Important Notice: The new FRIENDS Irish Bookstore

The Friends team have recently launched a new Friends Irish Bookstore to replace this bookstore.

To visit the new store to purchase the Friends Programs books and access the handouts and parent workshop slides along with other new helpful resources please visit

If you have any questions please contact

Thank you from the Friends Resilience team

Fun Friends

For children ages 4-7

The Fun FRIENDS Program was developed by Dr Paula Barrett to help guide the social and emotional development of children aged 4 to 7 by using fun, play-based group activities. Fun FRIENDS teaches skills that will nurture a child’s development and resilience during these crucial early years, giving them the ability to excel and smoothly transition into school life. After undertaking Fun FRIENDS parents and teachers notice the following changes in a child:

Friends Resilience - Fun Friends

  • Increased Confidence
  • More able to cope with stress
  • More able to cope with fear
  • Enhanced Social Skills
  • Able to communicate better with adults
  • Boosted Self Esteem
  • Generally happier and more enthusiastic

The secret to the Fun FRIENDS Program is the group activities that help children to learn new skills. There are a number of different play-based activities that are evidence-based and help teach the following skills to participants in a way that can be easily grasped, understood and used in everyday life. Fun FRIENDS has been proven to give participants the following skills:

  • Smiling and making eye contact when communicating
  • Speaking with a brave and confident voice
  • Talking about and understanding feelings in themselves and others (empathy development)
  • Helping other people like family, peers and teachers
  • Understanding their body clues, e.g. tense means stressed, butterflies means nervous
  • Relaxation techniques to relax their bodies and minds in stressful situations
  • Approaching groups of peers and making friends
  • Trying new things, and approaches to problem-solving
  • Identifying negative thoughts and turning them into positive thoughts

The structure of the Fun FRIENDS Program is a 5 session course, with each session taking between 2-2.5 hours depending on the activities chosen by the facilitator. To help participants remember the FRIENDS concepts, and to bring structure to the sessions we use the following FRIENDS acronym.

  • 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 every day with friends /family)
  • Stay happy

To find out more about the Fun FRIENDS Program and become an accredited Facilitator please visit FRIENDS Resilience