January 29, 2018

Friendship Challenge

Today, I want to talk about friendship. It seems like my little ones do not have the skills or the confidence levels needed to try and make friends. It breaks my heart to see them sitting alone at lunch, not engaging with other students. Or when I see them hanging out off to the side at recess, hoping someone will just come talk to them. I can tell they want to ask to join the games and be part of the fun with other kids, but they really do not know how. The idea of approaching a group of kids can be really overwhelming.

So I decided to make the 30 day friendship challenge.
This challenge allows kids to step out of their comfort zone and complete daily activities designed to help build confidence and the skills needed for lasting friendships. This challenge breaks the idea of making a friend down into manageable pieces allowing kids to complete one task a day.
All of the tasks and activities are designed to improve their ability to make friends and to help them build their confidence. Having to practice the skills 30 different times in 30 different ways really helps kids reinforce the concepts and helps them to be better equipped to try and make friends.  

The rules of the challenge are simple: 

Each morning they randomly pick one friendship challenge task puzzle piece and read the written challenge. By the end of the day, complete the friendship challenge skill that is written on that puzzle piece such as smiling at someone new, doing something nice for someone, sitting next to someone they’ve never talked to before, etc. 

   All of the challenge tasks are designed to help them step out of their comfort zone and help them become more confident as they build the skills needed to interact with new people.
   After each completed challenge, they put the piece off to the side. As they complete more and more challenges they can try to put the puzzle pieces together. 
Once the puzzle is complete, flip it over to reveal the mystery message written on the back!

It is that simple! Kids will have a blast learning how to make friends and be a better friend during their friendship challenge quest. 

This challenge is ideal for elementary aged students, I recommend first-fourth grade. Parents can use this with children who need a bit of help making friends, teachers who want to do the challenge as a whole class activity (perfect for morning meetings) and school counselors in small groups or with individual students (ideal for morning check ins). Discuss each challenge with your kids to help get the conversation about how easy or difficult each challenge was for them. Kids will love your feedback and will soak up your words of encouragement!

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