Let’s Be Friends

Having good friends is a wonderful thing. But it’s not always easy to meet new people, is it? And once you make a friend, you have to learn how to BE a good friend to that person. That’s not always easy either.
Being a friend is about what you can give, not just about what you can get from others. Here are some ideas for making and keeping good friends.

Would You Rather . . .

Playing games is a great way to get to know people. But some games, like Truth or Dare, can be embarrassing. Here’s another idea: play Would You Rather. All you need is a list of questions like these:

  1. Would you rather spend a year in Antarctica or a year in space?
  2. Would you rather be super strong, or super fast?
  3. Would you rather live 100 years ago or 100 years in the future?

You can make up your own questions, or visit tinyurl.com/ratherquestions for a list of 100 questions.
To play, write the questions on pieces of paper. Put them in a hat or box. Take turns drawing a question and answering it. Don’t forget to say WHY you answered the way you did. You and your friends will learn a lot about each other!

The Best Gift Ever

Want to give a friend the best gift ever? Here’s how!
Have your friend sit or stand in front of a whiteboard or a big piece of paper. Around your friend, use markers to write nice words that describe him or her. Then take a picture of your friend standing in front of the board.
Later, print the photo, put it in a frame, and give it to your friend. It’s the best gift ever! Whenever your friend looks at it, he or she will feel great.

The New Kid

If you’ve ever been the new kid at school, at church, or somewhere else, you know it’s hard. You don’t know anybody. You don’t know if people will like you. You wonder if you’ll ever make new friends.

Is there a new kid at your school or church this year? Spend some time thinking about how you can help him or her feel comfortable and welcome. Not sure how to start? Here are some easy DOs and DON’Ts.

DO smile and introduce yourself. Say “Hi, I’m John. What’s your name?”
DON’T wait for the new kid to talk first. He or she is probably scared stiff!

DO ask friendly questions. Ask about where the new kid is from and how her first day is going.
DON’T worry if the new kid doesn’t talk a lot. When she feels more comfortable, she’ll start to relax.

DO invite the new kid to do things with you and your friends.
DON’T forget to include new kids at recess and lunchtime—those can be lonely times for new people.

DO keep trying to be friendly even if the new kid is shy.
DON’T forget that the next new kid you meet might turn out to be one of your BFFs!

What Would Jesus Do?

The Bible has a lot to say about friends. Jesus said, “No one has greater love than the one who gives their life for their friends.”

Jesus often took time to meet people who needed a friend. In Matthew 25, Jesus even says that when we welcome strangers, we’re really welcoming him. So when you meet a new kid, do what Jesus would do!

Friendship Bucket List

Do you have a list of things you want to do someday? People call that a “bucket list.” You and a friend can make your own bucket list together. All you need is a clean glass jar, some popsicle sticks, and a marker.
Think of things you’d like to do together, like going fishing, building a fort, or visiting an amusement park. Then use the marker to write each thing on a popsicle stick. Put the sticks in the jar. The next time you need something to do, choose a stick from your bucket list!

Friend Words

What makes a good friend? Here are some ideas. Circle these words in the puzzle below. (The words might be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or backwards.) Can you think of any other words that describe a great friend?

A  S  I  K  G  D  G  N  I  R  A  C
X  T  C  I  U  Y  G  N  G  W  B  E
V  T  T  E  L  O  Y  A  L  R  Z  T
S  V  H  O  H  E  L  P  F  U  L  H
U  P  L  F  K  I  N  D  B  A  Z  F
O  G  N  I  T  P  E  C  C  A  U  B
R  V  R  C  L  K  X  W  A  N  F  J
E  W  I  C  D  Z  O  N  O  E  O  S
N  Y  D  E  P  E  N  D  A  B  L  E
E  D  M  I  P  O  L  J  N  T  D  Q
G  O  H  O  N  E  S  T  M  D  F  G
F  O  R  G  I  V  I  N  G  M  B  I

Accepting
Caring
Dependable
Forgiving
Fun
Generous
Helpful
Honest
Kind

Loyal

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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