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International Friendship Day Activities & Freebie Your Students Will Love

Image Of Elementary Students Arm In Arm With The Caption Friendship Day Activities Your Students Will Love. Includes A Quick And Easy Freebie.

International Friendship Day falls on July 30. It's a chance to highlight the importance of supportive friendships through teamwork, cooperation, and empathy. It's a must for teachers to mark on their calendar especially if they need to work on behavior management.

Friendship Day is a great way to highlight the positive feelings that are enjoyed by everyone when students speak and act with kindness. It's a day to foster new connections and strengthen relationships. 

Why Use Friendship Day Activities in School?

Engaging International Friendship Day activities for kids help to reinforce good behavior and teach important social skills. Students learn to engage with their classmates through lessons that build positive character traits. These essential life skills help kids form and maintain positive social connections throughout their lives.

  • Develop Social Skills: Encourages the development of vital social skills like communication, cooperation, and empathy.
  • Foster Inclusivity: Create an inclusive environment by promoting a sense of belonging and acceptance among students.
  • Build Community: Helps to strengthen interpersonal connections among students to create a supportive classroom community.
  • Enhance Emotional and Social Development: Helps to improve social awareness, empathy and overall student wellbeing.
  • Increase Engagement: Provides a fun and engaging way for students to learn and reinforce important educational concepts.
  • Enbrace Holistic Growth: Support a holistic approach to education by prioritizing not only academic success but also social and emotional skills.

What are Some Fun Friendship Activities?

I know finding fun Friendship Day activities can be time consuming, so I have some suggestions to help you have a fun day filled with laughter, kindness, and beautiful connections.


1. Start With a Discussion

Start by introducing the concept of International Friendship Day during your morning meeting. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage students in a thought-provoking conversation to promote empathy, understanding, and the beauty of human connections.

Here are some questions you could ask:

  • What does friendship mean to you?
  • Why is it important to have supportive friends?
  • How can you show kindness towards your friends?
  • What makes a good friend?
  • How do you make your friends feel special?
  • How can positive friendships make a difference to your classroom dynamic?

Encourage them to share personal stories and brainstorm ways to make new friends or resolve conflicts. It will deepen their understanding of friendship and foster a classroom environment where empathy and inclusion can thrive.

2. Easy Friendship Craft

Plan a fun craft session where students can make friendship bracelets, bookmarks, or personalized cards for their classmates. A paper friendship chain is a fun collaborative activity they'll also love. These little treasures will remind them of the special friendships they have formed.

If you want a quick ready-made bookmarks activity, grab my free Compliments Bookmarks!

FREE Compliments Bookmarks

3 Free Compliments Bookmarks With 2 Colored And One Outline With Coloring Pencils.

3. Engaging Friendship Stories

I love the book "Enemy Pie" by Derek Munson. The story explores friendship, understanding, and why we shouldn't jump to conclusions or judge people without giving them a chance.

I wrote a post about Enemy Pie a while back if you want an overview of the story. It includes ideas of how to use the book in your classroom.

Enemy Pie By Derek Munson

4. Collaborative Friendship Quilt

Transform one of your classroom walls into a vibrant Friendship Quilt. Create a template with a square on it that students will cut out and make into a quilt piece. Ask them to write a positive quote about friendship, friendly behavior they’ve seen in the classroom, or ideas on how to be a good friend. They can create a patchwork border around the wording and color it in.

The magic happens when they piece it all together into a colorful bulletin board. Kids are inspired to show kindness and consideration as they stand and read each of the pieces. You could read one each day as a class and challenge them to apply its wisdom that day.

Here an example:

A Friendship Quilt Bulletin Board With Paper Squares With Kindness Quotes For Elementary Students.

5. Getting to Know You Headbands

If you’re starting a new year, this is a great activity to help students get to know one another.

You’ll need strips of paper long enough to make a headband (you might need to stick two strips together). Ask students to section it off and write or draw something they like in each square.

For example:

  • I like ice cream.
  • I like to ride my bike.
  • I like to play basketball.
  • My favorite color is green.
  • I like cats.

When they’re complete, tape the two ends together and get kids to pop them on their heads.

