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Monday, October 4, 2021


Here's a book I wrote in 1997. "Wonderful Me!" "Friends, Friends, Friends!" "Feelings and Emotions," "Same and Different," "Changes"...same song, different verse.

Those topics have always been important to the WHOLE child. However, after the CRAZY COVID YEAR, we know that we have got to do overdoses of SEL! I'm excited to share some of my partner activities with you over the next few days. When children work with a friend they can develop social skills, cooperation, problem solving, independence, oral language, and creativity. Peer teaching can also be a powerful teaching strategy.

To avoid common behavior problems that can occur when children pick their own partner, here are some strategies to involve all your students and encourage them to make new friends.

Buddy Sticks
Put like stickers on the bottoms of two craft sticks. You will need as many sticks as there are children in your classroom. Place sticks in a plastic cup with stickers facing down. Children choose a stick and then find the person whose stick matches theirs. That is their partner.

Note! You can also use matching letters, shapes, numbers, etc. on the sticks.

*When there is an odd number of students, let the last child chose whichever group she would like to be a part of.

Old Maid

Use Old Maid cards to create partners. Include the “Old Maid” if there is an odd number of students. The “Old Maid” gets free choice.


Puzzle Pairs 

Take valentines, seasonal cards, or playing cards and cut them in half in puzzle shapes. Children put puzzles together to find their partner.

Go Togethers

Glue pictures of things that go together like socks and shoes or dogs and bones on index cards. (You can find these on the internet.) Children match pictures to find their partner.

Elbow Buddies 

Children extend elbows and the first person their elbow touches is their partner.

Partner Poem 

Children face their partner, look them in the eyes and chant:
Hand to hand (shake hands)
And feet to feet (touch shoes)
I’m glad that you
Are partners with me!

Study Buddy of the Week

Use on of these ideas every Monday to pair up children. Explain that is their "study buddy" for the week. They can help each other and work with each other all week.


I found this idea when I was doing research for this blog.  This would be something you could do in lieu of a Halloween party - or you could make any Friday Fabulous with this activity.  Each child is invited to sing, dance, tell a joke, make something, share a hobby, etc. Emphasize that there are many ways to be wonderful!!