Friendship Activities for Kids
Strong social skills are an important part of everyday life and the earlier a child begins to learn these skills, the better. Friendship activities for preschoolers are important to their social growth as well as learning how to share and get along with others.
Whether you’re a teacher in a classroom setting, a babysitter, or a parent, it’s important that you teach your preschoolers the fundamentals of social activity. This can be done in several ways; you can read books about friendship, you can play games, or do some arts and crafts.
Celebrate friendship day, extend it through a week, or devote it to an entire month. No matter how you choose to teach friendship, learning how to get along with others is an important part of life that will be carried on throughout adulthood.
Friendship activities for preschoolers are the building blocks of friendships and will strengthen the social skills the children will need throughout their lifetime. The following list of 17 friendship activities for preschoolers will get you off to a great start.
These activities can be done with both large and small groups in a classroom, at home, and even at parties. Tweak them to fit into your group and consider allowing the older children to work with the younger children as a way of building trust and responsibility.
Fun Friendship Games and Activities
1. The Matching Game
In this game, each child will be given one block. They then will walk around the room in search of another with the same color. When they find a friend with the same color block, they should link arms and stay together until everyone finds a match.
The children should stand and form a circle. The game will start when the adult taps one of the children on the shoulder. The child should then perform an action, or a sound and the others should copy. The adult will then tap another child on the shoulder and a new action or sound should be performed. Play should continue until everyone has a turn.
3. Show and Tell
- Child’s choice
Each child can choose to show off their favorite, toy, stuffie, book, game, etc. to the others. This is a great way to encourage social skills while they get to know one another. Be sure and have extra things available for those who might forget their favorite show and tell thing. It won’t be their favorite thing, but it will give them something to talk about with the others, so they won’t feel left out.
4. Friendship Band
- A variety of children’s instruments or items that could be used as instruments
Ask the children to choose an instrument or encourage them to use their imaginations to create an instrument from the items provided. Once everyone has an instrument, line them up for a parade around the room or playground area.
5. Team Scavenger Hunt
- Cards with pictures of various items to be found
Everyone enjoys a scavenger hunt so why not pair up the kids in teams of two or more and allow them to find items on the picture cards. Picture cards are the easiest to use when playing with preschoolers. For best results, give different picture cards to each pair or team so that only one group will be looking for a specified item A scavenger hunt is a good way for the kids to get to know each other and they can exercise team building skills as well.
6. Where is my Friend?
- Large blanket
Play music while the children walk freely around the room. When the music stops, they must crouch down where they are and close their eyes, no peeking! Cover one of the players with a blanket. Once the player is covered tell the others to open their eyes and guess who is under the blanket.
7. Friendly Musical Chairs
- Chairs (one less than the number of children)
Start with everyone standing still. When the music starts, they must walk around the chairs anticipating when the music will stop. When the music finally does stop, they must all sit down. The object of this activity is to remove a chair each time a new round begins. The children must sit down so they will need to sit in the same chair with a friend or pile onto laps. When the game is finished there should be only one chair remaining and the children must all be in that one chair.
8. That’s Me
Everyone should sit together in a circle. One person is chosen to get the game started by standing and stating a fact about themselves such as their favorite animal, color, etc. Everyone in the group who shares the same likes should stand and say, “that’s me!” The person who was the first to state the fact should choose someone who shares the same fact to lead the next round. This is a great icebreaker game and it’s an excellent friendship game for elementary and preschoolers alike.
9. Say Something Nice
- Beach ball
To get this game started, the children should stand in a circle and an adult should toss a beachball to one of the children while saying something nice to that child. Once that child catches the ball, they should then toss it to another child while saying something nice to them. Play continues until everyone has had a turn to say something nice to someone.
10. Hello, My Friend
The players should sit on the floor in a circle with one child in the middle to start. The player who sits in the middle should put on the blindfold being sure they can’t peek out. Another player should then join the blindfolded player in the middle of the circle and say, “Hello, my friend. Can you guess who I am?” The blindfolded player then gets three guesses to determine who it is. When the round is over, the player who spoke gets to wear the blindfold and the player who was wearing the blindfold will then choose the next speaker.
11. Find the Pair
Before the game begins, you should be sure there are enough matching cards so that each child can pair up with another. Shuffle the cards and hand out one card to each child. The children should then walk around the room in search of a friend with a matching card. When they find someone who has the same card, they should link arms and stay together until everyone has a match. This would be a great way to pair the children up into teams for other games as well.
12. Row Your Boat
Pair the children up and have them sit on the floor facing each other with their legs stretched out and their feet touching. Once they are connected by the feet, they should hold hands and rock back and forth like a boat. While they rock, everyone should sing the song, “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat.”
Friendship Art Ideas
13. Circle of Friends
- A large piece of heavy paper with a circle drawn on it
- A variety of finger-paints
Using the finger-paint, the children should create their handprints inside the circle. Once the paint dries, have the children print their names inside the handprints. When the poster is complete, display it on a board with the title, “We are a circle of friends at (insert name of school).”
14. Friendship Chain
- A variety of colored construction paper
- Safety scissors
- Tape or glue
Using safety scissors, the children should cut strips of construction paper. Make a chain by linking the strips together using tape or glue. Hang the friendship chain from the ceiling or across the wall. Consider displaying the chain on a board surrounding pictures of all the children.
15. Friendship Bracelets
- Colored macaroni or colorful straws cut into 1-inch pieces
- Yarn cut into 12-inch lengths
Preschoolers will need assistance to make the yarn into a needle and thread. Squeeze a piece of tape onto the tip of the yarn to make it a needle and tie a knot on the other end. Show the children how to string the yarn through the macaroni or straw pieces. When the yarn has been pulled through all the pieces, tie the yarn together into a knot so that it won’t fall apart. When the bracelets are finished the children should exchange them with their friends.
16. Friendship Quilt
- Construction paper cut into squares
- Hole punch
Give each child a construction paper square to decorate using the crayons. Be sure they add their names to the squares they create. When the squares are finished punch holes in all four corners using the hole punch. Sew the squares together with the yarn to create the friendship quilt. Display the quilt for everyone to enjoy.
17. Friendship Wreaths
- Variety of colorful construction paper
- Paper plates with the center cut out
- Safety scissors
For best results, divide larger groups of children into smaller groups. Hand out a piece of construction paper to each child and have them trace their hands using a pencil. Using safety scissors, they can cut out their hands and write their names on them. Collect the hands, mix them up, and distribute a hand to each child. Provide each group with a paper plate and ask them to glue the hands to the plate. When the plates are dry, hang the wreaths for everyone to see.
Learning how a Friend Acts and Behaves
Early in their lives, your children will develop friendships with other children of different cultures, lifestyles, and disabilities. It’s up to you as an adult to teach your children about kindness and friendship no matter who their friends are. Friendship activities for preschoolers and elementary children are a great way for children to learn how a friend acts and behaves.
Proper education can make a difference between the right way and the wrong way to treat a friend. It’s also important to remember that everything your preschoolers learn now about friendship will strengthen their social skills and mold them into kind and loving adults.
Let’s make a difference in the future of today’s children by starting off with activities that are fun and educational at the same time.