DIY Friendship Blocks

I put together a set of friendship blocks (or tubes) for my class to play with and as to also use as a tool for helping my students get more familiar with each other…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

To make our friendship blocks, we printed a photo of each child on paper and cut it out. Then we taped each photo to a tube using clear packing tape and placed all the tubes in the shelf in our block center…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

In my years of teaching, I have noticed that my students tend to begin the year playing beside each other (parallel play) rather than with each other. Because of this, it isn’t unusual for the children to take quite some time to learn each other’s name or to really put a name to face…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

Our friendship blocks are helping the children draw connections between faces and names. The friendship blocks also give each child a sense of community and belonging as they see their personalized block standing up and along side all the other children in the classroom…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

The friendship blocks are available for play all throughout the day but we have also been using them as a large group to create friendship towers…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

Or to invite discussion about ourselves or each other…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

Some of the children like to set their friendship tube next to them throughout the day while they do other activities…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

And as a little bonus, I printed and cut out an extra set of photos for our magnet board.  Yes, we are finding ourselves all over our classroom…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

And with the help of our friendship blocks and our people magnets, my students are getting a solid grasp on who is who in our classroom and are quickly feeling more comfortable with each other and as a community…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

About our Tube Blocks

To learn more about where we collected these tubes for free, be sure and read this post —-> Building and playing with our free tube blocks and where you can find them too.

Available on Amazon

By | September 30th, 2013|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , , , |10 Comments

How to make friends in kindergarten

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…

Making friends in Kindergarten

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.

Building Friendships 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Building Friendships in Kindergarten

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

About Sarah

Sarah from Three Wee Ones

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!

Available on Amazon

Making friendship bracelets in preschool

Many of my students are new to each other this year so to help them become more familiar with each other, Mrs. Courtney and I spent a little more time on helping the children get to know each other…

We started our discussion on friendship by taking a picture walk through our Clifford Magazine by Scholastic and today’s topic was on different ways we can make friends…

After reading our Clifford magazine, we invited the children to make friendship bracelets. To prepare for our friendship bracelet activity, Mrs. Courtney and I cut up straws into small pieces and put each color in a different baggie along with a pipe cleaner….

Each child chose one baggie of straw beads and were then invited to share their color of beads with the other children so that everyone could make a bracelet with all the different colors…

Some of the children were very comfortable asking others if they could please have one of their beads to add to their bracelet. Other children were not so comfortable asking and needed Mrs. Courtney and I to help them do the asking.  But every child was happy to share their beads with anyone who asked…

In the end, we didn’t worry about whether every child made a bracelet that had all the colors and neither did the children…

Instead, we let the children interpret this process in a way that they enjoyed or understood…

Some children were very interested in collecting a bead from all the other children and some children just preferred making a pattern or using only their favorite color of bead…

Regardless of how the children chose to make a bracelet, this process did encourage the children to talk to each other and to spend a few minutes sharing and helping each other along the way…

Thank You!

I want to give my friend Wendy Young over at Kidlutions: Solutions for Kids Spin-Doctor Parenting a big thank you for sharing this idea with me!  Since my class definitely put their own “spin” on this idea – be sure to stop by Kidlutions to see the Friendship Bracelet Tutorial!

Available on Amazon

By | September 16th, 2012|Categories: Friendship|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

The early childhood world is just a bit smaller now

Today will be my first day in preschool. I will be sharing many wonderful things about my sweet class so be sure to stick with me.

While I am eagerly waiting for my new students to arrive in class, I wanted to take this time to share with you some of the amazing folks I have met in person since I started reaching out to others through my blog and through other means of social networking. I never knew I would ever get the wonderful chance to meet so many amazing people. Through technology, I have found that the world of early childhood education isn’t so far out of reach, it is instead just a bit smaller…

Stacie from The Amazing Mess!

Stacie from The Amazing Mess came to Indianapolis along with her friend, Crystal from Meet Money Saving Mom last weekend ( I didn’t get a photo with Crystal because she was the one taking the photo of Stacie and me). We met up downtown Indianapolis and had a fun visit at Starbucks! Next time, they need to join me at my house for dinner  🙂

Ann isn’t a blogger but she is a new friend that I met while down town with Stacie. Ann said she followed my blog and so we had to stop and take a photo! Ann had come all the way downtown from the south side of Indy to meet Crystal but was sweet enough to go out of her way to meet me too. Ann should join us for dinner at my house too!

Lisa Murphy "The Ooey Gooey Lady"

I have had the privilege of meeting up with the very popular Lisa at several conferences now! Maybe I can get her to stop over for dinner next time she comes to Indianapolis…

Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute

Ellen is such a kind and gentle person that you would never know when meeting her what a major role she plays in the advancement of early childhood education. I had the privilege of meeting Ellen here in Indianapolis as well – maybe she can come to dinner some time too! I have a very large table!

Jim Aylesworth

Jim also came to Indianapolis and while here, I got to sit down with him for a bit and listen to him share some history of his work as an author. I had him autograph some of my favorites. Do you think I can get Jim to come to dinner with the rest of us?

Karen Nemeth of "Language Castle"

Karen is just one of those people who reaches out to everyone and makes them feel at home. She has been such a huge support to me on my blogging journey. I am counting on Karen to join me for dinner at my house next time she is in Indianapolis!

Debbie Clement, "Rainbows Within Reach"

Debbie Jo Clement and I met each other in Washington DC and found out that we had the same middle name. Debbie is a wonderful author and song writer and the kind of person who lights up a room. I am counting on Debbie to take me up on dinner at my house some day!

Other folks I have met along my journey…

Greg and Steve, Singer and Songwriters

Charlotte Diamond, Singer and Songwriter

Red Grammer, Singer and Songwriter

Do you think I can get all these folks to join me for dinner? Perhaps one day but just meeting these leaders in early childhood education and sharing a moment of their talent and great heart for young children has been motivating to me.

By | August 22nd, 2011|Categories: Meet the Experts|Tags: , |20 Comments