Early years and childcare activities

View our latest childcare activity guide below, written by our early years experts.

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Activities to develop children's friendships

Explore ways to develop children's friendships at your nursery with these fun activity ideas.

Learning aims of all activities:

Two friends hugging at nursery

  • Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
  • Communication and language
  • Understanding the world.

Friendship tree


Depending on the type of display you choose, resources could include:

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Sticky tape or glue
  • Bricks
  • Sellotape
  • Scissors.

Activity outline:

  • Ask your children to think about what it takes to be a good friend
    • What kind of things can they do to be a good friend?
  • Create a friendship tree by writing the children's ideas on leaf shaped paper, or a friendship wall by writing words on the bricks
  • You can add to the tree or wall over the week by asking your children to share experiences of how somebody has been a good friend that day
  • Write these on a piece of paper
  • Stick them on your chosen display
  • At the end of the week, review the many acts of being a good friend.

Friendship bench


  • A low bench or stools/chairs
  • Materials to decorate them so they stand out e.g. paint, paper
  • Materials to create your friendship area sign e.g. balloons tied to the chairs, a paper or card sign or painting on the wall. 

Activity outline:

  • Create a friendship bench or put some decorated chairs together to create a friendship area
  • Explain to your children that this area can be used by anyone that is looking for someone to play with
  • When they see someone sitting on the bench/in the area, they should be a good friend and invite them to join their play
  • Revisit the good friend suggestions - from your friendship tree activity - to remind your children how to be a good friend.
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