This is the question I posed to my “GOOD DEEDS WEEK” campers this morning as they gathered on my playroom rug. I wrote down their ideas on post-it notes, and they stuck them to our white board. Keaton said “A friend is always nice.” Hannah reminded us that a friend plays with you. A friend says “thank you.” A friend says he’s sorry. A friend listens. A friend takes care of you. A friend hugs, and sometimes kisses. I was proud that my Ellie said “a friend shares”. A friend uses kind words and kind hands. So many great ideas! We are focusing this week on being good friends for each other, on giving thanks for the good friends that we have, and on helping our neighbors and friends in the community.
We started a paper “friendship chain” that we scribbled names and messages on – friends we are thankful for, kind things friends have done for us, ways friends have helped us. We will be adding to it throughout the week. It was wonderful to have several children writing down their siblings names, asking how to write “Mom” or “Dad”, and even several “Miss Lowry’s”! My favorite was Keaton asking me to write to his good friend Libby, “I’m sorry for the mean stuff I did at breakfast. I still love you.” Now that’s true friendship!
I sang “You Are Special” to the children, one of my favorite Mr. Rogers songs that spells out the word, “F-R-I-E-N-D”. See video of Mr. Rogers song. (Click on “songs” and “You Are Special“. )What he says at the end of the video strikes me as a beautiful transition from last week’s camp that focused on letters and reading to this week’s “good deeds” camp:
“It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we DO with what we have. The alphabet is fine, but it’s what we DO with it that matters most. Making words like “friend” and “love”. That’s what really matters.”
“When you help, care, share, and listen, you are being kind. When 2 people help, care, share, and listen to each other, they are friends. when people from different countries help, care, share, and listen to one another, it is called peace. Even something as big and important as peace begins with something small and precious. It might begin…because of you.”