Helping Kids Make Friends 💖
“Life was meant for good friends and great adventures.” — Unknown
Today at Sparkles HQ, we’ve been having a chat about friendship. Friends are such a huge part of all our lives, giving company, adventures, great memories and comfort as well as helping to build confidence and self-esteem. Wow, it’s no wonder we’ve just decided that friend-making skills are some of the most important lessons we can teach the Sparkles!
Tips to Help Kids Make Friends and Nurture Friendships
So how do we go about helping our little ones? Well, we’ve come up with plenty of top tips to help the Squad grow up enjoying all the fun and benefits of great friendships! Here’s our list….
Start Young It’s never too early to start teaching little ones those all-important social skills. Toddler groups will get them used to mixing with others and sharing toys. And visits to the playground are also great for practicing sharing, whether it’s waiting for a turn on the swings, or queuing patiently for the slide!
Stories Why not take a trip to the library or bookstore together, and choose some books about friendships to read together, or pick out some kids’ films/shows to watch together? Afterwards spend some time chatting to the Sparkles about how the characters made friends or dealt with any hiccups in their friendships. In the Ellie Sparkles Show, kids will see how friendships can definitely have ups and downs! Ellie often has tiffs with her good friend Jimmy, but they soon sort out any issues, showing that making-up is an important part of a good friendship.
Smile A simple but great tip for the Sparkles is to smile and look friendly! Add in a cheery ‘hi’ and they’ll soon be telling you all about the new friends they’ve made!
Conversation Skills There’s no better place to get the kids chatting than in the home! Practice starting conversations by asking what everyone has been up to in the day. And what happened that made each of you happy, or perhaps sad? Take turns to talk, ask questions, listen to each other and try not to interrupt! The Sparkles will soon pick up how to chat and listen, as well as show interest, excitement, concern or compassion.
Role Play If kids are a little nervous about making friends, particularly at a new school or in a new class, try some role play with them! Practice chatting by asking questions about hobbies, favorite films or books and whether they have pets or brothers and sisters. Role play is great fun, as well as fab practice!
Clubs Encourage the Sparkles to join a few clubs, so they can meet and make friends with kids who share similar interests! Liking the same hobby is a great way to bond with other kids. Ellie and Jimmy both enjoy spending time gaming, dressing-up and playing in the pool which gives them lots in common! So, whether your little ones are keen on sports, dance, music, art or books, keep an eye out for some clubs they’d enjoy!
Play Dates Help friendships grow by inviting school classmates over for play dates. Perhaps take them on special outings to the park, beach or swimming pool. Or organize a fun scavenger hunt for the two of them! You could also ask a small bunch of friends round and throw a mini themed party, for example, for Friendship Day in July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or a celebration for the end of the school semester!
Be Kind Being kind to others is one of the most important friendship skills little ones can learn. Suggest making a card for a classmate who’s having a tough time or help the Sparkles bake some cookies for a friend who’s sick. For more tips on Kindness, click on the link to see our dedicated Kindness Blog.
Friendships Bracelets Encourage kids to give friendship bracelets to their friends! They’re fun and easy to make…all that’s needed is colored thread and perhaps some pretty beads.
Be a Good Friend to Others! Last but not least, learning to be a good friend to others is just as important as making friends! Good friends listen, support, empathize, are generous, trustworthy and forgiving. Ellie and Jimmy are fab examples of great friends. They do have their differences – Ellie likes school and science experiments, while Jimmy doesn’t always enjoy class but loves playing basketball. But it’s good to learn that being different is ok too; Ellie and Jimmy accept each other for who they are…while having lots of fun together of course!!
Hopefully you’ll find our list of top friendship tips super useful for the Sparkle Squad. They’re sure to have a great circle of friends before you know it! And if there’s one last bit of friendship advice we can suggest for all you moms and dads, it would be this: try to be a friend, as well as a parent, to your little one. Not only will this help the Sparkles with their own friendships, but it will also mean the world to them
Catch up again soon!