Tips and Guides

Friendship 101: Supporting Your Child’s Social Development in Preschool

Embarking on the early years of your child’s schooling is an exciting and rewarding journey filled with joys and challenges. As young children grow and develop, learning how to make friends and engage with their peers becomes a fundamental aspect of their social and emotional growth

Friendships hold a significant place in a child’s life, contributing to their well-being, self-esteem and ability to navigate social interactions. For preschool children (aged 3 to 6), fostering healthy friendships lays a strong foundation for their future relationships.

In this article, we will explore various activities and strategies that will empower you as a parent to assist your child in cultivating friendships and nurturing essential social skills.

The Role of Parental Involvement in Nurturing Preschoolers’ Friendship Skills

Parental involvement plays a crucial role in nurturing preschoolers’ friendship skills. During the early years of a child’s life, friendships and social interactions with peers become increasingly important as they learn to navigate the social world. Parents can significantly influence their child’s social development and friendship skills through various means:

  • Modelling social skills: Children often learn by observing and imitating the behaviour of adults around them. When adults display good social skills, such as being friendly, kind and considerate, children will pick up on these behaviours and incorporate them into their social interactions, ensuring that they make friends in Singapore easily. Show them how to greet others with a smile, use polite words like “please” and “thank you,” and how to be a good listener during conversations.
  • Promoting sharing skills: Sharing is an essential social skill that helps children build positive peer relationships. Encourage your children to share toys, games and other resources during playtime. If conflicts arise, guide them through the process of taking turns and finding compromises that satisfy everyone involved.
  • Encouraging empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Help your children identify emotions in their friends and show them how to respond with kindness and understanding. You can use storytelling or role-playing activities to help children recognise different emotions and discuss appropriate ways to respond to those emotions in their friends.
  • Guiding conflict resolution: Conflicts are a natural part of social interactions, and teaching children how to handle them in a constructive way is essential. When conflicts arise, step in as a mediator and encourage them to talk about their feelings and perspectives. Teach them problem-solving skills, such as listening to each other’s viewpoints, finding common ground and seeking win-win solutions. By helping them resolve conflicts positively, children will learn valuable communication skills.
  • Building self-confidence: Self-confidence plays a crucial role in a child’s ability to make friends and engage in social activities. Praise their efforts, achievements and positive social interactions. Offer specific and sincere compliments to boost their self-esteem. Encourage them to try new things and take social risks, supporting them even if they encounter setbacks.
  • Providing opportunities for socialisation: Create opportunities for children to interact with their peers regularly. Organise playdates, enrol them in group activities or classes and participate in preschool events where they can meet and play with other children. The more they engage in social situations, the more they develop their social skills and make new friends.
  • Respecting differences: Teach children to appreciate and celebrate diversity. Emphasise that everyone is unique and that treating others with respect and kindness is essential, regardless of their differences. Encourage them to be open-minded and accepting of others’ backgrounds, interests and abilities.
  • Creating a positive environment: Establish a positive and nurturing atmosphere at home, school, or social settings. Children thrive in environments where they feel safe, loved and supported. Encourage cooperative play, teamwork and inclusivity in all activities. Children who feel secure and valued are more likely to explore social interactions and form meaningful friendships.
  • Being patient: Making friends is a gradual process, and not all children will immediately form close bonds. Some children may be naturally shy or take more time to feel comfortable with new people. Be patient and avoid putting pressure on them to make friends quickly. Instead, focus on creating a supportive environment where they can build social skills at their own pace.
  • Being supportive: When children try to interact with others or show interest in forming friendships, celebrate their initiatives and encourage them. Acknowledge their social interactions, even if they seem small, and show enthusiasm for their progress. Your positive reinforcement will boost their confidence and motivation to continue making friends.

By incorporating these tips into your child’s daily life, you can help them develop strong social skills, foster positive friendships and navigate interactions with confidence and empathy.

Building Bonds: Exciting Friendship Activities for Preschoolers

Helping preschoolers’ make friends involves encouraging social interactions and providing opportunities to engage with their peers in a positive and supportive environment. Here are some fun outdoor and indoor bonding activities that can help your child foster friendships:

Outdoor Friendship Games & Activities

Outdoor activities provide an ideal environment for children to nurture friendships while enjoying the beauty of nature and the excitement of physical play. And the best part is that these activities offer countless opportunities for children to explore, collaborate and create wonderful experiences with their friends. Here are some outdoor friendship activities to consider:

  • Nature exploration: Take your little ones and their playmates to a local park, nature reserve, or nearby garden. This activity allows children to bond while appreciating and discovering the wonders of the natural world.
  • Scavenger hunt: Plan a simple activity in your backyard and ask your preschoolers and their friends to find 3-5 items they can easily pick up, like toys, flowers or vegetables. This activity isn’t just about having fun with friends; it is also a chance for your children to develop their observation skills early on.
  • Bubble play: Arrange a fun activity by equipping children with bubble wands and solution. It is a great icebreaker game that will help them form new friendships as they chase and pop bubbles together, and also impart the significance of cooperation and sharing as they take turns blowing bubbles.
  • Obstacle course: Design a simple obstacle course that includes crawling under tables, climbing over obstacles, balancing on beams, and jumping through hoops. This activity will teach your preschoolers how to support and encourage their friends as they navigate the course together. 
  • Picnic adventures: Organise a picnic outing in a peaceful outdoor setting. To make the most of this activity, you can even ask them to participate in planning and preparing the picnic, from choosing the menu to setting up the picnic area.

