Supporting Infant and Toddler Friendships

A strategy for helping young children connect with their peers and lay the foundation for developing friendships

As young children develop, they may begin to show interest in other children. When caregivers support early friendship skills, they help children understand how to interact with others in positive ways. As a result, young children can start to form positive connections and enjoy each other’s company.

Hallmarks of This Strategy

Acknowledge Positive Interactions

Drawing attention to the ways children positively interact makes it more likely that they will continue those behaviors.

Join In the Play

When we join children’s play, we can model friendships skills in the moment.

Support Teamwork

We can help children develop positive feelings about collaborating with others during shared experiences.


Supporting Infant and Toddler Friendships

In this lesson, we share tips for supporting young children to develop positive relationships with their peers.  


Additional Resources

Peer Pairing

Intentionally partner toddlers and support shared experiences that develop friendship skills.

Friendship Opportunities Planning Form

Use this template to plan how you'll support friendship skills throughout the day.