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FRIENDSHIP ACTIVITIES
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Helping Hands
Juanita H. shares this activity that encourages children to show kindness to others.

Materials: Cut out of hands.

Description: Tell children that when you catch them doing something kind such as
sharing, helping someone clean up, etc. that you will write their name and what they did on a hand cut out and put it on the wall. Tell them you're going to see how far around the room it will go.

Comments: I find that the children deliberately do acts of kindness so they can
get a hand.

There are many community helping hands in the picture book;
Friends at Work and Play by Rochelle Bunnett

friendship art activity  Friendship Flag
Encourage creativity and promote friendship during this activity by Jenn J.

Materials: Large poster paper, colored construction paper, glue scissors, markers and glitter.

Description: Trace each child's hand on different colored construction paper and
encourage children to cut out their own hand print.  If  the child is too young, then
cut it out for them.  Write the child's name in the hand print and have the child decorate.  On large paper draw a circle in center. Write the name of your center and
the date in the middle.  When the children's hands are dry, glue them along the outside of the circle.
Comments: This is a great activity for September's new enrollees.

Cooking: "Friendship Fruit Salad"
Youngsters can notice similarities and differences in fruit while making new friends
during this early childhood education activity by Kimberly G.

Materials: Variety of fruit (each child brings one fruit),
Tablecloth
Mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Bowls
Spoons or forks
Napkins
Sugar
Plastic knives for children or knife (teacher use only).

Description:
1.   Ask the children to bring their piece of fruit to circle time.
2.   Each child holds his or her fruit, describes it and places it on the tablecloth in 
      the middle of the circle so that the children can look at the fruit and make
      comparisons.
3.   Discuss the similarities and differences of the fruit.
4.   Show the children how to cut each fruit properly and safely. Put fruits into a
      large mixing bowl and stir fruit together. Allow each child a chance to mix the
      fruit. Add sugar and stir that in also, if all the children want sugar added.
5.   Serve and enjoy your fruit salad for a snack and talk about how everyone
      worked together to make the salad.

Note: When doing this with older children allow them to cut their fruit.

For picture books about Friendship, Sharing & Cooperation take a look at
Preschool Picture Books Listed by Themes.

friendship at schoolMy School Ideas
Here are some friendship ideas from Lolita R.

Materials: Collage material, rainbow fish, apples for printing, letter art,playdough, fingerprint, strings for string art.

Description: Our activities are to familiarize children with our classroomand school.  We make hand prints for our helper chart, introduce ourdress up chest, provide opportunities for the children to practice taking turns andworking together and focus on shapes, letters, numbers, and colors.

1. Visit all classrooms and become acquainted with each other. 
2. Discuss friendship and for art do an friendship mural. 
3. Discuss our likes and differences. 
4. Introduce learning centers and talk about classroom rules.

 "Boo Boo Bear"
This activity by Amy C. encourages the concept of helping others along with some
simple fine motor skills (this activity is also in the My Body Theme).

Materials: Brown, black and pink construction paper, glue and band aids.

Description: Cut teddy bear shapes from the brown paper and eyes, noses and
mouths from the black and pink paper. Draw dots on the bears where each facial feature will be placed.

Give each child a bear shape, two eyes, a nose and a mouth and go through gluing
the features on together.  Talk about where our (or the bear's) eyes, nose and
mouth are.  Show the children where the dots are and talk about where the features belong, but allow them to put their bear's face together how they choose. Place bears aside to dry.

At circle time give each child their bear and a Band Aid.  Encourage the children to discuss how they feel when they fall and get a "boo-boo". Talk about the things they can do for their friends when they fall. Then tell the children their bears fell and hurt themselves and ask them what they can do for their bears.

Let them decide where their bear's boo-boo is and place the Band Aid on it. Encourage them to console their bear.

Comments: I use this activity with both a toddler group and a 3 year old group.
I hang the bears on the wall at the children's eye level and we refer to them often when handling a situation where the children are not being very good friends.  It is a good way to bring back that lesson's theme whenever it is needed.

