keeping friends

In this making and keeping friends activity, students will sort friendship traits based on whether they describe a good or a bad friend.

It can be hard to make and keep good, quality pals, whether you’re 8, 28, or 58.

I’m lucky to still be close to my best friend from kindergarten. But other than her, I’m made and parted with many people in the different seasons of my life. Some good ones amicably drifted off after high school, college, or another move, while other friendships were purposely severed over our differing values.

Elementary or middle school kids who are just learning this concept may struggle to recognize when they’ve fallen in with a bad crowd. Some students may be worried about not being in the “cool” group, or may be nervous of the unknown of seeking out a new group.

It’s also easy to think that usually having fun with someone means they’re a good friend.

But does this friend also break promises or lie when it’s easier, or constantly insist on their own way?

Is this friend a sore loser, or often brag about winning?

Being a good friend doesn’t just mean having a good time. Good friends keep promises, tell the truth, respect differences, and cooperate, among other traits.

Good friends can make you feel happy and loved, while bad friends may disappoint you and make you sad. 

In this activity, students will cut out the statement strips and mix them up on their desk. Students  will then read each statement strip. If they think the statement describes a good friend, they should glue it into the “GOOD” box. If they think that it describes a bad friend, they should glue the statement into the “BAD” box.

Download the Making and Keeping Friends Activity

Make this activity more active for kinesthetic learners! 

Set up two buckets or trash cans to act as basketball goals, one labeled GOOD FRIEND and one labeled BAD FRIEND. In this version of the activity, the educator will read statements out loud. Have students take turns deciding whether the statement describes a good friend or bad friend, and then they’ll get to throw a ball into the respective basket. Students should still glue the statement to the correct column on their worksheet to have it for reference.

And in order to have good friends, you need to be a good friend. In addition to looking for other people who have the qualities of a good friend, kids need to recognize and develop those qualities in themselves.

This printable combines two of my favorite things: art, and showing your friends how you care!

Students will draw how they can be a good friend in different situations. (If your kids really aren’t the drawing type, you could have them write some ideas.)

Download the Good Friends Pritable