Help children make friends on the playground

The playground is a great place to help children make friends. It’s a space that children associate with fun, create happy memories and learn valuable life lessons.

If your child is a little bit shy or struggles to connect with other kids, there are lots of things that you can do to help them make friends on the playground.

Take a look at our tips and tricks for getting kids to bond through play and make friends for life.

two children who have made friends on the playground

Prep before going to the playground

If your child is struggling to make friends, give them some helpful tips for managing their social interactions. Teach them to share toys and help them manage conflict and negative emotions. If there’s a little squabble, give children the chance to sort it out themselves before you intervene. Give them tips for introducing themselves and encourage them to ask questions about their new potential friend to get them talking.

A great way to help them develop friendships and their communication skills, take time each day to talk one on one with them. As you’re putting them to bed, have a five minute chat about the day, talk about the things they enjoyed, things they found tricky and what they might be worrying about. You can help alleviate any anxieties and develop their communication skills at the same time.

Visit the playground alone first

If you have a nervous child, it’s a good idea to visit the playground first when it’s likely to be a little quieter. That allows them to get familiar with the space, try out the equipment and feel a bit more confident for future play.

Help them to engage

If you’re trying to help your child make friends, don’t let them stay on the side line during playtime. Encourage them to play with other children by pointing out children they’re already familiar with (hey, isn’t that *name* from your school) and things that you can see they’ve got in common (look, they’re playing on *equipment* why don’t you join them).

children using a playground fire pole

Children using a log swing

Organise team games

If you can organise a game that children can play together on the playground, it makes it easier for them to interact and start making friends. Bring a parachute, skipping ropes and chalk to draw out a hopscotch grid that children can share. You can also organise a playground assault course, scavenger hunt, or capture the flag for the children on the playground.

Encourage noisy outdoor play

Lots of laughter and playful shouting on the playground is a good thing. Normally, we tell children to keep their voices down during indoor play. But, on the playground they can fully let loose and be as loud as they want.

Getting giddy, shouting and laughing together is a great way to develop friendships and form happy memories together.

Get in touch

Do you have any tips for helping children to make friends on the playground? Let us know what’s worked for your child by dropping us a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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