For picture book about Feelings take a look at
Preschool Picture Books Listed by Themes

   Hurtful Words
Esther N. has this idea for teaching children that words can hurt their friends, and often, cannot be taken back.

Materials: Raw eggs (or toothpaste tubes, spray bottles, feather pillow), large sheet of paper and a marker.

 Description: Draw the side view of a head, emphasizing the mouth. Select "helpers" or give each child an egg and a bowl.  Have them break the egg, letting the insides fall into their bowls.  After they have all done this, talk to them about what hurts their feelings, and have them give you words they don't like to hear or be called. Write these words as if the mouth were speaking them.

Then tell each child that its time to clean up and they must put the insides of their eggs back into their shells. When they realize they can't do this, have a discussion about how we cannot always put things back where they came from, and the same is true with our hurtful words. Lots of different materials can be used to teach this value lesson, such as toothpaste tubes, crayons on paper, etc.

Comments: Children learn and adults can be reminded to be careful of the things
they say.

Friendship Quilt
Stephanie uses this creative activity to promote friendship and self esteem.

Materials: Fabric remnants cut into squares, fabric paint and someone who can sew.

Description: Ask each child to decorate a fabric square with their hand print and
name, and anything else they can think of.  Ask a volunteer sew it together and display it on the wall of your classroom.

friendship counting song  1,2,3 Good Friends
Improvise a tune to this easy friendship counting song by Jennifer.

1,2,3 good friends
4,5,6 good friends
7,8,9 good friends
10 good friends are we!
friendship art activity  String Of Friends
Stephanie D. uses her ability to cut paper doll to teach young children about friendship, self awareness and verbal skills.

Materials: A string of 3-5 paper dolls for each child and crayons.

Description: Give each child a string of paper dolls.  Allow the children to draw faces on each one, representing their friends.  Have the children describe who the people are in their string.

Circle Time: Fishing For Class Information
Help preschoolers learn about their classmates with this activity by Ruth C.

Materials: Poster board, markers, paper clips, dowel, yarn and a
magnet.

Description: Teachers cut out 8 fish patterns from poster board and laminated them. I wrote questions on them such as, "What is your favorite food" "Do you have younger brother and sisters" "Do you have older brothers and sisters" "What is your favorite TV show" "What is your favorite book" " Do you have a pet" etc. and place a magnet on each fish.
I then attach the yarn to the magnet and attach these to the dowel and allow the children to fish, one at a time, during circle and get to know each other.

introduction song   Introduction 
This is the way Criss helps kids learn each others names and talk to each other.

Materials: Something like an old hand held mirror frame to look through.

Description: Improvise a tune singing the song:

Look through the window who do I see, (child's name) .
(Child's name) looking back at me. 
How do you do?  How are you today? 
(Child's name) do you want to play?
The child then tells me if they want to play or what activity they want to do at free play.

Comments: The children like using the mirror and they are able to control circle time with little direction from an adult. Each child knows he will get a turn.

get acquainted song   The Wheels On The Bus
Suzan G. helps youngsters recognize each other with this activity.

Materials: Pre cut large school bus and individual pictures of each child.

Description:  Precut a large school bus. One for each child in the class. At the beginning of the school year take each child's picture. After developing the film cut each picture to fit onto each of the school buses.
In a group activity rehearse the song "The Wheels On The Bus". Then show the school buses with the pictures. As you show each picture let that child (the one with the picture you  are now showing) decide what they want to do on the bus. For example:

Suzan on the bus goes open and shut, 
Open and shut, open and shut,
Suzan on the bus goes  open and shut,
All through the town.
This activity is great at the beginning of the school year. This helps the children get to know one another and be a little silly as they choose a verse in the song.

Super Friend Glasses
Teresa R. teaches children social skills through positive praise when she catches a child being a Super Friend.

Materials: Construction or heavy weight paper, simple outline of a pair of glasses, scissors, craft stick, glue or double sided tape, contact paper (optional) and stickers.

Description: Teachers trace or draw a simple outline of a pair of glasses. Cut them out and write on the top of them Super Friend.  Decorate anyway you wish. Then cover with clear contact paper (optional). Glue or tape a craft stick on for a handle. Then, throughout the week go around to different activities observing through your Super Friend Glasses. When you observe a child being a super friend.  Reward them with Positive Encouragement.
Comments: All my classes have enjoyed this activity.

