Today, Sarah from How Wee Learn has joined me to bring you a few tips for helping children make friends in kindergarten. Sarah is a mom of three children and has been a kindergarten teacher for many years. Now let’s take a look at what Sarah has for us all today…
Kindergarten is an exciting time for many children and their parents. But with that excitement comes some challenges. One area of concern for many parents is fostering friendships for their Kindergarten child. Every parent wants to be sure their child has a friend in Kindergarten.
How can parents help foster friendships for their Kindergartener when they are not in the classroom themselves? Having taught Kindergarten for years, I have some suggestions.
- Model and teach how to be a friend
Hopefully, before your child starts Kindergarten, she has had some time to be with other children – whether that is in a preschool, a playgroup, or simply at local parks. If your Kindergarten child has not had much of this yet, there is no better time to start. Use any opportunity to model and teach what ‘Being a Good Friend’ looks like. Focus on sharing and caring – but be sure to have your wee one expect the same respect. In Kindergarten some children are so busy sharing that they never get a turn themselves. Remind your little one that she must stand up for herself too.
- Send friendly postcards
One year, a wise Mama made sweet postcards on the first day of school and asked that I hand them out to all of the children at the end of the day. The postcards said the name of the child, her parents, and her phone number and that she would love to get together at a park for a play sometime. This was a great ice breaker and the child received lots of play invitations.
- Have play dates outside of school
Since Kindergarten children are still so young, they still need help with friendship skills. Having play dates with friends outside of school gives parents the opportunity to continue building on social skills.
- Never hesitate to chat with the teacher
Most Kindergarten teachers put a lot of emphasis and focus on friendships and social skills. Most do lessons and specific teaching on what being a friend means and teachers try very hard to observe the children at play and address any issues as well as highlight positive behaviours. That being said, there are usually a lot of children in one Kindergarten classroom. There will be comments or issues that go unseen by the Teacher. Please never assume the Teacher knows of trouble your wee one is having. Children thrive in the classroom when parents are involved. A quick call to your child’s teacher is always welcomed.
Kindergarten is a time full of learning and adventure. It is quite the journey and having good friends makes that journey so much more fun!
I am a Mama to 3 wee ones and I have been a Kindergarten teacher for many years. I now have the opportunity to stay home with my children and blog about How my Wee ones Learn at home. I write daily about simple, creative, and fun play-based learning activities that are meant to support the natural curiosity and wonder wee ones have. I love to connect and learn from other Mama’s and believe a supportive community (even an online one!) is what all Mamas and their wee ones need to learn, grow, and thrive.
A special thanks to Sarah for sharing with us today! Be sure to visit Sarah over at How We Learn!
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