Friendship Bracelets and the Friendship Dance

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to teach our children how to engage and make friends.

However, for some children, making friends may not come naturally . They may feel anxiety or seem indifferent about being around their peers. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day by encouraging your child to make gifts such as “friendship bracelets” and giving it to one of their friends. (Mommies can’t count as a friend this time!)

Friendship Bracelets and the Friendship Dance

By coaching our children to practice positive social skills, and how to engage with peers, they are more likely to:

Have higher self-esteem

Become more resilient to difficult situations

Feel part of a group

Practice taking on different group roles (i.e., leader, follower)

Learn empathy and listening skills

Enhance their speech and vocabulary

Learn how to take turns and share

Practice being patience with others

Learn how to build relationships with peers and teachers

Friendship Bracelets and the Friendship Dance

Back to the bracelets… not only are they super easy to make but they also double as a musical instrument for the Valentine’s Song at the end of this post!

Friendship Bracelets and the Friendship Dance

I used clear stretchy string, heart beads, and white bells to make these bracelets…but you can use whatever fun charms you can find.

Friendship Bracelets and the Friendship Dance

String them on the string….and there you go…easy as pie.

Friendship Bracelets and the Friendship Dance

Many children may need additional help on who to give to and how to go about giving their bracelet to a friend. As a “coach”, remember to PRACTICE, PRAISE, AND PROMPT!

 PRACTICE! Coach your child to substitute an appropriate response for an inappropriate one. Create situations where the child can practice skills such as saying “Hello,” or engaging in conversation with a friend.

PRAISE! Give words of encouragement to your child when you catch them being “friendly” towards someone or have used a great social skill. Words of encouragement can be:  “ I can tell you are working really hard towards being a friend to that person…” or “I loved the way you were looking at them in the face when talking to them!”

PROMPT!  Gently remind your child when they have forgotten a skill such as a nonverbal cue of zipping the lips when a child is about to interrupt or saying, “Remember to use your inside voice” when speaking too loudly.  Use prompts in a calm gentle voice. Don’t correct their behavior in frustration.

 Now,  are you ready to get your dance on??? Grab your little Valentines and sing and dance along:

 For more info on the signs that your child may need some “friendship coaching” visit me on my parenting blog Weeds to Wishes here.

 Happy Valentines!

Friendship Bracelets and the Friendship Dance

xo

9 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. February 7th, 2012 at 7:30 am
    alison@howdoesshe.com says:
    Fantastic Idea! I've got a little one who is super shy. This is so great and I am excited to share the 'song' with my kiddos too!
    Thanks Christi!
  2. February 7th, 2012 at 9:36 am
    Shelley says:
    I'm IN LOVE with your dance songs. One fun activity coming right up,... (right after naps are over) ;)
  3. February 7th, 2012 at 9:42 am
    Nesleirbag says:
    Such good advice for helping your little ones become aware of others in a positive way. None of us want good/nice manners to become lost!
  4. February 7th, 2012 at 3:10 pm
    Mary says:
    Cute idea! I am going to try this project with my students. It's sure to be a hit!!! Thank you for sharing. :)
  5. February 9th, 2012 at 12:29 am
    Leon @ Macrame Bracelets says:
    Wow these are definitely trates I would love to help my kids obtain. These are wonderful ideas on how to go about contributing to our 3 little boys chance at a wonder ful life thanks!
  6. February 14th, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    Stephanie says:
    I do volunteer art projects with kids and will definitley be brining this project idea to the class! Can you tell me where you got the tiny white bells?
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