Special Education Services

The Buddies Group

Buddies group nature walkThe Buddies Group is a social skills group for children age 3 to 5 who need support in the development of social, speech, language, and play skills. By providing children with the safety of a small, familiar group setting and the support of caring educators, children learn to create trusting relationships with their peers so they can generalize their new learned abilities in other contexts, such as school settings or daily life experiences.

Building on each child’s strengths, teachers use varying strategies and materials to help participants develop a growing confidence in their ability to share more of themselves successfully with others. Our child-led approach provides opportunities for children to work on play, communication, problem-solving, and turn-taking while supporting their emotional ability to cope with the excitement and struggles of making new friends. Children develop their play and social skills; this includes (but is not limited to):

  • Imaginary play
  • Multi-step play themes
  • Keeping attention on one idea
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Increasing emotional awareness and emotional rich play
  • Turn-taking
  • Social problem solving
  • Being a member of a community
  • Coping with emotions that arise when playing with peers
  • How to be a friend
  • How to have a conversation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Perspective taking

Who is the group appropriate for?

Buddies Group is appropriate for children age 3 to 5 who have social anxiety, emotional/behavioral challenges, social language difficulties, and attention issues. Children should have some communication, social, and play skills that can be expanded and fostered through the group. For questions, contact Judi Gentry, at jgentry@bankstreet.edu.

We are located at 610 West 112th Street, New York NY 10025.