Help Your Kids Make New Friends This Year

Want to help your kid make some new friends this year? Here’s a pretty cool thing that I did for my daughter over the last Christmas break. It’s something you could plan to do on weekends, weekdays after school or on the next school break.

This is Eden.

During the last school year we had her in a homeschool co-op with lots of new girls. Eden’s pretty outgoing, but it can be hard to get to know other kids really well with all the distractions of the classroom (other kids, activities, lessons), so before Christmas break last year, I asked Eden to give me a list of the girls in her class that she wanted to get to know better. I contacted her teachers and got emails for the moms, and we set up one-on-one playdates throughout the Christmas break.

I’ve found that kids seem to connect best when their hands are busy, so we picked a handful of fun things to do with each girl during their playdate. We baked cookies, did craft projects and played some fun games. And I took lots of pictures.

helping kids make friends

I made a little trip to Michael’s craft supply store and picked up some cheap white photo frames and a small scrapbook. After each play date, we printed the pictures, and Eden picked her favorite pic of herself with her new friend. She decorated one of the white frames and slipped the picture in it, and when she got back to school, she gave each girl the framed picture to remind them of their fun day together.

When all of her playdates were over, she made a two-page spread for each girl in the scrapbook I gave her. It was a reminder of her fun break, and helped her establish some good memories with her new buddies.

Since then, she has been to a few sleepovers with these girls, which has further solidified their friend status. Not only did the experience help her to feel more socially comfortable at the co-op, but it gave her confidence that she can make new friends anywhere she goes.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.