Helping Infants & Toddlers Form Friendships
Help preschoolers foster friendships with infants and toddlers to support social-emotional development and long lasting relationships. If you have multiple age groups in your care, we have you covered with the suggestions and resources in this post!
Be sure to check out our Friendship & Kindness Theme Page for a variety of learning activities.
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Provide opportunities for Children to play together
Placing Infants face to face and near each other will allow them to be aware of each other.
Create Treasure Baskets for the Babies to explore together-from the Nurture Store
Invitations to play with balls and bowls from Munchkins and Moms
Support Multi-Age Friendships
Allow older children to safely play and interact with the younger Children in your care. Infants and toddlers can learn so much from older children about friendship and kindness. Check out this resource; The Value of Mixed Age Play from Education Week
Learn Names of Family & Friends
When you are holding a young Infant you can talk about what the older children are doing-be sure to refer to them by name!
Tips & Activities for Infant Language Development from The Stay at Home Mom Survival Guide
Provide Multiples of Favorite Toys
There will be plenty of opportunities for young children to learn to share. When it comes to fostering friendships create opportunities to play where there are multiple of the same type of toys for them to play with to reduce conflict.
Provide a Place for Protected Play
This Infant play area that belongs to community member Rachel G. She provides a safe place for crawling Children that allows for interaction from other Children.
This area belongs Community to member Louise H. -I love how she incorporated a safe Infant/Toddler area in our Outside area.
Sheena W created this space for her infants and toddlers. She included a mirror with a bar they can pull themselves up on. Posters on the wall and objects above for infants and preschoolers to focus on.
Acknowledge helping and sharing behaviors as you see them. For example "Connor I like how you shared that book with Angela".
A great collection of phrases to encourage young children from Picklebums
Read books about Friendship
Be sure to have a variety of books all about friendship available for your young learners. Including books with characters of a variety of races, ages, genders, and color is essential. Check out our picks for books all about Friendship in our bookshop.
Friendship & Kindness Resources from PKPF
Free Friendship & Kindness Theme Planning Page
Free Kindness Counts Preschool Challenge
Friendship Amish Bread Recipe with Starter
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Preschool Learning Centers are commonly referred to as Preschool Centers, or Learning Spaces. These are activity areas dedicated to a specific type of of play and exploring a variety of topics and activities. Download our Free set of Center Signs!