Developing Friendships: A Preschool Priority
Webinar Handouts
By Mindy Ely, TVI
A Breakdown of Friendship Development
 Preparing for Friendship (Motivation for interaction)
 Introducing a Friendship (Entrance into play)
 Building a Friendship (Sustaining play interactions)
Preparing for Friendship
 Build a Motivating Environment
 Build Peer Familiarity
 Teach Theory of Mind
 Teach Skills for successful interactions
Introducing a Friendship (Entrance into Play)
 Identify Play Options
 Choose a Play Option
 Move to the Play
 Use Appropriate Entry Script
Building a Friendship (Sustaining Play)
 Interaction Skills
 Teacher Involvement and Modeling
 Teach Typical Preschool Play Schemes
 Teach Turn-Taking
 Practice Contingent Conversational Skills
How much emphasis to you play on teaching students to
engage in age-appropriate, peer interactions?
Where are your student’s strong and weak related to
these interactions?
How can you support their strengths and improve their
Peer-Interaction Checklist
For Preschool Children with Visual Impairments
Child:____________________________ Age:__________
Date of Observation: ______________________________
Observer’s Name: _________________________________
Observer’s Role:__________________________________
Initial Observation and Information
Classroom schedule: (note any portions of the schedule in
which the student is regularly removed from the room for
therapy or other services)
Describe child’s peer-engagement level during teacherdirected activities such as small group, circle time, or oneon-one instruction:
Describe child’s peer-engagement level during
unstructured or child-directed activities such as free choice
or gross motor play:
Preparing for Friendship
Environmental Considerations
 Does the child interact with a variety of items in ageappropriate ways?
 Is the child familiar with:
o The environment and it’s contents?
o The schedule?
o Expected routines?
Peer Familiarity
 Is the child familiar with a variety of children in the
classroom? For example, does the child call various
children by name or ask to play with specific children?
 Do the children in the classroom appear comfortable
interacting with the child who has a visual
Theory of Mind
 Does the child appear to be aware of the emotions of
 Does the child appear to be aware of the impact their
current or past actions have on others?
 Does the child anticipate how their future actions will
impact others?
Skills for Success
 Concerning age-appropriate engagement with other
children, does the child
o Cooperate?
o Collaboratively problem-solve?
o Express curiosity or interest?
o Regulate his/her own emotions?
Introducing a Friendship (Entrance into Play)
 Identify Play Options
o Does the child know the environment well
enough to identify options for play?
o Does the child know the children well enough to
ask to join playmates by name?
o Does the child use resources to inquire about
play options?
 Choose a Play Option
o Does the child make choices once options are
 Move to the Play
o Does the child move independently and
purposefully within the environment?
 Use Appropriate Entry Script
o Is the child successful in gaining entry into play
with peers?
o Does the child ask necessary questions so that
he/she can enter into play in an acceptable
Building a Friendship (Sustaining Play)
 Interaction Skills
o Do skills in the following areas prohibit ongoing
play once entry has been accomplished?
 Cooperation
 Collaborative problem solving
 Curiosity
 Self-regulation
 List any other interactive skills that prohibit
the child from successful ongoing play:
 Teacher Involvement and Modeling
o How do teachers introduce new play schemes
and materials? Is this enough instruction for the
child or is additional instruction needed by
o Do teachers typically voice non-verbal cues
related to rules for play as the children develop
o How do teachers encourage and/or facilitate
peer interactions?
 Teach Typical Preschool Play-Schemes
o What play-schemes do the children commonly
engage in?
o Are these play-schemes (and the materials
involved) familiar to the child?
o Is the child successful in engaging in ongoing play
in common play-schemes?
 Teach Turn-Taking
o Is the child able to comply with turn-taking rules
to allow for successful ongoing play?
 Practice Contingent Conversational Skills
o In conversation with peers, does the child
 stay on-topic?
 build on the ideas of others?
 ask questions related to another’s
perspective or feelings?
 add to the conversation in a way that is
considerate of peer perspective and/or

Developing Friendships: A Preschool Priority