Blog Post

Understanding Preschool Friendships: 6 Things to Know

Understanding Preschool Social Development

Adapted from Bright Horizons Family Room

Last weekend at my daughter’s soccer game, my almost 4-year-old son sat huddled with a friend under a shared blanket and played trucks together. Minutes later the boys were running around an abandoned baseball field playing pretend baseball. In a blink of an eye, they lost all interest in each other and moved onto other interests – mom’s iPhone. What appeared to be short attention spans was really a chance to improve my understanding of preschool friendships.

Understanding Preschool FriendshipsEstablishing friendships has not been an easy journey for my son. In his first year of preschool, he struggled with self-control, regulation and respecting personal space. He still does to some degree. His teachers reassure me that his behavior is typical for preschool boys. Yet, I often question the process despite these assurances. I worry that he is too rough, that he doesn’t always understand the rules of a game like his peers, and he’s just a little bit “different from other kids.” After this weekend, however, I see that he is making strides in sorting out this friendship thing — and me too. Here are some insights about preschool friendships that I’m learning along the way.

They play together.

Unlike the parallel play of toddlers, preschoolers actually play with other children. They have the capability of recognizing unique qualities in other kids and can find common interests using their growing verbal skills.

They can share – but are still practicing

Sharing is a hard skill for most children but preschoolers are becoming more aware of the feelings of others. This can lead to increased cooperation and, yes, even sharing.

They play pretend.

Pretend play is important for child development, especially in growing social skills. During pretend play, they have to consider the ideas of their playmates, express and listen to others and assign roles — all important aspects of being a friend. Plus, pretend play provides the opportunity for children to role play and experiment with different behaviors.Understanding Preschool Friendships

They may have a “best” friend. 

It’s typical for preschoolers to drift towards one or two peers that they deem “best friends.” Don’t fret if this changes daily because they are far from navigating the concept of a lifetime friendship.

They may prefer a friend over mom or dad.

As they grow more confident in their social skills, preschoolers may push boundaries with their parents as they challenge the limits of their independence. It’s normal.

They can be loving and hurtful.

As preschoolers become more aware of others’ feelings, they often show empathy especially when a child is upset or sad. But they are also very egocentric and often say things that inadvertently hurt a friend’s feelings.

Most importantly, I learned that the preschool years are a time of rapid growth and development in a variety of areas. And there will be times when “being a good friend” is the skill he’s working on while other times it’s learning how to write or (please work on this one next)…use the potty.

Click here to read the original article.

Click here to watch “Kids Explain Friendship”

Understanding Preschool Friendships

COVID-19 Health Precautions

Dear Parents,

Phase 1 hours are 7:30am-5:30pm.

If you have not yet made arrangements to have your child return, you must contact the school first on Monday morning after 7:30am to see if there are still spots available.

We would like to review the new procedures that will be in effect until further notice for the protection of our children and staff:

  • No more than 10 persons per room is permitted at this time.
  • No one except staff members and students will be permitted to enter the building unless absolutely necessary, as determined by the Directors. Drop off and pick up will take place at the front door. Parents must maintain a 6ft distance from others while waiting outside. You may wish to arrive a few minutes early in the event you need to wait. You must arrive at school by 9:00am.
  • Masks must be worn by anyone who enters the building. This includes children 3 and above (except nap time) – please make sure to send a mask with your child. If you need to enter the lobby you will need to sanitize your hands and wear a mask.
  • Entering Daily: Everyone must sanitize their hands and be screened prior to entering the building DAILY. This means a visual scan, questions re: exposure or any symptoms of illness, and a touch free temperature scan. This is required for adults and children.
  • Symptoms: Fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, colored mucus, chills, shaking with chills, muscle pain, or loss of taste/smell. If any child or staff member has any of these symptoms will not permitted to enter the building, must go home, and will not be permitted to return until after being 72 hours symptom free WITHOUT medication (including fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol), and with a doctor’s note. Parents who do not pick-up their child within an hour of being called or those who dose their child with Tylenol and don’t tell us they have temperature will not be permitted back at school.
  • Exposure: You must inform the Director immediately if your child (1) has symptoms, has tested positive, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19; (2) lives with someone who, in the past 14 days, has symptoms, has tested positive, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19; or (3) has come into direct contact with someone who, in the past 14 days, has symptoms, has tested positive, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If you suspect that your child or anyone else may have COVID 19 it is important you do not attempt to send your child to school, confidentially notify the Director immediately, and get a test done as soon as possible.
    Handwashing: All children will be brought to wash their hands for 20 seconds before joining their class. In addition to the usual handwashing of children after bathroom, before eating, etc, we will wash the children’s hands every half hour for 20 seconds
  • Sign-in/out – please bring your own pen
  • There will be no rotating of staff/children, so your child will be with the same children and teacher/s throughout the day
  • Social distancing (6ft apart) is required by all adults, and by children to the extent possible
  • We will receive boxed lunches.
  • Bathrooms: All bathrooms will be sanitized between each use.
  • ALL toys that are utilized throughout the day, whether mouthed or not, will be immediately placed in a bin to be sanitized and thoroughly dried before going back out for another child to play with.
  • Our usual cleaning/disinfecting policies will be more frequent and deeper. ALL surfaces, shelving, toys, art supplies, doorknobs etc. will be cleaned every time they are touched and at the end of the day.
  • All cots/cribs will be 6 ft apart during rest periods. Cots will be disinfected after each use.
  • Water fountains will not be used. We will use water coolers with disposable cups.
  • Playground equipment will not be used. We will take the children for walks, plan activities such as scavenger hunts, hopscotch, relay races etc. to get fresh air and exercise each day. If a child touches any equipment outside, we will sanitize. Only one group at a time will be allowed outside in any fenced in play area.
  • No soft surfaces will be allowed as they are difficult to sanitize. Dress up clothes, soft block, stuffed animals, etc. are stored. All carpets were cleaned in the past week.
  • For a limited time, Governor’s Essential Worker scholarships are now available. The list is extremely broad; to check if you qualify see below. Even if you are presently on School Readiness, it is beneficial for you to apply (no parent co-pay) and it will take just a few minutes. To apply: click here.

I’m sure that you share our tremendous appreciation for our dedicated staff for their willingness to do what only they can do – and they do it so well – to service you, our families. Please remember to express your appreciation.

Looking forward to seeing you soon - stay safe and be well.

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