6th November 2019
Children at Playdays Rouse Hill Share Heartfelt Reflections on the Meaning of Friendship
Friendship plays a pivotal role in healthy development and wellbeing in every stage of a child’s life, offering opportunities for sharing, learning, excitement and support.
The children at Playdays Rouse Hill recently explored the topic of friendship through a series of discussions and activities.
Early Childhood Teacher, Deborah Young, shared details of the project, including the children’s definitions of friendship and how they constructed their friendship quilt.
“It began with the team in our Investigators room, who were working on ways to build stronger connections and friendships between children,” says Deborah.
“We reflected together on the meaning of the term ‘friend’ and focused in on the concept of friendship, which eventually evolved into our friendship quilt.”
Deborah and the team initiated group discussions on friendship, as well as focusing on stories with friendship themes and having the children explore the topic through art.
The conversations around what it means to have a friend sparked from the following questions:
- What makes a good friend?
- How do we treat our friends?
- What do we like to do with our friends?
- How do our friends make us feel?
- What can we do if a friend is feeling sad?
- How can we make sure everyone has a friend to play with?
“Many children spoke about how they enjoy playing with their friends, talking to friends and the feelings of happiness when we are with our friends,” shares Deborah.
“Through our discussions we touched on how a friend is someone that you know really well and how friends often like similar things or make each other feel happy, loved and comforted.”
“Friends help each other.” – Emily
“We should tell our friends ‘I love you’.” – Amber
“Friends are for playing together.” – Adrian
“Friends like the same things…they do good things for each other.” – Celia
“My friends make me feel happy and loved.” – Manuel
“Friends ask ‘Are you O.K?’.” – Emma
“Anyone can be a friend.” – Mattias
After establishing what friends are and what they do, the children drew pictures of themselves with a friend, or friends, from the centre.
“As we engaged in these discussions, we realised the different ways we are all connected. This inspired us to create the friendship quilt to display children’s drawings and represent these ideas,” explains Deborah.
“We made the friendship quilt by joining coloured cardboard pieces together. Then we attached the children’s drawings to a corresponding piece of card.”
“Some of the children helped to hole punch the cardboard and cut lengths of string and ribbon that would be used to join the pieces. I then assisted them with tying it all together.”
The friendship exploration achieved a number of learning outcomes, including:
- Contributing ideas and experiences through discussions.
- Exchanging ideas, feelings and understandings with their peers.
- Experiencing and recognising the contributions made through the whole process, as the quilt represents the children’s learning and understandings.
- Developing caring attitudes for each other’s wellbeing and learning to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.
“Friendship, kindness and inclusivity are topics we touch on regularly through the year, but it’s been great to concentrate on this project and give the children an opportunity to participate in and contribute to something really meaningful to them,” says Deborah.
“We look forward to continuing to focus on these ideas, especially with our older children who are transitioning to school.”