Skip to main content.
×

NOGGIN HAS SHUT DOWN.

Find your child's favorite preschool shows and watch movies, originals, and more all on Paramount+.

Try It Free

For more information visit help.paramountplus.com

Helping Little Kids Grow Big Friendships During Summer

Author picture

Written by Brittany Sommer Katzin, Ed.M
Director of Learning & Impact, Noggin, Mom of 3 ​

Written by Brittany Sommer Katzin, Ed.M
Director of Learning & Impact, Noggin, Mom of 3 ​

During the school year, you may have worked hard to help your child make friends – from having talks about what it means to be a good friend to setting up countless playdates. And after seeing their friends every day at school, your kids may have built some great relationships. Now it’s summer, and they may be separated from their friends for a few months. You may think, “Is all of that hard work out the window?” Not at all! The counterpart to making friends, which many don’t think about at first, is how to keep them. As adults, we know that friendships take a lot of work to grow and maintain. It’s the same for kids! And there are some simple ways that you can help keep your kids’ friendships blooming during those long summer months.

Pen Pals!

You may think pen pals are a thing of the past back when people actually wrote letters on paper. However, being a pen pal can be a great way to keep in touch this summer! Encourage them to write a note (or draw a picture) and mail it to a friend. Or record a video on your phone and send it to their friend’s caregiver. They might share fun things they’re up to or just that they miss their friend and look forward to seeing them again. Reach out to the caregiver to see if it’s possible for their friend to send a note back. It’s always fun to give and receive “mail,” knowing that someone is thinking of you.

Reacquaint with Reunions

Although summer can be a busy time with families in different places, try to set up at least one playdate so that your child can reacquaint with their friend(s) before school starts. It may take little ones some time to warm up after not having seen each other for a while, so break the ice by planning activities where they have to work together. A homemade obstacle course, board games, puzzles, or an art activity they can make together are all great ideas to warm up those friendships again.

Make New Friends, and Keep the Old

Summer is a great time to spark new friendships, whether around the neighborhood, at camp, or on a trip. With the beginning of the last school year far behind them, your little one may need a bit of practice to dust off their friend-making skills. Try practicing with them using dolls or stuffed animals. Have stuffies ask each other questions to get to know each other like, “What’s your name? Can I play with you? What do you like to do on the playground? What grade are you in?” These questions can help kids find commonalities as well as highlight differences that can be intriguing.

Once Upon a Friend

Kids love hearing stories about when you were younger! How did you meet your first friends? What were your favorite things about your friends growing up? How did feel when you had to make new friends? Reading books together about making new friends could also help, like these.

Taking Time

Making friends and playing with others can feel more comfortable and natural for some kids than others. If your little one is hesitant to join a group of friends to play or doesn’t want to leave your side, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that they’ll never join in. Help them label the feeling and let them know that you’re there to support them. You might say, “It seems like you’re feeling a bit nervous to join. That’s okay, you can stay here until you’re ready. I’m proud of you for knowing when you feel ready to play!”

See What Kids Learn with Noggin

Discover Your Child's Favorites

Give Noggin a Try

Kid-safe & ad-free

Accessible on multiple devices

New content added weekly

Downloadable books & games for offline play

Kid-safe & ad-free

New content added weekly

Accessible on multiple devices

Downloadable books & games for offline play

About Ailey

Since its first historic performance in 1958, Ailey has been innovating and evolving the perception of American modern dance throughout the world. Noggin is honored to partner with them in helping kids all over get up moving, learning, and expressing their feelings through dance. Because movement has meaning when we dance how we’re feeling!