Wanna Play: Friendship Skills for Preschool and Elementary Grades

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Help every child learn positive social skills!

Youngsters at risk or with developmental delays or disabilities may experience considerable difficulty in learning how to make friends. This practical teacher resource presents the Wanna Play Program, a curriculum devoted specifically to helping PreK-3 students develop the social skills they need to interact appropriately with individuals and groups.

This parent- and teacher-friendly handbook provides over 60 lesson plans involving more than 300 games and activities. With dozens of reproducibles, it offers many instructional options for teachers, including:

  • Lesson plans outlining teaching concepts, objectives, and attitudinal approaches
  • Links to Individual Education Program (IEP) goals and reporting categories
  • Practical, flexible methods of engaging young students in developing friendship skills
  • Constructive advice for teaching children who exhibit difficult behavior but may not have been diagnosed with a disability
  • Discover how to foster young children’s ability to develop the relationship-building skills they’ll need in their early years and beyond.
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Editorial Reviews

Dawnylle Cerula
"An excellent resource for teachers, parents, or anyone who works with children whostruggle with making and keeping friends.I have used the lessons and games from the Wanna Play Program in my lessons andrecommend this book to anyone looking for a better way to teach friendship skills to children."
William S. Hallowell
"The work done by the authors is very important, especially for children who struggle to make friends. They truly understand the difficulties these children face and give them concrete tools that help them be more successful socially. Every educator who wants to make the world a better place should read this book!"
Brigid S. Scolis
"The authors have been instrumental in using a concrete and sequential social skills curriculum to address students’ needs. The Wanna Play program uses an individualized and small group instructional model along with cooperative social experiences and fun, engaging activities for children. It has offered common-sense strategies along with assistance in developing functional behavioral assessments and support plans for many of my students."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412928045
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Herron Ross, owner and author of The Wanna Play Program, holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Beaver College and a Master of Science in Special Education and Specialty Reading from St. Joseph’s University. She is currently working on her BCBA. Ruth has dedicated her life to the education of children with special needs and the autism community. Ruth has work with children from ages two to seventeen and is trained in a variety of one-on-one early intervention and therapeutic programs such as ABA, Floortime, Son-Rise, and Interactive Metronome. Her 15 years of education experiences, combined with her early intervention training, gave Ruth the foundation of knowledge in autism, language development, and socialization skills needed to create The Wanna Play Program. Over the years she has provided numerous trainings to parents and professional and is a founding member and lead trainer of the Valley Forge Education Services’ community outreach program Caring Kinships: ASD—Matching Families with Sitters. Ruth has been facilitating social skill groups and individual sessions for children as director of the Pennsylvania location for the past ten years and in the New Jersey location for the past two years.

Beth and Ruth have been successfully using their education, personal experience, and passion in children’s social development for over a decade. They found that children were not applying the social skills they had learned into school and community settings. There were few programs dealing with socialization that accommodated children on many different interactive levels. They developed a curriculum that was flexible and easily personalized for the specific needs of each child. This insight has evolved into The Wanna Play Program.

Ruth Herron Ross and Beth Roberts have been successfully using The Wanna Play Program’s techniques with children for over a decade. They have lectured in schools, parent support groups and conferences on the program’s benefits and application. They have been training teachers, parents, professional and children on social skills as well as the methodology and teaching guidelines suggested in the program.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     v
About the Authors     vii
Introduction: Welcome to the Wanna Play Program     1
Guidelines for Curriculum Success     3
Attitude     3
Eye Contact     4
Asking Leading Questions     5
Wait Time     5
Learning Through Free Play     6
Managing Behavior     7
Sensory Support     8
How to Use This Book     11
Social Interaction Checklist     17
Discovering Friendship     21
What Is a Friend?     22
Making New Friends     25
Building Friendships     29
Relationships With Different Types of Friends     32
Making Eye Contact for Interaction     37
What Is Eye Contact?     38
Looking to Talk     41
Looking to Listen     45
Looking to Learn     50
Interest in Others     53
Being a Friend     57
Fun With Friends     57
Sweet Words/Kind Words     60
Safe Body/Body Safety     65
Playing Together     69
Appropriate Body Behavior     75
Introduction toAppropriate Body     75
Body Needs-Strengths and Weaknesses     79
Personal Play Space     83
Body Privacy     85
Modesty/Hygiene     90
Appropriate Bodies in Different Environments     93
Interacting in a Group     99
Listening in a group     100
Socializing in a Group     104
Learning in a Group     107
Adult-Led Groups     111
Playing Games     115
Sportsmanship/Cheering and Encouragement     115
Who Goes First?     119
Happy Endings     121
Playing Friends' Games     124
Outdoor Games     127
Indoor Games     130
Friendship Cards     137
Worksheets     149
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Resource!

    As a provider to special needs children I found this book extremely useful in teaching kids social skills. The provided lesson plans and games really engage kids to participate and actively become involved in their social world. I would recommend this book to any parent or teacher who is looking for some ideas to help their kids develop their social awareness and skills.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2008

    Great multisensory activities

    I would highly recommend this book! The lessons are well planned and kids enjoy them. This book would be a great resource for all of the kids who need help learning how to be a friend and keep friends. The multisensory activities teach the concepts of social skills that can open up the world to meaningful relationships with peers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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