures of all children who helped make it.

10. Hello my friend

A variation on many similar guess who games, this involves one child sitting in the middle of a circle and being blindfolded. Another child then sits beside him and says “Hello my friend, can you guess who I am?” The blindfolded child gets three guesses  After the three guesses he is replaced by the child who asked him the question. He or she then chooses the next questioner and the game continues.