Everything You Need To Know About Making Friends In Preschool

Is your child starting preschool for the first time and you’re worried they aren’t making enough friends? Is your child not making friends as quickly as their older siblings did? Before we get into the details, let’s put your mind at ease. More than likely there is nothing to worry about and your child’s social skills will develop in due time. Keep reading to learn more about why you don’t have to worry, how you can help your child make friends, and some great places to go if you’re looking to introduce your child to more kids their age!

Should I Be Worried That My Child Doesn’t Have Enough Friends?

The short answer is most likely not! It’s important to remember that all children develop differently and at different speeds. What you consider to be lacking social skills could be attributed to slower development, a more reserved personality, or even expectations that are set too high. When looking at your preschooler it’s important to remember that their social life isn’t going to be as budding as a high schooler’s. You might expect your preschooler to have a large number of friends because they’re young and should become friends with anyone that is kind and fun to be around but that isn’t true! Firstly, young children don’t begin to form friendships in the way we define the word until around three years old. Additionally, preschool-aged children only need one or two good friends at this age. So while you may be worried about your child making friends, it’s important to consider all of these factors before you benign to worry about your child.

What Can Help My Child Make Friends?

If you’re still concerned about your child or want to make sure you’re providing positive support for their budding social skills, there are plenty of ways you can help your child develop the skills they need. 

Teach Social Skills – A good first step to helping your child be more social is to teach them basic social skills. Go through the basics with your child like how to introduce themselves. Practice having them say “Hello my name is Joshua. What’s your name? Do you want to play with me?” Another area to practice is interactive social skills like sharing, taking turns, and using manners like saying please and thank you.

Support Independence – Giving your child the space to grow and explore on their own is very important! Encourage your child to take initiative when it comes to making friends. The first few times may be difficult but as they start to take initiative in introducing themselves to new people and having positive experiences with peers their confidence will continue to grow!

Be A Positive Role Model – Our children are always observing their parents, guardians, and adults they look up to. Utilize this by being a role model of positive social behavior. Make sure your children see you interacting with peers in a cooperative, respectful, and friendly manner. Allow them to witness your acts of kindness, empathy, and strong communication. These behaviors they witness will influence how they perceive and understand friendships. 

Where Can My Preschooler Make Friends?

Preschool – The first and most obvious answer is their preschool! Creative Learning is a great palace for your child to meet other kids their age and start working on their social skills. Preschool is an ideal place to make friends because your child attends on a regulated schedule as do the other children. This allows for your child to be around the same children frequently and ease into friendship-making. Instead of having to frequently reintroduce themselves to new children, they can make their introductions and grow comfortable around the other children.

Libraries – Your local library is an excellent place for your preschooler to make friends. Local libraries often have events for young children throughout the month including storytimes. These events are great places to meet other children and parents in your area. Depending on the library, they may host other activities throughout the month that allow your child to interact with other kids their age and work on their social skills.

Local parks & playgrounds – This is a great way for your child to naturally be around other children of all ages. This can help them learn to interact with children that are older and younger than them while having fun outside. If you have a very shy child, this can be a way for them to dip their toe into being more social. If they express interest in playing with another child you can help encourage them in doing so, but don’t push too hard if they aren’t showing interest! 


Back To School Craft Ideas

Back-to-school crafts are more than a cute activity your child might do during their first day of school. These crafts are a great opportunity to start talking to your child about school and getting them excited! Whether your child is a toddler starting daycare, preschool-aged, or getting ready for a transition to a new school for kindergarten or first grade, the transition may feel overwhelming for them. Working on these crafts together is a way to introduce them to some of the things they will be encountering during their school day like lunch time or riding the bus. The crafts below are just a few ideas that will give you the opportunity to jump-start conversations about the nerves and excitement your little one has for starting school!

countdown to preschool craft

Countdown to Preschool Craft

This adorable countdown to preschool craft is a fun craft to do whether your child is starting preschool or kindergarten, or your toddler is starting a full-time daycare. You and your little one can make the craft together and then every day when your child pulls a chain off, take the opportunity to talk to them about school. Each day have them either ask you a question about school, talk about what they’re nervous about, talk about what they’re excited about, or even tell them things about school that they can look forward to!


back to school silly face sandwiches

Silly Face Sandwich Bags

This craft is super fun and easy! If you’re planning to use sandwich bags in your child’s lunch then you already have the majority of the craft in your house! You can use googly eyes or even just markers! Silly sandwich bags are an easy way to give your child something to look forward to during their first few days of school. If they’re having a hard time adjusting at first, they will at least know they have something to look forward to at lunchtime and will have a happy reminder of you and the fun you had making them!


easy school bus craft

School Bus Craft

A school bus craft is a quintessential back-to-school craft! If your little one will be riding the bus this year, this is a great craft to make, and talk to them about what that experience will be like! If your little one is still too young to take the bus but they have an older sibling that does, this craft can still be a fun way to make them feel included in that school experience and excited for when they will finally get to ride a school bus too!