Set a timer for one or two minutes. Kids can wander around the room to look for someone who has similar things written or drawn on their headband. They can have a quick conversation with the person they found about some of the things they have in common. Kind of like speed dating.

You can use this activity as a brain break several times a day. Kids get excited to slip on their headband and see if they can find a new friend.

Grab this ready-made resource if you’d rather spend your prep time on other things.

Resources For A Getting To Know You Headband. A Friendship Activity For Elementary Students.

6. Whole School Kindness Tree

A Kindness Tree is a fun classroom project, but you can invite the whole year level or entire school to participate as well. It’s a gorgeous way to spread an awareness of the kind and respectful behavior you want in your grade or school.

Using the resource below, students write about kindness they WITNESS or RECEIVE rather than what they give on a leaf. This way they’re on the lookout to see what is happening in their school. It creates an awareness of what others are doing and encourages them to show kindness so that they can help to make the tree come to life as they add a leaf for each good deed.

Teachers, parents, and even the principal are invited to participate to reinforce that kindness is embraced by people in all walks of life and that everyone benefits from showing respect. 

I have a post dedicated to kindness trees I have discovered in schools around the world. It's a wonderful resource to inspire your tree or you can grab this kit that has everything you need included. Another great one to add to your Friendship Day activities.

Kindness Tree Bulletin Board Kit For Primary And Elementary School Hallways By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities
Printable Resource To Make A Kindness Tree Bulletin Board For Primary And Elementary School Hallways For Students, Teachers, And Parents To Report Acts Of Kindness By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities.

7. Friendship Fortune Teller

Yep, the good old paper fortune teller or cootie catcher is a great way to help students form connections. I love that this craft activity ticks so many boxes as students improve friendships but also enhance fine motor skills while they follow the instructions you give for folding their paper into this fun game.

For younger students I recommend supplying a template with a square and folding lines, but older students can use a plain piece of paper.

You might like to brainstorm some questions students can write on their fortune tellers. It’s best for each teller to have at least a few different questions so there are more than 8 discussion topics as students sit together to play. You’ll need to demonstrate how to fold the paper so older students can see where they need to write their friendship questions.   

If you want to save time making templates, you will love my popular editable resource with blank and prefilled fortune tellers

Printables For An Editable Getting To Know You Fortune Teller. A Friendship Activity For Elementary Students.

8. Get to Know Me Booklet

Another fun way to help students connect is by creating a booklet where they document likes, dislikes and personality traits. They can share their booklets with classmates they'd like to get to know better or teachers can put them in a bag for a lucky dip. Students pull out a random booklet to learn more about one of their classmates. 

If you'd like an easy, ready to use resource, take a look at the Getting to Know Me Booklet as a fun addition to your Friendship Day activities.

Students practice multiple skills like reading, writing, cutting, coloring, and following directions while making their booklet. 

As others read their book, they can record answers to specific questions on their worksheet to discover people with whom they have things in common.

The teacher sets a time for students to pair up to talk and ask each other questions to see if they can make a connection.

Resources For Elementary Students To Make A Booklet That Helps Their Classmates Get To Know Them.

9. Friendship Board Game

This unique friendship board game is perfect for students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades who may be struggling to connect or are experiencing conflicts in their friendship circle. 

The game includes getting to know you question cards and team-building challenges that are perfect icebreakers as students come back to school after the break.

Unlike other board games where students work against one another to win, the aim of this game is to work together in teams to “win” friendship.

With only one game counter, students take turns rolling the dice, moving, and reading a card, or throwing the challenge cube to work together as a team. Everyone participates by answering the question or taking part in the activity no matter who's turn it is.

At the end of the game, teams work together to create a unique friendship quilt to remind the class of the way a good friend behaves.

There is also a bonus set of conflict cards for older students with relationship problems.

A Unique Friendship Board Game For Elementary Students In 4Th, 5Th And 6Th Grades.

International Day of Friendship is all about celebrating the amazing bonds we share. Feel free to mix and match these ideas or come up with your own unique Friendship Day Activities to make the day truly special for your students.

If you have any questions or need further inspiration, please reach out. Let's make this day a memorable celebration of friendship and love!

DISCLAIMER: This post may include affiliate links. A small percentage of each sale from these links helps me provide tips and freebies for parents and teachers.

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