C.S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis was right; friendship truly does add quite a bit to life, so it’s important that children learn early on how to develop and foster strong friendships. There are plenty of games and activities that children can play that illustrate the idea of friendship and trust.
Blindfolded Obstacle Course
This game teaches both trust and listening. Children are paired in groups of two: one plays the guide, the other the blindfolded child. Once groups are established, the groups face off in a race against each other though an obstacle course. The blindfolded child must navigate the course by following the commands of his partner. The guide yells commands like, “Left,” “Right” or “Straight,” along with warning the blind partner about upcoming obstacles.
To make sure both children get equal exposure, make the game a two-way race. Once the first blindfolded child has reached the end of the obstacle course, he switches positions with the guide and then guides his friend back over the course. The first team to complete a two-way journey wins.
The Human Knot
Best played in groups of six to 10, this game involves the cooperation of the entire group. All the members of the game stand in a circle and grab the hand of someone in the circle, but it cannot be the person to their right or left. Once everyone has grabbed hands, they must untangle themselves without letting go of their companion’s hands. The participants must communicate and plan how they are going to break the knot. Some of the players may end facing outward, which is okay, as long as no one lets go.
I’m Your Friend
This game encourages children to learn to recognize their friend’s voices. One child is chosen to be “it.” The child who is “it” sits in front of the rest of the children, her eyes closed. One of the children in the group quietly walks up behind the chosen child and says, “I’m your friend,” and then returns to his original seat. The child who is “it” must then guess who it was. It’s important that the children who are not “it” do not trade places and that they speak in their normal voices, to assure a fair game.