Thursday, February 5, 2009

February is International Friendship Month

February is International Friendship Month! This is a great opportunity to enforce feelings of happiness and kindness towards others. Children are naturally kind hearted, so this is a great opportunity to mold them into friendly adults.

Try some of these activities in honor of International Friendship Month:

Friendship Wreath

colored paper

Give children small pieces of brightly colored construction paper to trace one hand on. Cut them out. Once cut out trade the hands with your friends. Once you have one of everyone's hand, glue them in a circle shape onto a circle of cardboard. I used a paper plate rim. Once done, hang up, or give to the children to take home to remember their friends by.

Paint, construction paper, scissors and glue is all you'll need to make a Friendship Flag or put together these cute Friendship Pins with safety pins and colorful beads.

February seems to be the month of love! Aside from Valentine's Day and Love Your Pet Day (watch for our posts on those coming soon!), February is also home to Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 17th. Our message boards have some wonderful ideas for themes based on feelings. Visit the link to see all the ideas, here are just a few of them:

Feeling Fingerprints

Stamp/Ink Pad
Small Index Cards (cut in half)
Black Pen

Use fingers and print one or more fingerprints on each card. Use a pen to draw different "feeling faces" on each card. Teachers might help children label drawing if desired. Post finger print feeling cards around the classroom.

Acting it Out

Paper bags

Sometimes children feel uncomfortable exploring their own feeling, but are able to act out their feeling when they are allowed to pretend to be someone, or something else. Pass out masks or have children design their own. Encourage them to draw faces that represent the way their puppet or mask might be feeling. During a large group meeting time have the children act out a story. You might choose to scaffold the action by beginning with a story starter such as: "Once upon a time their was a group of animals that were feeling very very...." After you begin the story starter go around the circle and encourage them to continue it. Children can use their puppets or masks to "act out" their part of the story.

Do you have any ideas to share? We'd love to hear from you!

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