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The Buddies Group

Bank Street’s Buddies is a progressive child-centered model. Children learn to negotiate group activities and gain the tools they need to establish friendships and play with peers. The purpose of the group is to increase play and social skills which 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

What is a social skills group?

A social skills group is a place where children work on communication, friendship and problem solving skills. They can help children negotiate their emotions and understand other people’s perspectives. In the small group setting children learn and practice these skills to then be more successful in their social relationships in school and with daily life experiences.

What to expect from a Buddies group?

During the group, children spend a majority of the time playing with the materials and toys selected by the teachers. During play time we work on play, communication, problem solving and turning taking. We follow the children’s lead and interest, using their strengths to engage them with the community. We work through challenges with the children. We support the emotional experience of the child and work to cope with the excitement and struggles that creating friends can bring up.

The children have snack and a circle. During these times we are working on conversations and community building.

Who is the group appropriate for?

The groups are for children 3-5 years old who need support in their social and play skills. Children who have social anxiety, emotional/behavioral challenges, social language difficulties, and attentional issues. Children should have some communication, social and play skills that can be expand and fostered through the group.


Bank Street Family Center’s Home & Community playroom at 111th Street & Broadway


Starting October 11, 2016
Sessions: Tuesdays 3:30-4:45 pm


The group is led by two Master Level special education teachers. The group has between 5-6 children between the ages of 3-5 years old who have an IEP or receiving therapy support. Each individual child comes with their own strengths and vulnerabilities. We work to encourage and build on their strengths as well as support and work through their challenges.

Tania  Prybylski-Bair at; or Adriane Frye,