Sharing stories and secrets…..
Discovering hidden treasures on a neighborhood ‘expedition’…..
Making up games in the back yard……
Many of us have memories of doing these things with childhood friends.
Learning what makes a good friend, and learning how to be a good friend is something that we should be teaching our youngest children. The character traits that make up a good friend are the same ones that will help alleviate bullying in the classroom. We need to help children feel special and that they are a valuable, contributing member to the group. This nurtures a sense of ‘community’ which promotes kindness, understanding of others, celebrating accomplishments, and the goal of working together.
Learning about being a friend is a fun and joyful experience. Through hands-on activities, children:
• Concretely see how each person is an important member of the group when they take ‘attendance’
• Practice measuring skills as they see how tall they and their friends are
• Create a group ‘friendship quilt’ where every square is unique
• Work their large muscles in an action game
The more children are involved with each other in positive activities, the more they will see how valuable each child is to the group… and that everyone can be friends!