To honor Friendship, We are so happy to have Twinkl as our guest blogger today! ENJOY!
For International Day of Friendship, let’s explore together how good friends and good stories can teach us all how to be better and kinder to each other.
For all ages, but especially for children, reading (and watching) can teach so much about friendship, love, how to understand one another, and how to embrace our differences with empathy. In honor of International Day of Friendship, we’ve listed some of our favorite on-screen and on-page friendships that show us all how to love one another a bit better.
Charlotte’s Web (1952): E. B. White’s legendary children’s book tells the story of Charlotte the barn spider and Wilbur the pig. The tale White spins is one of compassion, sacrifice, and the invaluable gift of friendship.
Sesame Street (1969-): There could be no post about friendship without including these classic characters. From Bert and Ernie to Elmo and the viewers themselves, Sesame Street friendships have taught generations how to be kind.
The Fox and the Hound (1981): Like many other stories on this list, The Fox and the Hound is a tale of friendship that defies odds and differences. However, this film also explores themes of nature versus nurture, the law of the jungle, and social structures, providing an enriching and complex understanding of what true friendship entails.
Up (2009): Some of the most unlikely friendships impart new wisdom on us. The intergenerational companionship in Up does just that, with the young protagonist Russell teaching widower Carl how to open up his heart again through their adventures.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988): In the wake of their mother’s illness, two young girls find companionship in the friendly forest spirits of their new home. Miyazaki’s magnum opus emphasizes the importance of positivity, creativity, and friendship during times of grief and loss.
The Color of Friendship (2000): This film follows two young girls who grew up experiencing very different sides of South African apartheid but are forced to overlook those upbringings when they have to live together. The Color of Friendship teaches valuable lessons about friendship and understanding that transcend racial and political differences.
The Giving Tree (1964): Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree shares two sides of friendship: a tender and resilient bond lacking emotional boundaries and communication. For friendships to thrive, there must be balanced give and take, as fabled in this book.
Do You Want To Be My Friend? (1971): This picture book by beloved children’s author and illustrator Eric Carl is about learning how to make friends in all kinds of places. Carl himself noted that Do You Want to Be My Friend? was his favorite among his books.
The Rainbow Fish (1992): Swiss author and illustrator Marcus Pfister teaches us through The Rainbow Fish that being a good friend often means being selfless and sharing what you have with the people you care about.
Frog and Toad (1970–1979): This story of simple and steadfast companionship is one of the highest regarded children’s picture books of all time. Through their quotidian daily actions, the friendship between Frog and Toad shows that good companionship really is at the heart of everything we do.
The Other Side (2001): Jacqueline Woodson writes of friendship during segregation. Two young girls unknowingly defy the racist ideology of time by playing together across the physical and metaphorical fence that separates them.
I hope you find inspiration in these books and movies to teach friendship at home or in the classroom! Let this International Day of Friendship empower us to be kind, understanding, and compassionate with one another.
For even more resources on how to talk about friendship, kindness and emotional intelligence with your children…
- Anita of the Positive Parenting Project provides many different places to turn to for some extra help with making friends, communicating, and having tough conversations, including a blog, webinars, courses, and newsletters.
- Lynne of AwesomismMom encourages autism awareness, acceptance and activism through her amazing blog, podcast and videos. She is currently creating a virtual academy focused on building life and social skills for autistic individuals and their families. Lynne and her son Peyton do awesome, empowering work and provide a safe digital space to learn and build a community.