Zippy's Friends for 5-7 year olds


Zippy’s Friends is a school based social emotional learning programme for 5-7 year olds. The programme is taught to the whole class by teachers trained in Zippy’s Friends in the UK and internationally.

The programme was developed jointly by Partnership for Children, academics and educational resources specialists. The stories were written by Liz Swinden and the original illustrations created by Maggie Guillon. Zippy’s Friends has been running around the world since 1998 and is now in over 30 countries.

The fundamental concept behind the programme is very simple – if we can teach young children how to cope with difficulties, they should be better able to handle problems and crises in adolescence and later life. Zippy’s Friends has been evaluated and found to improve children’s coping skills, social skills, emotional literacy, improve the class climate and reduce bullying. Read more about the evaluation studies of Zippy’s Friends.

Zippy’s Friends is based around a series of stories and the programme has 24 sessions of 45 minutes.

The six modules cover:

  • Feelings
  • Communication
  • Friendship
  • Conflict
  • Change and Loss
  • Moving forward

Children develop their own positive strategies to deal with problems through engaging activities: listening to stories, discussion, games, role-play and drawing.

The activities and stories are suitable for children of all abilities. Teachers can use the inclusion supplement to choose from a variety of activities for children with additional needs.

There are Home Activities to reinforce learning at home with parents or carers.

Schools can also choose to run our Zippy at Home programme with parents.

Become a Zippy’s Friends Teacher

If you are interested in teaching Zippy’s Friends to your class, book onto our online Skills for Life training. 

Apple’s Friends

Take a look at our follow-on programme Apple’s Friends for 7 – 9 year olds.

See how our programmes meet all elements of the Mental Wellbeing requirements of the statutory guidance for Relationships and Health Education for primary schools in England and support many others.

 Teachers from Southwark in South London talk about their experiences with Zippy's Friends.

‘Children are far more able to talk about their own feelings. Conflicts in the playground are fewer. They form friendships much easier and we have had lots of positive feedback from parents.’

UK Teacher