How To Get Your Child Excited About Going Back To School

Is your child dealing with the back to school blues already? Even children who love going to school can have a hard time with the transition from summer vacation to going back to school. We’ve written out eight ideas to help your child with the transition back to school, including ideas for the weeks leading up to the first day to the weeks following the first day of school. Whether you’ve got a preschooler starting school for the first time or an older child who’s having a hard time going back, we have some ideas for you!

Re-Decorate Their Homework Space

Even if your child is younger and doesn’t have homework yet, you can still create a special learning space for them! For younger ones, create a book nook area where you can read with them. As your child gets older you can evolve the space to include different things like letters, numbers, shapes, etc. For older children that have regular homework that takes more than a few minutes a day to do, help your child create a comfortable and fun homework space that they can decorate how they like. If you have the room, create a dedicated homework space! Creating a physical homework space helps create a homework mindset. Similar to having an office or desk at work, if your child has a specific place where they do just homework, the process of doing homework can be less distracting. If they do their homework in the same place they watch TV, play video games, or have family time, trying to do their homework without being distracted by those activities can be more difficult.

Share Your Love for Learning

A great way to get your children excited about school is to instill a love of learning in them1 Share your own passion for learning and your positive experiences in school. You can talk to them about what subjects you liked, teachers you remember, your favorite books, and what you loved most about school.

For older children, take an active role in getting them excited about classes, homework, reading, etc. Don’t treat these activities like an obligation that you have to help with. If you’re encouraging and positive in your approach to their schoolwork, it will be easier for your children to see the positivity and excitement in these activities

Have Conversations

It’s important to remember that your children are little people with big feelings! This may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that our little ones are feeling just as many emotions as we are, but they often lack the tools they need to process those emotions. That is why having conversations about your child’s fears and stress is so important. Sometimes your child may need guidance and sometimes they just need you to listen and give them a hug! Either way, having conversations with your child, big or small, is an important way to help them feel more at ease with transitioning back to school!

Get Them Involved In Back To School Shopping

The older your child is, the more likely they will already be involved in the back to school shopping process, but even your preschool-aged children can get in on the fun! Shopping with young ones, especially if you’re in a hurry, can be overwhelming! So if you can, set out a chunk of time well in advance to take your little ones back to school shopping. Allow them to have a say in their new clothes, lunch bags and backpacks, and supplies!

Spread Positivity

As your child is headed back to school, try your best to keep the conversations surrounding school and school work positive! You can and should still let your child express their feelings, even if they’re negative, and validate them! But try to provide positive feedback as much as you can! Whether it’s a school assignment they feel wasn’t good enough or a classroom experience they wish went better, offer positive encouragement and motivation! 

Pick A First Day Outfit

This one may seem obvious, especially if your child is older, but letting your child pick their first day of school outfit is a great way to get them excited for school! Let them be a part of school clothes shopping and make sure they pick out something they’ll be excited to wear or use on the first day. Whether it’s a new outfit, new shoes, or a piece of jewelry, find something that’s special for their first day that fits what your child gets excited about!

Do A Countdown

Create a countdown with your child to get them excited about counting down the days until they go back to school! In our latest blog, we mentioned a countdown craft that is a great activity to do with your preschool-aged child to get them excited for school!

If you want to take the countdown a step further, you can get small gifts for your child during the countdown to school! Include books, toys, their favorite treats, special activities, or whatever else you think will get your child excited for school!

Make The First Day Memorable

Start traditions that make the first day of school memorable and exciting! Think of things that your kids will enjoy like:

  • Making a special breakfast
  • Packing their favorite lunch
  • Planning something fun after school for them to look forward to
  • Celebrate back to school eve the night before 

Not only is this a great way to ease the stress of the first day, but it can be the start of a fun family tradition!

