Continue to provide children with a secure base for them to return to and to explore from by being available if needed.
Offer a warm and consistent presence, spending time playing and being with children in 1:1 and small groups as well as in the whole group.
Show that you keep children “in mind” by referring to things you have noticed in their play or something that reminded you of them in some way.
Model key skills of empathy, negotiation, compromise and positive assertion when playing with children and in your everyday interactions.
Provide positive feedback during play, noticing and acknowledging children’s thoughtfulness towards each other.
Support young children’s efforts to join in with others’ play and inviting others into their play.
Use different resources such as social stories and Persona Dolls to help children to develop strategies for building and maintaining relationships.
Offer calm and considered support for children as they experiences conflict with their peers. Use a problem-solving approach, e.g. You are fighting because you both want the blue bike, what can we do about this?
Pause before intervening in children’s arguments to allow children time resolve issues if they can
Recognise and respect children’s particular friendships
Notice and celebrate young children’s valuable contributions to their relationships with others, e.g. to younger children, new children or new practitioners.
Shy children or some with social and emotional difficulties may be anxious when interacting with peers. One-to-one or smaller group encounters in a familiar, cosy space can help a child to build confidence.