World Friendship Day (also known as the International Day Of Friendship) takes place towards the end of July each year. World Friendship Day is a great theme to use for friendship PDMU activities towards the end of the final school term.
In the weeks running up to the summer holidays, school children are even more excitable than usual. Setting up friendship PDMU activities is a great way to allow the school children to let off steam whilst learning how to form positive friendships.
The Importance Of Friendship PDMU Activities
Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PD&MU) encourages children of all ages to become personally, emotionally and socially effective. PDMU activities allow children to develop their values, opinions and attitudes. It also encourages them to lead healthy, safe and fulfilled lives.
Friendship activities will cover a number of the Key Stage 1 PDMU themes, including Relationships, Feelings and Emotions and Self-Awareness.
Friendly Flower Game
Children are put into groups of seven and each child is given a large paper or card flower with six petals on it. The child writes their name in the middle of the flower. The flower is then passed onto another child in the group who must think of a kind word to describe the person i.e. funny, helpful etc., and write it on one of the petals (with help if required).
Each child’s flower is passed around the group until all the petals are filled with kind words. The children then read their kind words out to the group. This teaches children to see positive characteristics in others and encourages them to compliment other people. It also boosts children’s self-esteem and allows them to see themselves if a different light.
It’s also a great idea to decorate the flowers afterwards with outdoor materials such as leaf’s, real flower petals and twigs, before arranging the flowers into a wall display in the classroom. The number of children in a group/number of flower petals can vary depending on how many children are in your class.
A Buddy Bench is a great addition to any playground and works particularly well for Key Stage 1 children. Buddy benches are often used in school playgrounds to tackle loneliness and nurture positive friendships.
Explain that the bench is a safe and special place to sit if you would like someone to play with or someone to talk to. Discuss the importance of making everybody feel welcome and involved and highlight the value of friendships. Explain that if the children see someone sat on the buddy bench, it is kind to invite them to play or sit and talk to them.
Allowing the children to paint and decorate the buddy bench will create a positive memory of the Buddy Bench and will encourage them to feel enthusiastic about the prospect of the Buddy Bench.
Each child is given a marble. The children must then find the classmate who has the same colour marble as their own. When the children are paired up, they have to learn two or three things about their partner i.e. their favourite colour, if they have a pet etc.
Still in pairs, the children should then tell the rest of the class what they have learnt about their partner. This game is great for taking children away from their usual friendship groups and encouraging them to make friends with new people. It also encourages children to recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others.
In pairs or groups of three, the children are given a selection of building blocks, which have different qualities written on them. Firstly, discuss what each word means and ask the children whether they think some qualities are more important than others.
The children are then asked to build a friendship wall with the various building blocks based on which qualities they think make a good friend.
Alternatively, give each child one building block with a blank piece of card attached to it. Each child must then think of a friendship quality and write it on their building block before the whole class come together to build a large friendship wall.
Each child is given a ‘sunflower buddy’. This may be more beneficial if their sunflower buddy isn’t someone they would usually play with.
Discuss the life cycle of sunflowers and outline their importance to the eco-system by discussing bees and pollination. With their sunflower buddies, the children must then plant some sunflower seeds in a Sunflower Planter Set. Then, every day, each child must join their sunflower buddy and tend to their sunflower. The pair should water their sunflower and once it is growing, they can measure the height of their sunflower.
Ensure to take a picture of the two sunflower buddies with their sunflower in full bloom. The children can then colour in their own paper sunflower and place their picture in the centre of the sunflower to make a beautiful classroom display. This activity allows the children to develop and nurture a positive friendship.
If you would like more ideas for outdoor activities, why not contact us here for more information or you can call us on 01282 416 755 to discuss any of our bespoke or ‘off the shelf’ wooden playground equipment for schools and nurseries alike.
We also look at Early Learning, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 when designing and manufacturing our terrific toys. So, if there is something specific you have in mind, simply call us to have a chat and we will be happy to help.