Supporting Peer Relationships

As adults, we can help infants and toddlers make connections and enjoy each other’s company

Two boys drawing together

Classroom Application

Infants and toddlers love to connect with others. As they develop, young children may begin to show interest in their peers and want to play with other children. Supporting peer relationships means helping children enjoy each other’s company and reinforcing positive connections that set the foundation for developing friendships.

What It Looks Like

A quick glance at how you can support infants and toddlers in peer interactions

Promote Social Skills

Help toddlers build important social skills. Notice how this educator narrates and scaffolds children through the process of taking turns, and applauds their efforts!

Foster Shared Experiences

Create opportunities for children to participate in activities with their peers. This is a great way to support the development of friendships skills.

Be Available and Supportive

Being ready to assist with peer interactions, such as taking turns, gives young toddlers the opportunity to practice their budding social skills in a safe and supportive way. 


Supporting Infant and Toddler Emotions

Helping children understand and handle strong emotions helps them feel safe, calm, and more confident. This suite includes a series of strategies and resources you can use to help young children begin to recognize, express, and work through strong emotions. 

Toddler feeling sad being held by educator


The Power of Play for Healing Trauma

Before fully engaging in interactions with peers, children exposed to trauma may need extra support to feel safe. This Childhood Education International brief presents ways in which play can help address these children’s needs.


Working with Families to Support Peer Relationships

This article from Raising Children Network (Australia) discusses how toddlers make friends and what educators and families can do to support peer relationships.


Supporting Young Children's Friendships

Some children with disabilities need extra support to connect with peers. This podcast describes the importance of early friendships and strategies to support children as they interact with peers.


Kindness Makes Us Strong

Written and illustrated by Sophie Beer, this story highlights the power of everyday acts of kindness. Kindness is a friendly hello, a roaring cheer, or a quick boost. See how you can engage our youngest readers with the power of kindness.

Kindness and Strong Book Cover

Activity Cards for Infant and Toddler Classrooms

Part of the STREAMin3 curriculum, these activity cards provide simple and fun ways you can help older infants and toddlers connect with others
relate card that says hello goodbye

Hello, Goodbye!

Provide opportunities for children to greet or say goodbye to each other across the day.

relate icon that says partner clapping

Partner Clapping

Encourage pairs of children to sing Pat-a-Cake while clapping hands as they sit criss cross.

partner yoga

Partner Yoga

Yoga can be a fun way to connect. Challenge children to pose with a partner and work together.

relate car that says telephone


Practice teamwork, communication, and listening with a game of telephone.


Get Our Resource Guide

Includes questions and activities to guide your use of the videos, book suggestions, and activity cards featured for each of the Core Skills