Building Friendships: 10 Activities for Little Ones and their Friends
Happy International Day of Friendship!
Proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly, the International Day of Friendship promotes the idea that friendship can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.
There’s no day like today to make your little one aware of the incredible power of friendship. Here are 10 fun activities to help their friendships thrive and soar - even when school's out!
1) Friendship high fives
Get your little one to mail appreciative 'high fives' to their friends! Simply trace their hand and cut out handprints, then write a friend's name and “High Five for…” on the palm of each hand. Think up 5 reasons why that friend should get a high five and write 1 reason per finger. It could be something like, "Playing in the playground with me" or "Being super fast". Make sure to high five it before dropping it through their letter box! You can find full instructions with pictures here.
2) Send an animal face letter
If your kids are slightly older, you may want to encourage them to start writing letters to their friends. It's the perfect opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas, and it may just mean that they get some mail of their own (exciting!). Our sweet My Stationery Set is just perfect for an introduction to letter writing, and, thanks to the various animal face designs, each letter can be tailored to suit different friends. Your kids will soon have tons of pen pals!
3) Draw each other - life sized!
Ask your little one and a good friend to lie down in turn on two separate giant sheets of paper, and draw around them with a felt tip pen. Then give each one the other's silouhette to decorate. Make sure they're being attentive to their friend and what clothes, colors and accessories their friend would like to be decorated with! This creative project is great for practicing observational and listening skills (discover more alternative drawing activities here!)
4) Make a friendship bag
Get your little one to pick a friend, then think of some objects that remind them of all the special moments they've shared. Perhaps it's a seashell from that time they went to the beach together, or a fallen leaf that reminds your little one of the time you all climbed a big tree together. Pop all the objects into a cloth bag and deliver it to the lucky friend's door. You can take it a step further and make the bag yourself with our DIY Woodland Fox Felt Bag craft activity!
5) Tell a 'Best Friends Day' story
This a such a valuable way of teaching your little one that two imaginations are better than one! Encourage your little one and their best friend to act out the very best day they could ever spend together. Maybe one dreams of going to ballet school, and the other wants to conquer lions and tigers in the jungle?! Combine their ideas for a truly unforgettable day. Check out our Best Friends Magnetic Dress Up Play Set for fun dress up prompts to get them started!
6) Play in the trees
Sometimes simply changing the environment in which little ones play can bring a great sense of novelty to their friendships. So why not build a treehouse in the backyard for your little one and their friends to play in? It may take a little time, but it'll be so worth it - and it's the perfect environment for little monkeys to bond and discover new experiences together! If you're not sure where to start, you can follow one of the very handy step-by-step tutorials online, like this one. Happy (friendship) building!
7) Make a special dessert together!
Pick a friend to invite over to make a special dessert to enjoy together. Perhaps it's a friend who needs a little cheering up, or simply somebody who's been kind to your little one. Here are 33 fun and easy dessert recipes for kids to chose from! And why not play a round of our Ice Cream Social Game to make the delicious play date last that bit longer?
8) Send an Unbirthday gift
You don't have to wait for somebody's birthday to show them how much you care! An Alice in Wonderland creation, an Unbirthday is an event that is typically celebrated on the 364 days that aren't your birthday. So why not send a friend a sweet gift to put a smile on their face, like one of our super fun Sticker Activity Sets? (and don't forget to sing along to the Unbirthday Song, while you're at it!)
9) Show kindness to the community
Encourage your little one to demonstrate friendship and kindness to a member of the community! Donate clothes to a charity shop and leave a kind note in the pocket, or slip a friendly message into a library book they've enjoyed. They'll discover just how wonderful it can feel to be part of a community, and they'll just love that warm feeling of making somebody else smile.
10) Be a friend to the planet
Show your little one and their friends that they can be a friend to the planet, too! You can do this by teaching them how to make and plant their very own seed bombs (balls of wildflower seeds that provide vital resources to support insects in urban or built-up areas). Simply ask your little one and a friend to identify a patch in your area that needs a little more greenery, throw a seed bomb, and make some insects very happy! Find out how to make seed bombs and be a good friend to the planet here.
Check out our bestsellers for even more sweet gift ideas for little ones and their friends! Want to read more posts like this? Check out our blog post on fun ways to teach kids about the environment next.