Preschool children are beginning to learn many different life skills. They are starting to learn how to get along with their peers, and they are beginning to understand that others around them have feelings, too. Many preschool caregivers begin teaching children at this age about being kind to others to promote harmony in the classroom. You can extend these activities at home to further enhance the lesson.
This activity works well for a group of children, perhaps through a play date or other type of gathering. Create a tree on the wall, making sure the children can reach the branches. Use brown construction paper to build a trunk and branches. Cut out paper hearts and write one name on each heart. The children, one by one, can close their eyes and choose a heart. They can then identify the name on the heart and say one good thing about that person. They can then place the hearts on the friendship tree.
Respect for Others
This activity works well for a group or for a single child. Draw a face on a yellow circle for each child. Attach the circle to the center of a white piece of paper. Ask each child to draw a face for each of the following emotions: happy, sad, angry or lonely. Discuss with the children what makes them make each face on the drawing. Talk about actions taken by others that might make them feel each way. Discuss how friends can affect others, and how friends might help others feel better after each emotion. If working with one child, complete this activity before a play date to remind the child that actions have effects on others.
This activity is good for group time or journal time. Write down some story starters, such as, "Johnny falls off his bike. What should you do?" Discuss the questions in group time to come up with a solution. Review each answer and talk about what should be done. If a child offers to help in a situation, find out how he would help. If a child responds that he would laugh, ask how Johnny might feel about that. This activity also works for a single child. It encourages thought, writing, and opens up discussions on your family morals. You have a chance to talk to your child about what you would expect him to do.
Be My Friend Song
Sing a song in a group called, "Be My Friend." Sing to the tune of "London Bridge": "Suzie, Suzie be my friend, be my friend, be my friend. Suzie, Suzie, be my friend. I like you." Take turns inserting each child's name into the song. Lead the children or ask children to take turns singing the song to each other. If you are working with one child, stretch your imagination and sing to family members, even ones who are not present at the time.