A Recipe For Friendship

Text Books and Life Skills

Think about your favorite recipe, and what are the key ingredients? While teaching our children about friendship, this is a nice activity to engage them and to learn about what it means to be a friend. If you can draw, try drawing a large mixing bowl, if not, find an actual mixing bowl for this activity. I’ll be posting eight more like this to help teach vital core values to children. More things you will need for this are a spoon, scrap paper and a writing tool. As a parent, I like to read a stories to children, it helps them in so many ways; literacy, communication, imagination and writing. Find a story from your childhood or a new book to read about friendship. One of my favorites of course is Let’s Be Friends starring Friendship Frog.

You’ll need to discuss what it means to be a friend and how to be a friend. Helping your child understand the meaning of true friendship is important as they will make friends all through their life, and much like us, we will make new friends and keep the old and learn which friends are true to our souls. As a young child we know kids love unconditionally and make friends easily, so, introduce them to friends whom you feel will be a match for your child. Finding common interests in a person is a good place to start. Is your child in any activities? Here you may find a match for a friendship.If your child is in preschool or a day school, perhaps volunteer now and then to meet the children in the classroom. While my own children are adults, I noticed that there are a lot of play groups available, through churches, social networks and even the libraries. If you can’t find one, maybe you can make one? This is different for me because when I grew up we just went next door or down the street to knock on the door and say, ‘can you come out and play?’ there were no play dates, times they have changed!

Remember to keep in mind that your child is listening to what you say to others, how you act with others, how you play with others. You don’t want your child to be thought of as “does not play well with others” and therefore we need to teach our children like anything else what it means to be a friend, but, not to be taken advantage of. Another activity I do with my classroom visits when talking about friendships is to ask the children, “what can friends do together”? We build sentences and turn them into books to share with the classroom about what friends can do together. Discussing topics, reading about them and then engaging a child in them is the best way to teach them.

The old cliche’ “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin, is absolutely one of my favorites and so true to form.

Let’s get to mixing and making friends! With your mixing bowl at hand, ask the children, “What can friends do together?” or, “What do you like about your friend?” or, “What makes you a good friend?” and then take those words and mix them up in the bowl with your spoon or your hands, just mix them up good. You’ll also need to write down the name of the child who says the above on the back. Then, if you can, pour them into a pan, allow them to ‘bake’ because friendships do take time.

Next, take your bowl or your pan and gather the children. Now, pull out a paper (I do use index cards for this) read the name on the back, pull out another one and read the name on the back. Let these two children build a friendship. Continue to empty the bowl and let the teams go learn about each other. Perhaps they can all draw a picture of what they like to do and find an interest with their new friend. Or, have them trace each others hands on paper, color them and cut them out to build a wall of friendship and add to it as new friendships are made.

One of my favorite activities to do is with a lunch bag, make it your “Friendship Frog Bag”, either write on the front or use a template from our book and put it on the front of the bag. Just be sure the children know where this bag is located and what it us used for. Have a class list next to it so the children can see the proper spelling of their class mates names and have just scrap paper or use the pages from the Friendship Frog Resource Book and a crayon or pen to write on. Next, during the day, week or month, depending on how long you’re working on the topic of friends, allow the children to write the name of their peer who is being a friend to either somebody else, or to them. They will be so in tune to who is being a friend and it brings everyone together in a way that you will appreciate. Keeping visual reminders around is an important reminder as well. Using our Friendship Frog Bulletin Board and Poster books are just one way to keep Friendship Frog alive and well!

In a large mixing bowl, add a heaping spoonful of honesty, a cup of unconditional love, a teaspoon of patience and mix gently. Allow all ingredients to blend together and keep at room temperature! Feel free to add more ingredients as needed, sometimes we need to adjust our recipes in order to make them just right. Enjoy!

Our books are filled with ideas to engage a child, to teach a child and to remind them to have good character. My first book ever published is titled, “Will You Be My Friend, we really are no different” and can be found on Amazon at

What is the old cliché’, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin,

These my friends, are words to live by.

 

Joni Downey,
Creator & Owner