Friendship skills and kindness are foundational social and emotional skills that every classroom and every household should be modeling every day. But just modeling isn’t enough. Do our kids really know how to spot a good friend and be a good friend? These skills need to be taught explicitly and regularly. It’s not something that can be taught just using happy resources, it takes lessons on self-awareness, acts of kindness, and more. This post is all about learning and using friendship detective skills to find a good friend and to be one too!
The Importance of Teaching Friendship Skills
Based on everything I see in the classroom and everything in our communities surrounding kindness, I knew that it was time for a comprehensive look at teaching kindness and friendship. Friendship activities in preschool are common but as kids get older, the teaching of friendship seems to decrease. I decided to compile everything I have heard and learned through the years about friendship skills and kids and put together a resource that would really help kids understand what a good friend is and help teachers teach it! A true friend. Even after teaching kids all year about friendship and sharing, kids still have difficulties dealing with certain situations because they just may not have learned what to look for in a friend. I broke this down into What is a good friend? How to recognize a good friend. How to BE a good friend.
A Resource to Use All Year Long
I wanted a set that I could use all year long – not just for Valentine’s Day. Even for Valentine’s Day, I wanted kids to understand that friendship is not something that is earned through chocolates and gifts. Friendship is earned through kindness, understanding, and honesty. I do love to have a little Valentine’s Day party and activities. It’s also important to frontload the understanding that friendship takes work. Where I teach, it is also anti-bullying month. It’s very important to teach kids about bullying but it’s equally as important to teach kids about positive social skills. Learning to develop the confidence to recognize what a good friend is can be very helpful for students.
What You Will Get With This Set
In this set, friendship skills worksheets will help students to read about what a good friend is and then sort character traits on a good friend/not a good friend mat. (This can be a great center activity too.)
There are mini posters (and black and white versions too to save ink) on what a good friend looks like and sounds like. All too often, kids learn the “facts” about friendship but can’t recognize them and see them on the playground, in the classroom, or in the community/neighborhood.
Friendship Flip Book
Kids will have writing activities and also will create a nice friendship skills flip book. These friend traits came from years of students telling me what they thought made a good friend. I couldn’t agree more. Learning should be authentic.
I have included vocabulary both in color (hearts) and B & W for your pocket chart and/or vocabulary activities you may like to do. Once students have learned about what a friend is, and what to look for, they will play a friendship game. Print this game in full color or black and white. This game is simple to play and includes cards that students will draw as they play and answer the question. The questions are personal questions that help each player get to know the other better. (ex. What is your favorite hobby?) I have included a different-looking black-and-white version also for kids to create their own game.
I really love when kids send sweet messages to their friends – why just do it on Valentine’s Day? Many teachers have incorporated a “bucket filling” component into their classrooms. This last set of printables can be used as friendship messages or as a set of Valentine’s cards.
Now including a bonus lap book set!!
Check out this set here or click on the image below. Have a great day!
Teaching friendship skills will help your students with positive social skills. If you would like to do more with self-awareness you might like this post on mindfulness. You will likely notice an overall calmness in your classroom as they learn these skills.