Fun Friends Program
“A Play-Based social skills training program for building resilience in 4-7 year old children.”
The first social skills training program in the world to help children to develop emotionally and socially!
Developed by Dr Paula Barrett, author of the world famous FRIENDS program, Fun Friends teaches emotional resilience to 4 to 7 year olds that will stay with children for life, and teaches practical, useful strategies for coping with stress, worry, fear and sadness.
With Fun Friends, children will gain the emotional and social intelligence necessary to excel during their school years. This program will help your children have a smooth transition into school, and improve their confidence and social skills. It is an empowering program for children, parents and teachers in life skills and resilience strategies.
Give your children the skills to help them be happy and resilient no matter what challenges life throws their way.
Developed in Australia and used in schools worldwide, Fun Friends is based on FRIENDS for Life, the only program of its kind to be endorsed by the World Health Organisation as an effective prevention program for anxiety and depression in children and youth.
Fun Friends builds young children’s self-esteem and confidence!
The next groups start:
Term Four Times and Dates
Thursday (beginning 10th October) 4:00pm-5:30pm
Saturday (beginning 12th October) 9:30am-11:00am
Sunday (beginning 13th October) 9:30am-11:00am
December Holiday Intensives- Monday 16th Dec- Sunday 22th Dec 9:30am-11:00am
January 2014 Holiday Intensive Monday 13th January- Friday 24th January 9:30am-11:00am
Term One 2014 Dates and Times:
Thursday (beginning 30th January) 4:00pm-5:30pm
Saturday (beginning 1st February) 9:30am-11:00am
Sunday (beginning 2nd February) 9:30am-11:00pm
More about the Program…
Fun Friends is a social skills training program specifically developed for four to six year old children and is designed to …
• Build resiliency through social and emotional skills development.
• Empower children, families and teachers.
• Promote peer learning through play and experiential/inquiry learning.
• Encourage support networks and positive role models.
The Fun Friends program teaches children and families the following skills
• Smiling and looking people in the eye
• Speaking with a confident voice
• Talking about feelings and also understanding other people’s feelings (development of empathy)
• Helping other people – peers, family and teachers
• Body clues
• How to relax
• Making friends
• Being brave and happy
• Trying new things – making step plans
• ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ Thoughts, and other essential life skills
These resilience skills are taught in a way that children in this age group can easily grasp and adopt. The objectives of the program has been shown to be well-matched and complementary to educational goals and curriculum in schools (please click hereto read in more detail about this).
The Acronym for Fun FRIENDS used in activity books and manuals
- Feelings (talk about your feelings and care about other people’s feelings)
- Relax (do “milkshake” breathing, have some quiet time)
- I can try ! (we can all try our best)
- Encourage (step plans to happy home)
- Nurture (quality time together doing fun activities)
- Don’t forget – be brave! (practice skills everyday with friends /family)
- Stay happy
There are different ways that children, families and teachers can be involved:
Weekly Groups at Pathways Clinic
You can bring your young children aged 4 to 6 to Pathways and a highly trained child psychologist will run the FUN FRIENDS program for your child over 12 weeks (one and a half hours per week). The program involves fun and easy games and activities. There is a maximum of ten children per group to ensure the children are comfortable and to avoid them feeling overwhelmed. Parents also learn the skills with the child. The programs run throughout each school term on weekends, as well as during the school holidays. To join the program, ot to find out more, please contact our groups coordinators at Pathways on (07) 3391 6866.
Intensive Holiday Programs
Intensive Holiday programs for Fun Friends is available. These groups are particularly convenient for families who live outside of Brisbane. This involves one session per day on weekdays during the holiday period (two weeks). Please contact the centre for more information.
Individual Fun Friends Programs
Young children can also do the Fun Friends program individually with one of our trained psychologists at Pathways.
In Schools (Including Prep, Year 1 and 2, Kindergarten and Child Care Centres)
Fun Friends is available for early childhood centres, prep and primary schools (year 1 and 2). Training is offered through one day training workshops to enable teachers, learning support staff and child care workers to implement the program in the school or centre. Workshops are available at Pathways several times a year, or alternatively you can ask for staff in-training in your own setting. For more information, refer to the Training section of this website or call the Pathways training centre on (07) 3391 6866.