This week the TeachECE team is talking about ‘friends’. How to make them, how to treat them and so much more! So to go along with that, I’m sharing this free friends play dough printable with you. It’s great to use when you are talking to kids about being a good friend because they can role play different situations. Plus, pretend play is a fantastic way to practice friendship skills!
Materials needed for the Free Friends Play Dough Printable:
Paper and/or card stock
Laminating pouches and laminator
To prepare the set, print, laminate and cut out the kids. Then you can use play dough as a base to help the kids stay upright for playing.
I’ll be totally honest. My special needs preschooler has no concept of what friendship skills are. In fact, she completely lacks inhibitions when it comes to people, so she firmly believes that every person that she meets loves her and because of that she’s never met a person who didn’t love her. (We have a lot more problems with ‘stranger danger’ than we do with making friends.)
But one thing she struggles with because of her language delay is being able to talk to friends her age. Especially because most 4 year olds can’t comprehend why she doesn’t talk as well as them. She tends to gravitate towards much younger children who also don’t speak or much older children who can understand and deal with her lack of language skills.
For her, I like to use pretend play to practice her language skills and use it to model how to have a conversation. At four years old, I am still teaching her to say, “My name is Shiloh.” Right now she will say, “My name,” and point to herself. This is an improvement over six months ago when I would say “What is your name?” and she would simply reply, “Name” as if that were her name.
To practice talking to people, we have the play dough friends “meet” each other. She can hear me say, “Hi! My name is…” and she has the opportunity to model that if she chooses.
While we are working on her language skills we have also worked to teach her ways to show that she is a friend in some fun ways.
- When I introduce her to another child, I will tell them “Shiloh doesn’t talk a lot, but she loves high fives!” (or fist bumps…) Then they can see how excited she is over that interaction and initiate playing with her.
- She can share something with her friend. Such as show a painting that she has made, a tower that she has built, a doll that she would like to play with.
- She can create a name that she can say for her friend. Cathryn becomes Catty, Riley becomes Wiwey, Grandma becomes MeMaw.
No matter your child’s abilities, they can always use practice on how to be a good friend. This free friends play dough printable gives them that opportunity!
Check out the other great friend posts from the TeachECE Team!
Role Playing How to Be a Good Friend by Mom Inspired Life
Songs About Friendship for Kinder and Pre-K by Capri +3
Teaching Kids About Friendship and Being a Good Friend by Raising Lifelong Learners
Making Friends: Teaching Kids to Learn and Respect Different Names by Munchkins and Moms
How to Play with Friends a Preschoolers Visual Guide and Game by Powerful Mothering
Helping Your Homeschooler Socialize by Still Playing School
Making Friends Even When You Are Homeschooled by Learning 2 Walk
Making Friends: Qualities We Look For in Friends by Tiny Tots Adventures
Book Friends by Growing Book by Book
Tips for Helping Preschoolers BE a Good Friend! #TeachECE by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Working Together to Create a Classroom Community by Fun-A-Day!
Teaching Kids How to Make Friends by The Educators’ Spin On It