10 Things To Do To Prepare Your Child For Preschool

Starting preschool is always an exciting and emotional time for both you and your child. Beginning preschool is a big milestone in your child’s life but it is also often a big transition for them as well. Unless your child is in daycare for the equivalent amount of days and hours that they’ll be attending preschool, this transition can often be difficult. Even if they’re currently in daycare, this transition can still be difficult especially if they’ll be going to a new school or center. 

How Can I Prepare My Child for Preschool?


Visit the school together

At Creative Learning we have daycare classes as well as preschool classes, so when a child transitions from our daycare class to preschool, they are staying in the same building they’re familiar with. However, this is not the case for all students entering preschool or even all of our own preschool students. If your child is starting preschool at a new school, doing a walk-through of the school with them is a great way to ease some of the transition stress. They’ll be able to see exactly where they’re going and being familiar with the environment can help reduce the stress and overstimulation of the first day!

Play school together at home

A great low-pressure way to help your child get prepared for preschool is to play school at home! This is a way to show your child some of what their new routine will look like in a way they can conceptualize. Switch it up and have your child be a student and the teacher. This pretend play is a great way to introduce your child to preschool and will help lessen the stress of the first day. 

Start your routine early

Creating a new routine and starting it early is SO important! Waiting until the morning of their first day of preschool to have them dress themselves, get up earlier, not have tablet time, leave the house before playing, etc. will only result in more feelings of distress on the first day. Ease your child into their new routine and find ways to incorporate moments that will help them feel more calm and comfortable. 

Have a goodbye plan

Coming up with a goodbye plan is a great way to make that transition during the first few days easier. Go over saying goodbye with your child beforehand and reassure them that you will see them soon at the end of the school day. Incorporate something fun and meaningful for your child into your goodbye like a secret handshake, a code word, or a special hug. This can help make saying goodbye fun instead of sad or overwhelming. 

Read books about preschool

A great way to help prepare your child for preschool is to read books about preschool! Reading books about preschool can show your child a glimpse of what the experience will be like and gives your child the opportunity to learn about the experience and ask questions that may come up as they read and get to know what preschool is going to be like. By reading these books they will also hopefully get excited for different activities like story time or lunch.

Listen to your child’s concerns

Listen to the concerns or questions your child has about preschool. The easiest way to know what their fears are about preschool is to hear about them in their own words. Once you hear from them what they’re worried about you can start having conversations that address their concerns. Some of the other strategies mentioned may be helpful when your child expresses their concerns. For example, if they say they’re nervous about knowing where to go at school, that would be a great opportunity to ask the preschool if you can do a walk-through so your child can get acclimated.  

“Listen” to your child’s nonverbal cues

Paying attention to what your child isn’t saying is just as important as listening to what they are saying. Nonverbal cues can be a great indicator of how your child is actually feeling. Anyone can say they’re okay but a child will show their true feelings through their actions. Pay attention to excessive clinginess, anger, outbursts, or withdrawing behavior around the time of their transition to preschool. When you notice this behavior, try to discuss which of their needs aren’t being met which is causing the action. Paying attention to these cues is a great insight into how your child’s feeling and what they might need more or less of during this transition.

Work on self-help skills

Another way to help reduce the stress your child will feel during the first few days of school is to work on their self-help skills beforehand. This can include taking off their coat, unzipping their backpack, and opening their lunch. While your child’s preschool teachers will obviously be able to help with these activities if your child can’t do them solo, having to ask for help can be stressful for some children. So helping them feel a little bit of independence by being able to perform some of these tasks is a good way to lessen their stress. Helping your child learn how to feel comfortable asking for help is also a good way to lessen the stress they’ll feel!

Make new friends

If possible, try to connect with the parents of some of your child’s future classmates. Organize a few play dates so that your children can get to know each other and build friendships. Having a few friends or even just kids they know can be very helpful with the transition of starting preschool. Socialization and friendship-making skills are very important for your child to learn so you may feel hesitant and want them to make friends naturally, however, your children will have the opportunity to make new friends not only in preschool but in all grades moving forward. Starting school with a friend or two in their class won’t ruin their social skills but it will help them feel more comfortable with the transition. 

Tell them about your experiences

Lastly, tell your child about your own experience with starting school! Telling them about the things you were nervous about and how you got through it is a great way to help your child feel seen and heard. Also, tell them about what you found the most fun during school. That way, throughout the day your child can be on the lookout for the things you enjoyed and will have an idea of some of the things to expect. Sharing your own experiences is a great way to connect with your child and help them feel more secure in starting school themselves.

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