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Fun Friends Cairde Spraoi

Here you will find all about our Fun Friends programme.

The Fun FRIENDS Program, developed by Dr. Paula Barrett, helps guide the social and emotional development of young children by using fun, play-based group activities. Through teaching children to engage with resilience skills early in their development, Fun FRIENDS encourages a smooth transition into school life for young children. Fun FRIENDS nurtures the child’s development, encouraging them to thrive. In Scoil Réalt na Mara the Fun Friends program is embedded within the work of Rang 2.


The group activities where children learn new skills are crucial to the success of the Fun FRIENDS program. These evidence-based, play-focused activities allow children to build foundational resilience skills in a way that can be easily grasped, understood and used in everyday life:

  •  Helping other people including family, peers, and teachers
  •  Self-awareness of body clues (e.g. tense means stressed, butterflies means nervous)
  •  Relaxation techniques for the body and mind during stressful situations
  •  Engaging and relating to peers, as well as making friends

After undertaking Fun FRIENDS, parents and teachers may notice the following changes in a child:

  •  Improved confidence
  •  Increased ability to cope with stress
  •  Increased ability to cope with fear
  •  Enhanced social skills
  •  Improved ability to communicate better with adults
  •  Boosted self esteem
  •  Increased happiness and enthusiasm