DIY Friendship Blocks

I put together a set of friendship blocks (or tubes) for my class to play with and as to also use as a tool for helping my students get more familiar with each other…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

To make our friendship blocks, we printed a photo of each child on paper and cut it out. Then we taped each photo to a tube using clear packing tape and placed all the tubes in the shelf in our block center…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

In my years of teaching, I have noticed that my students tend to begin the year playing beside each other (parallel play) rather than with each other. Because of this, it isn’t unusual for the children to take quite some time to learn each other’s name or to really put a name to face…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

Our friendship blocks are helping the children draw connections between faces and names. The friendship blocks also give each child a sense of community and belonging as they see their personalized block standing up and along side all the other children in the classroom…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

The friendship blocks are available for play all throughout the day but we have also been using them as a large group to create friendship towers…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

Or to invite discussion about ourselves or each other…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

Some of the children like to set their friendship tube next to them throughout the day while they do other activities…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

And as a little bonus, I printed and cut out an extra set of photos for our magnet board.  Yes, we are finding ourselves all over our classroom…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

And with the help of our friendship blocks and our people magnets, my students are getting a solid grasp on who is who in our classroom and are quickly feeling more comfortable with each other and as a community…

Friendship Blocks by Teach Preschool

About our Tube Blocks

To learn more about where we collected these tubes for free, be sure and read this post —-> Building and playing with our free tube blocks and where you can find them too.

Available on Amazon

By |2018-11-29T15:17:22+00:00September 30th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Trisha September 30, 2013 at 10:20 am - Reply

    What a great idea! Love those tubes. Is there a picture of you on a tube also:) It would be interesting to see how they played with tubes and magnets with the teacher’s pictures on them:)

    Also, I love your classroom carpets…this one and last year’s. Where do you get them?

  2. Donna Strom September 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of having magnet pictures that can be moved around the classroom and used as a name recognition game. Great fun!

    I love those baskets on the shelf below the tubes. I have a reggio inspired classroom and these would be perfect! They look so sturdy. Where did you find them?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 30, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Hi Donna,
      These baskets came from a store near me called Garden Ridge:)

      • Donna Strom September 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm

        Thanks! Apparently, I have one of those near me too 🙂

  3. Christine October 2, 2013 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Deborah, I love, love, love your ideas! May I ask about the positioning of your magnet board in these photos, please? It looks as though it is on the floor, against the wall, and held in place by a set of shelves on the left side. On the right side, is it tucked just so into that corner somehow?? It looks like a perfect little nook. Does the magnet board stand up securely unless you decide to remove it from that location?

    Also, I’m curious as to how many children are in your class. Thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 3, 2013 at 12:18 am - Reply

      Hi Christine,
      Yes, right now I have it positioned behind the two shelves so I can move it other places as needed. It stands securely with the help of the two shelves because it is so long. I have 13 in my class:)

  4. Joclyn Day October 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Hi have been a follower for over 3 years and love all of your ideas. Since I teach developmentally delayed 3 year olds, I usually modify. I taped my students pictures on our Melissa and Doug cardboard blocks and their names on other cardboard blocks. (I used the yellow) It is a huge hit in our block center! We will see them develop name recognition naturally through play. Thank you!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      I love it Joclyn! I am thinking of using our blocks too later in the year. Your success makes me think I really should give it a try maybe even sooner!

  5. Varya @ CWOV October 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    What a great activity!!! I should try this in my English classes – helps everyone remember their names much better.

  6. stacy November 28, 2017 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    What are the tubes made of (assume cardboard)? Where do you find them, and can they be re-used from year to year? Thanks! Love the idea!

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