Play can be a great factor in encouraging children to develop the skills needed to form friendships – and those taking part in a scheme by Chuckle Productions, sponsored by Sovereign, have had the opportunity to practice this first hand.
If you are unfamiliar with the Chuckle programme, you can learn about it here.
This half term, children have had the opportunity to learn how to be a superhero friend, exploring skills in seeing, listening, helping, caring.
Jennie Hine at Chuckle Productions speaks about the activities supporting the aims of the half term and their results:
“Becoming a superhero friend has been explored by engaging pupils in fun, small group games, alongside role playing scenarios, replicating situations that may happen on a typical day on the playground.
Chuckle Productions have been carrying out a structured plan with the children over one half term period, with a new super skill being explored each week:
Week 1 – Seeing skills:
In the first week, we began exploring seeing skills by asking pupils to work together to hunt for items on a treasure hunt list.
Week 2 – Listening skills
In week 2, we practiced listening skills by playing a game where one person makes an animal noise and the rest of the group have to listen and then act as that animal.
Week 3 – Caring skills
We explored and developed children’s understanding of how to be ‘caring’ in week three, by playing a game where one child guided their blindfolded friend around rocks (other children) to get to a lighthouse. The pupils loved taking the different roles in this game.
Week 4 – Speech skills & role play
In week 4, we played a fun game where pupils had to pretend to be in a certain environment (e.g. a kitchen) and the children all have to make a different sound (e.g. water running, microwave pinging) whilst the pupil(s) who are ’on’ have to guess the environment from the noise clues.
We also did some important role plays in small groups asking one pupil to act out an uncomfortable feeling, e.g. sad, lonely, frustrated, jealous, and the rest of the group had to work out what was wrong with him / her and help him / her to find a solution.
Week 5 – Strength skills
In week 5, we looked at using superhero power of strength to work together to make obstacle courses. The pupils really enjoyed this challenge and many worked well together to create a course and then think of ways in which they could further develop their ideas. We also explored the idea of personal space through playing a ‘space invaders’ game (pupils have a hoop around their waist and have to dodge around the room ensuring that they don’t bump into anyone).
Week 6 – Role play
In week 6, we used role play to explore the important skill of being ‘caring’. During this session we asked pupils to work in small groups to work on solutions for typical everyday occurrences, for example, someone saying no to them joining in a game or being unkind if they find something difficult etc.
Week 7 – Revisiting & results
The half term’s activities culminated in week 7 after revisiting all of the game resources that children had made in previous terms. The pupils enjoyed working in small groups to explore their games boxes and to play their favourite games.
This session also gave us the opportunity to observe and support pupils with the superhero friendship skills that we had been discussing in weeks 1-6.
The pupils are generally very supportive of each other during small group activities. The majority of the pupils responded well to new games and activities being introduced. We were able to support those pupils who find change or uncertainty difficult.
For more information on the Chuckle Productions, please visit www.chuckleproductions.org.