The Fun FRIENDS Program

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Developed by Dr Paula Barrett, Fun Friends teaches emotional resilience to 4 to 7 year olds and teaches practical, useful strategies for coping with stress, worry, fear and sadness. 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.

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.

The Acronym for Fun FRIENDS:

  • 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

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 Fun FRIENDS training is available for staff of early childhood centres, primary schools (year 1 and 2) and community organisations, professionals and individuals working with young children.

Parents – you can enroll your child in a Fun FRIENDS program!
If your school or centre is not offering the FRIENDS program you can enroll your child in one of Oranga’s FRIENDS programs.