Thursday, September 13, 2018

Friendship Activities For Kids

Friendship activities are a great way to begin your back to school lesson plans. Creating a caring classroom climate and teaching friendship social skills will set the tone for your whole year.

For many students, coming back to school (or starting school for the first time) is an exciting time of the year! They look forward to all the new and exciting things they will learn and making new friends.  But for some children, it can be a different experience.

Many children worry if they will have a friend.  Who will they play with? Who will they sit by for lunch? Will anyone talk to them or be their friend?

Or maybe you’ve been in school for a while and you’re noticing a lot of tattling or other problems in your classroom. This lesson on friendship will help solve these problems!

Day 1

A great way to ease your students worries and encourage friendships in your classroom is by "adopting" a friend for the day.  The story Stick and Stone is the perfect book to use with this lesson. In the story, Stick and Stone become friends and stick up for one another when they are bullied and help each other out of sticky situations.  If you don't have this book, you can watch it on YouTube.

After we read the book, the children choose sticks and stone from a basket. The sticks and stones were numbered and the students had to find their friend with the matching number. Everyone was paired with a random person, not necessarily someone they were already friends with. This gave all the students an opportunity to meet a new friend. 

Next, the students visited friendship stations with their partner. This gave them the chance to do something fun with their new friend and also get to know other kids in the process as well. The students did the following activities:

Friendship Bracelets

The students colored little paper bracelets that said things like “Will you be my friend?” “ Friendship rocks!” “Best friends", etc. When finished, partners helped each other tape the bracelet on each others  wrist. 

Find A Friend

The students worked with their partner to find students in the room who liked different things like pizza, ice cream, school, dogs, etc.  They walked around the room with a clip board and students wrote their names under they things they liked.  This gave kids another opportunity to get to know other students in our room.  There were two versions, for both readers and non readers, so everyone could participate!

Friendship Rocks Memory Game

The students played a memory game with their partner called Friendship Rocks.  Each set of pictures showed children doing different activities with friends.  

Kindness Rocks

I found some large flat rocks at our local dollar store. The students painted the rocks with tempera paint and then when dry, added smiles, hearts or nice words like love or friends with permanent marker.   We hid the rocks on the playground and left them for friends to find. We thought that this might bring a smile to someone when they found a kindness rock!

Day 2

On the second day, we revisited the story Stick and Stone and then the students made a flip book about the story.

We also made Friendship Soup. I purchased cereal, marshmallows and other goodies as the ingredients for our "soup".  This big bowl that we mixed our ingredients in represented our classroom and each ingredient in the soup represented all the things we need to have a great year  at school. We added things like fun, respect, doing out best work, etc.  In the end, each ingredient spelled out the word FRIENDS!

We finished out our day with a mini book about making good choices.  The students read about a poor choice, and then found a picture that would be a better choice to glue in their books. 

Finally there was a simple assessment to find out how much they learned about being a friend.  

The students really loved all of these activities and it was a great way to start our year out on the right foot. But, if you're finding that your students need a little reminder,  these friendship activities could  be done at any time of the year.  You can take a closer look at everything included in this lesson here.