How to Teach Kids the Qualities of a Good Friend


Teaching the qualities of a good friend is a very useful activity to boost social cohesion among a group of youngsters. For example, if you are a classroom teacher, leading your students through friendship activities will help integrate newcomers into your class. Furthermore, friendship-related activities are a feature of education curricula around the country. By teaching youngsters the qualities of a good friend, you are equipping them to forge lasting friendships in the years ahead.


  • Introduce the concept of good and bad friends to your assembled youngsters. Ask them to state some characteristics of both good and bad friends.

  • Print out copies of the "Qualities of a Good Friend" checklist from the Teaching Ideas website and hand them out to the youngsters.

  • Read aloud the items in the list one-by-one, starting with "Be honest." Ask the children to put a check mark in the "true" or "false" box to indicate whether or not honesty is one of the qualities of a good friend. Continue through the list until the kids have filled in a check mark next to each of the qualities.

  • Go through the listed qualities one-by-one. First ask children to raise their hands if they answered "true." Ask one of the youngsters that raised his hand why he responded in the way he did. Complete the entire list, elaborating on why particular answers are true or false.

SIng a Song

  • Get children up out of their seats to sing a song or two about friendship.

  • Print out copies of the lyrics for a friendship-related song from the Can Teach website and distribute them to your students. Or write the song lyrics in large text on a whiteboard, blackboard or other display in the classroom.

  • Provide accompaniment for the song through a music system or by playing an instrument, such as a recorder. Or provide simple percussion using a triangle or tambourine. Help the children learn the song by first singing it yourself and acquainting them with both the melody and the lyrics. Then get the youngsters to join in. If you find they are unable to follow the whole song, divide them into smaller groups and have each group sing one verse from the song. Everyone should join in on the chorus, however.

  • Ask the children to sit down. Talk through the lyrics of the song, explaining why the qualities discussed in the song are important.

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