Friendship Hand
Jessica P. shares this fine motor activity that encourages friendship among young 
classmates.

Materials: Traced hands of each child, shoelaces and a hole punch.

Description: I traced each child's hand and made one for each child. I then wrote each child's name on it and had the children lace them to make a friendship necklace.

Comments: If your class is large, ask children to pick out who their friends are and only use those hands.  I have used it both ways. Depending on the shoelaces or yarn.

Punching Pat
Stephanie D. shares this activity that helps preschool and kindergarten classmates
learn ways to express anger.

Materials: A stuffed pillow person.

Description: Make a stuffed pillow person out of remnants of material and stuffing.  Place the pillow in the quiet area.  When children are upset and angry, they can hug the pillow or punch it, and release their anger.  It's better than punching their friends!

Friend Chain
Angela B. uses this pre-school activity to encourage friendship among children.

Materials: Poster board cut-outs, markers, crayons, glue, yarnand fabric.

Description: Cut generic "gingerbread" shapes from poster board (one for each child). Have children decorate the cut-out figures, using a variety of materials, to resemble themselves. When the children are finished with the cut-outs, place each figure on a wall or bulletin board so that the figures are holding hands. Above the display, you can post the word "FRIENDS". Write each child's name under his or her figure.

"Friendship Garden"
Develop social skills, kindness, creativity and critical thinking with this early childhood activity by Amy.

Materials: Large piece of paper, construction paper, scissors,markers, crayons or paint and glue.

Description: During the spring months when we start to garden discuss the many kinds of gardens.  To emphasize kindness and friendship make your own garden, a friendship garden.  Talk about helping one another and being kind.

On a large piece of paper, I use blue to look like the sky, or have the children paint it. Ask the children to make their own flowers.
Trace the child's hands, 2 of each hand, to use as the petals.  Trace the child's  feet, 1 each.  Use as the leaves.  Provide a stem and a circle for the center of the flower.

I make my own so the children will know what the flower can look like and show them real flowers, sunflowers work well. Ask each child to color or paint their pieces and have them glue the pieces to the large paper.  As the theme develops we added grass, caterpillars, butterflies, etc.

Comments: This idea was inspired by a Disney book, Winnie the Pooh called the Friendship Garden.  I work with young 3's so I trace the hands and use the scissors.  Older children can cut out on their own.  It's  a fun activity and the children enjoy finding their flowers.

Politeness Or Manners
Angie S. uses this early childhood activity to teach preschool children about using their manners and being polite.

Materials:
Empty coffee can that the children help decorate with construction paper, yarn, etc.

Description:
Cut hole in top of coffee can. Make "coins" out of constructionpaper. Or you can use real coins just make  sure that the money is out of reach. Anytime you catch a child being good, using manners, being polite, give them a coin to place in the can. At the end of the month you can buy them special treats with the coins that they have saved up.

Web of Friends
Preschool children four years old and older will enjoy this activity by T.C. who says, "This is a good back to school activity, it allows children to get to know one another".

Materials: Yarn, thick in size.

Description: Allow children to sit in a circle or seat in chairs.  The teacher usually starts it off and introduces herself and something about her or what she likes.  She then takes the yarn wraps it around her once or twice and gives it to the next child.  The next child says his or her name and so on.  The child then wraps it around and the web continues.  The teacher then explains that we, as friends, all have to work together to un-web our circle.

Comments: Children should not wrap yarn too tight and more than once or twice.

friendship song Be A Friend
Paula R. shares this activity saying, "It helps children think of waysto be kind. They love it!" 

Description: This song is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells and goes like this: 

Be a friend, be a friend, be a friend today.
Tell me one thing you can do to be a friend today. 
Then you select a child to tell you how they can be a friend. Just make sure you have enough time to let everyone have a turn, because, I have found this is such a fun song everyone wants a turn.

Comments: You can toss a bean bag to a child whose turn it is next.

Related themes in the Rainbow Resource Room:


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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