A Friendship Stop at Crawford

A Friendship Stop at Crawford

At Crawford Childcare, Co. Cork we are currently working towards becoming an accredited Health Promoting Service. One of the areas we have been working on for this is well-being/ emotional literacy.

To support this we have recently introduced the idea of a friendship stop to the children. The idea is that if anyone feels a bit down or just wants someone to play with them they can visit the friendship stop and a buddy will join them to help them feel better.

This has benefits for both children. The child looking for a buddy feels supported without having to talk about their feelings and without that stress probably will! Also if feels good and develops empathy in the buddy to be actively kind and look out for their pals.

This is a new system for us and we have only recently introduced it to the children. First we asked them what they would like the sign to look like and we created a wish list of butterflies, rainbows, friends and colours. Laura got to work by designing and painting our friendship stop on a wall in our outdoor play area.

The children were really interested to watch Laura at work although some struggled with not being able to touch it before it dried. We were really pleased how it turned out – just take a look at our photo! As it is our first time trying an outside murall we are a bit worried about weathering but time will tell.

The Montessori children are role playing scenarios to practice using the stop. Children are taking turns to think about and act out different feelings and events which might make them feel as if they need the friendship stop. For instance Grace said if she ever lost her hairband she would feel worried and if she got a buddy to help her look for it, it would make her feel much better.

Niamh saw Grace at the friendship stop, run over and so the hunt for the hairband began. The group of buddies grew and we all ended up getting so involved in the hunt that we almost forgot we were pretending.

We also made a list of things a buddy/ helper should be. It includes:
• Being friendly
• Being thoughtful
• Being caring
• Being helpful
• Being understanding
• Being fair
Lets hope we can all be a little more of these and if the friendship stop helps us to do this then we class it as a big success!

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