Imagine a classroom without walls | Dr Anne Meade (

Indoor Friendship Games & Activities

Indoor friendship activities can be a fantastic solution when the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor adventures or when children need a break from the sun. These activities not only provide a way to have fun but also offer an opportunity for children to build strong friendships, enhance their social skills and unleash their creativity at home.

Let’s explore a few indoor friendship activities that can help your child cultivate their social bonds:

  • Arts and crafts: Organise simple indoor activities where your children and their friends participate in various art projects such as painting, drawing, or crafting with recycled materials. Collaboration on art projects encourages teamwork and conversation.
  • Building blocks: Boost your preschooler’s friendships by giving them and their friends building blocks or Lego sets to play with. Let them come up with unique ideas and designs and share these creations while fostering a sense of unity and friendship.
  • Friendship bracelet-making: Gather your children and their friends for a delightful friendship bracelet-making session. Equip them with a vibrant assortment of beads and strings, and guide them on creating bracelets for one another. This activity fosters the values of giving and receiving while ensuring that everyone involved creates enjoyable and cherished memories.
  • Cooking and baking: Engage preschoolers and their friends in a fun culinary experience by teaching them how to make cookies, cupcakes, or sandwiches. Assign them simple and safe tasks such as mixing ingredients, spreading butter or jam on bread, or decorating cupcakes with simple toppings.
  • Science experiments: Invite your children’s friends for simple science experiments like mixing colours, creating volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar, or exploring magnets. Working together on these experiments encourages critical thinking, cooperation and a sense of wonder among friends.

Regardless of the activity, creating a safe and supportive environment where children feel comfortable interacting with each other is essential. Parents should model positive social behaviours, encourage sharing and resolve conflicts peacefully to help kids develop crucial social skills and build lasting friendships.

Is Your Child Shy? Techniques to Help Your Child Make Friends

If you notice that your child tends to be shy, don’t worry! Many children experience shyness, especially when starting kindergarten and being introduced to new social settings. You can employ several techniques to help your child make friends and overcome their shyness. 

Here are some effective strategies to support your shy and introverted children in making friends:

  • Encourage small social interactions: Engage your child in low-pressure social interactions. Teach them basic social skills like saying “hello” and introducing themselves to others. 
  • Arrange playdates with other children: Create a familiar and comfortable environment for social interactions. 
  • Storytelling circle: Gather the children in a circle and take turns telling short stories. This activity helps them practice speaking and listening, fostering a sense of belonging as they share their imaginations.
  • Dress-up play: Set up a dress-up area with costumes and props. This activity encourages imaginative play and allows kids to take on different roles, making it easier for shy children to interact through pretend scenarios.
  • Sensory play: Create sensory stations with sand, water, playdough, or finger paints. Shy children can explore these activities side by side, leading to spontaneous interactions.
  • Music and movement: Incorporate simple, interactive songs and dances, encouraging group participation. This can help shy children feel more comfortable interacting with others through music and movement.
  • Puppet shows: Use puppets to act out short stories or scenarios. Shy children might feel more at ease engaging with puppets, and it can also spark conversations and interactions with others.

Remember to be patient and supportive, reassuring your child that it’s okay to feel nervous and that making friends takes time. With your guidance and understanding, your child will gain confidence and develop meaningful friendships in no time!

XWA’s Role in Fostering Friendship and Promoting Preschoolers’ Social Development

At XCL World Academy (XWA), we know that the social development of preschoolers is just as important as their academic journey. Our mission is to create an enriching environment where children are not only nurtured academically but also valued, respected and supported in building lasting friendships and essential social skills.

In our Early Years Programme, designed for children aged 3 to 6, we strongly emphasise social and emotional learning. Through engaging and age-appropriate activities, lessons and discussions, we guide our students to understand the significance of self-awareness, empathy, effective communication, and conflict resolution. By instilling these skills, we empower our preschoolers to confidently navigate social situations and forge meaningful friendships that will stand the test of time.

Our curriculum includes a wide range of play-based activities, carefully crafted to encourage interaction among children, building a strong sense of connection and vital social abilities. Whether they engage in indoor activities like puzzles and building blocks or embark on outdoor adventures, our preschoolers learn the value of cooperation, open communication and embracing diverse perspectives.

Our dedicated staff and teachers play a central role in shaping the social development of our students. By providing guidance, encouragement and positive reinforcement, they foster an environment where children feel safe to express themselves, take healthy risks and navigate social challenges. Our teachers serve as positive role models, demonstrating respectful and kind behaviour, thus instilling the value of positive social interactions in every child.

At XWA, we believe that investing in a child’s social growth from an early age lays the foundation for a future filled with meaningful connections, strong friendships, and confident social skills. Join us in this exciting learning, growth and discovery journey as we prepare your child for a bright and fulfilling future! Contact our Admissions Team today to find out more. 

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.