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Playing with Other Children

Many parents worry about their child making friends at school. Children don’t really start playing ‘together’ until they are about two and a half. Until then they play near each other rather than with each other. When your child goes in to reception they are still ‘beginners’ at building friendships.

All children are different and start school with different experiences. Some children will come from loud busy families. Some will have been going to nursery for a good while. Others may not have spent much time away from their parents. In addition all of us have different personalities and levels of confidence. Some children will want to take friendship making more slowly than others. This is fine.

Try not to worry; they have plenty of time to learn how to be friends. Schools are used to helping children socialise. There are some ways you can help your child gain confidence to make, and be, a good friend.


    • Give your child chances to be around other children; either with family, friends or at the local park. (Don’t worry if they just like to watch).
    • Practice turn taking in games, take turns in choosing what to do next.
    • Help them understand how they make other people feel good and how they might make people feel sad –this is an important part of being a good friend.
    • Let them try and work out any disagreements themselves.
    • Set aside time to chat together without distractions. This develops social skills and keeps you in touch with what is happening in your child’s life.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

*Click Here* to speak to other Norfolk parents and carers on our online community forum. 

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