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!

– Life Over C's This free Friend Play Dough Printable is so great for teaching kids how to make friends and how to be a good friend!

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Friend Play Dough Printable

  • Paper
  • Laminating Materials
  • Scissors
– Life Over C's text says [51 awesome friendship books for kids] collage of friendship books for preschoolers

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.)

– Life Over C's Use these cute kids to teach friendship skills. Part of a free friend play dough set!

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.

– Life Over C's Use these cute kids to teach friendship skills. Part of a free friend play dough set!

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.

– Life Over C's Teaching friendship skills is so fun with this free Friend Play Dough Printable.

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.
– Life Over C's Teaching friendship skills is so fun with this free Friend Play Dough Printable.

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!

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– Life Over C's This free Friend Play Dough Printable is so great for teaching kids how to make friends and how to be a good friend!
– Life Over C's friend pretend play printable set
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More Great Friendship Activities for Preschoolers

author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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18 Comments

  1. Those little people you made are so stinkin’ cute! Thank you so much for sharing your awesome talent with the world, so that we can benefit (and not have to come up with a lesson plan on my own!!) My co-op preschool class will love using them. THANKS!!

  2. As a mom and a Speech Language Pathologist, I love this activity! I am going to print and laminate it for my two year old and to use with my clients. Thanks for sharing on the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop! 🙂

  3. o wow! these are super cute! thanks

    my kids so like to play with little people so it would be great to introduce

  4. I love seeing how attuned you are to Shiloh’s needs! My son had some severe speech concerns when he was younger. I did something similar when introducing him to new friends.

  5. Great idea! I love that this gives kids a visual, hands-on way to learn about making and play with friends. They are perfect for role playing various interactions with other kids!

  6. You always amaze me with your ideas of how to meet Shiloh exactly where she is…and she is thriving!

    I love these printables, too…especially because there is a red headed boy like mine!

  7. What a fun idea for playing and discussing friends! When kids have a VISUAL of anything, it helps them learn! Great Suggestions!

    1. Yes, any time I work with Shiloh there has to be something she can touch or see because without that, she really doesn’t understand.

  8. What a cute idea! This would make a great learning kit or busy bag to take with you for on-the-go learning too! Pocket pals!