Baby’s secure relationship with parents and teachers lay the groundwork for later friendships with peers. After 18 months, toddlers begin to develop more awareness of other people’s feelings and begin to feel empathy for others. Two-year-olds can make important friendships that last for years. Four-year-olds are beginning to form modeling for children of the senior group attachments to special friends.
As a result of limited communication skills, friendships among 3-year-olds tend to be more fleeting. At this stage of development, fours are just beginning to be able to see things from another’s perspective, making their friendships more viable. Five-year-olds are genuinely curious about others and freely experiment with friendships. Kindergartners have a strong sense of identity within their group of friends. Fives and sixes have a desire to belong, either to a small group of other children, or to that one special friend. We are your early childhood teaching partner!
Find ideas for activities and lessons, expert advice, teaching tips, and much more! Stages: How Children Build Friendships Your support and sensitive approach to children’s relationships can foster budding friendships in the classroom. Four-month-old Emma gurgles and coos as she sends an inviting glance toward her teacher. They make eye contact and her teacher responds with a playful, “You have so much to tell me! A bright smile spreads from baby to teacher.
Emma is learning that her world is a friendly place. The attachments she forms in early infancy are the prototypes for later friendships. A baby is primed to form relationships. She naturally responds to the human voice and imitates facial expressions early on. She will signal invitations to play by catching your eye or calling out with babble. A playful response encourages these signals and enhances the baby’s sense of self. You are her first model for relating to other people in respectful, cooperative friendships.
In the early stages of friendship, young toddlers learn from one another through imitation and parallel play. Imagine a small group of toddlers playing at a water table. One boy makes a funny sound by blowing into a long tube with one end in the water. When he is finished experimenting with the tube, he drops it. Another toddler quickly picks it up and imitates him by making the same funny sound!