making friends

Pink Shirt Day Reminds Us How To Be Friends

What is Pink Shirt Day? Pink Shirt Day reminds us how to be friends and we celebrate it by wearing pink shirts. It started by a simple act of kindness and compassion with an anti-bullying message.

pink shirt day friends

This day was born ten years ago. A high school student noticed another student being bullied after he wore a pink shirt to school. Because he had been bullied too he was bothered by the situation. He and a friend bought dozens and dozens of pink shirts and passed them out to others to all wear at school. The message spread and more people joined in. Now, it is spreading around the world and including people of all ages.

Earlier this month, I saw an article headline that concerns preschool children, “Nurseries urged to provide a ‘safe space’ for boys to wear pink and girls to be builders.” It seems no matter how hard we try and be neutral, somehow kids pick up that some toys and clothes are for girls, that is pink and dolls, and some are for boys, like blue and action figures. As young as kids are in preschool programs, they encounter what the article calls ‘gender-police.’ Fortunately, “…children are very understanding and accepting, they simply need to have the situation explained to them,” that all kids can play with all toys and not everyone will like the same things. It’s okay for some girls to play with building blocks and some boys to play with dolls. It’s okay for boys and girls to both wear pink and blue.

pink shirt day acts of kindness

Pink Shirt Day reminds us how to be friends. It not only promotes understanding, it also encourages us to support each other. We need to be more accepting and offer each other kindness. Even a small act of kindness can mean a huge difference to another person. It can grow and create amazing connections. In the spirit of Pink Shirt Day, no matter where you live, can you encourage your child to do something kind for someone else?

 

Kids Need Elderly Friends and Intergenerational Relationships

Kids need elderly friends and intergenerational relationships. Presidents Day has inspired this post; they are not elderly but older than young parents.

elderly friends intergenerational relationships

More and more, we are seeing the importance of social skills and the impact they have on learning and life. With young kids, we think of helping them make friends with children their own age. Kids also need friends of other ages, younger than they are and especially older.

Children with grandparents have contact with older adults right in their family. That is, if the grandparents don’t live too far away. Sometimes, there are aunts and uncles of the parents included in the family circle too. For many children, though, this intergenerational contact is limited.

Why are intergenerational relationships so beneficial? The Legacy Project has a super article called “Benefits of Intergenerational Connections.” This is a brief summary of Susan Bosak’s key points:

Parents are very busy doing in order to support the family. Older adults, like kids, have a different pace to life and more focused on being. They give a sense of continuity and perspective, of the circle of life, helping kids develop their skills and self-esteem. The tasks kids can do that older adults can’t serve to give kids a feeling of being truly needed.

The impact of these relationships shows up in some astonishing research, “One study showed that when a child is mentored by an adult, they are: 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs; 27% less likely to begin using alcohol; 52% less likely to skip school.” Although these statistics don’t apply to young kids now, they are part of children’s future. When it comes to the future, “Knowledge, skills, and attitudes children pick up from elders tend to stick with them through life more than those picked up from other sources.” And children have the whole of their lives before them.

kids and presidents day

For these and many other reasons, kids need elderly friends and intergenerational relationships. For that matter, we need them too. Presidents Day highlights the achievements and contributions of older adults for the ‘family’ of a country. No matter what country is home for you and your family, can your child’s day include some contact and play time with an older friend?

February Friendship #3: Kids Can Be Friends with Nature

February is friendship month and kids can be friends with nature. When we think about it, a connection to nature supports us for an entire life-time.

kids can be friends with nature

This weekend, in our area, we got to experience both positive and negative aspects to nature. Snow started early Friday and hasn’t really quit now for 4 days. The kids went sledding down a big hill at the school, made snow angels in the front yard, rolled down a small slope in the backyard, and made several snowmen. They also ran around the paths of a Fox and Geese wheel and with their dad’s help built a snow fort. For a snowball target, they used a hula hoop set upright and tried to throw them thru the circle. Sometimes they missed and caught each other. Thankfully, the snow clothes dried on the registers overnight so they will be ready for more snow play today.

The negative aspects were having to shovel the driveways and sidewalks several times and some slips and falls. Fingers and toes got pretty cold but a hot bath and some hot chocolate helped with that.

Your area may not have the snow for nature play, (you can be glad if you don’t) but you will have something else. Just being outside is a start. Check out the sky above and ground below. Clouds are never the same as the day before. What’s the temperature? Is there any breeze? A quick glance near our feet may reveal something alive and growing, either plants or small creatures. There could be a patch of sun on the sidewalk or a puddle on the path. playing in puddles

This advice is from the side GreenHeart Education: Helping children to make friends with Nature is something we must do when they are young, in order to give them a lasting sense of comfort in and connection to the natural world, and a deep understanding of their place within it. (Make Friends with Nature)There are some great ideas for ways kids can be friends with nature, including making playdates for nature just as we make them with other friends. How can your child play with nature today?

Olympics #24: Friendliness for Nations & Friendship Skills for Kids

The Olympic Games champion sports and also friendly understanding among nations. Today’s Olympic-inspired post is friendship skills for kids. The Olympic tradition is excellence in sports. The Games also promote friendly rivalry as a tool for international peace and harmony. The Olympic experience for athletes includes meeting people from other nations around the world. They … Continue reading Olympics #24: Friendliness for Nations & Friendship Skills for Kids

The Value of Friends for Kids – More Than Three Amigos

Today’s play, the value of friends for kids, is inspired by a meeting. When leaders call their meeting The Three Amigos or Friends, they send a loud message, that of the significance of friendship. Together, Canada, Mexico, and the United States have over 487 million people. The issue of closer understanding and connection is the … Continue reading The Value of Friends for Kids – More Than Three Amigos

Bubble Activities #18: Bubbles Help Kids Make Friends

When camping, make sure to take for kids sidewalk chalk and bubble solution. This weekend, we experienced how chalk and bubbles help kids make friends. For most families, there isn’t much room to take toys along when going camping. Hopefully, there won’t be much time to use them anyway. After all, the idea is to … Continue reading Bubble Activities #18: Bubbles Help Kids Make Friends

Off to School Toolbox: Helping Children Make Friends

For children, life at daycare, preschool, or kindergarten, is strongly influenced by friends so helping children make friends is highly beneficial. Like so many other qualities we think are part of personality, or that kids will do naturally, making friends is a number of different skills that kids can develop. What makes popular kids popular? … Continue reading Off to School Toolbox: Helping Children Make Friends

What Makes Childhood Magical? Part 19: Friends

The Magic of Friends During the preschool years children’s brains grow faster than at any other time in their lives, but we sometimes forget that their hearts, that is emotions and feelings, are also developing. We need to give kids the opportunities for building their social and emotional skills as well as their muscles and … Continue reading What Makes Childhood Magical? Part 19: Friends

Kindergarten Readiness – F=Fine Motor Skills

How the muscles move and work together are often called motor skills. These are divided into small and large muscle coordination but are usually called fine or gross.  Gross or large muscle skills develop earlier than fine motor ones but f comes before g so the order will be switched. Some examples of fine motor skills … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – F=Fine Motor Skills