Do you know how every kid has some special talent -- a skill that just makes you go "Wow! Where did they learn that?!"
It's that thing about your child that impresses you, makes you proud and causes you to stop and think how it will help them in life.
For my daughter, her amazing talent is meeting new people.
She's always the first one to volunteer to sit next to the new student at school. And every year she goes to a summer camp, she'll come home on the first day and tell us about her new friend. Granted, sometimes she doesn't know this 'new friend's' name ;) but she's always knows something about them and is excited to see them the next day.
When we saw the trailer for the NEW Peanuts movie that's out in theaters, I was reminded that meeting new people doesn't come naturally for everyone. As Charlie Brown finds out (and some of us have experienced), meeting people can be a little awkward whether you're the new person at school or the one who wants to welcome a new neighbor.
But my daughter has shared with me that there are some super easy ways to meet new people and help kids to begin those new friendships that could last a lifetime!
Helping Kids to Meet New Friends
If your family has a new neighbor the kids want to meet, don't make the same mistake as Charlie Brown and hide in a bush! Instead, try one of these three openers:
√ Gather with some fun food
√ Learn a little about each other
√ Introduce them to your neighborhood
Fun Food as an Opener
Food is always a great lead in when it comes to entertaining friends, old or new! One way to begin to get to know a new neighbor or schoolmate is to invite them over for a fun snack.
We thought we'd share a festive & kid-friendly recipe for this time of year -- a Turkey-themed Snack Plate for lunch!
I love this lunch idea for a few reasons -- first, it's easy for the kids to help you make this for their new friends; and second, it's colorful and healthy!
Be sure the kids help do some of the prep – it’s a great time to teach them a few life skills such as learning to host when people visit, knife skills (since you’ll be cutting veggies) and measuring ingredients (which is a math skill) as you make the dip.
First up -- we picked up the ingredients for our fun lunch plate during a visit to Sam's Club:
• a big bag of Tyson® Chicken Nuggets (perfect for feeding a group!)
• a variety of colorful veggies -- we chose peppers & carrots
You'll also need a few other items
• for the dip (recipe below): a bag of frozen spinach, plain greek yogurt & parmesean
• one clove of garlic,
• one black olive and
• a few snack chips
Slice the peppers, carrots and other veggies. We cut the peppers in rings and then in half to look more like turkey feathers.
Heat 5 nuggets according to the cooking instructions on the bag. They're fully cooked for easy preparation so the kids can help with this step too. Then place 4 nuggets in a square at the bottom of your plate. Place the fifth nugget on top of the others. Put a dab of greek yogurt on the top nuggets and a small piece of black olive to create an eye.
Next, lay the veggies around the nuggets to look like turkey feathers. Last, we added a few chips for turkey feet.
We also have this super simple tasty dip that kids really like and a bonus – healthy! Plus it's versatile and goes well with fresh veggies, nuggets & chips (and is a welcome change from the traditional ketchup that kids use :)
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
Salt & black pepper to season/taste
Making the dip:
Defrost spinach (but do not cook) in the microwave.
Measure out all other ingredients.
Place all ingredients to a food processor and blend until it’s nice and creamy. Then chill dip for about 15 minutes before eating.
The kids will 'gobble' this up!
In fact, my daughter doesn't like turkey so this is also a fun Thanksgiving-themed option for kids who don't like to whole big 'turkey dinner'.
Enjoy a "Get to Know You" Game
Have you seen the TRAILER FOR THE NEW PEANUTS MOVIE? Be sure to take a peek -- it's really adorable!
We're big fans of Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang -- one of our family traditions are those classic Peanuts movies you can watch for each holiday throughout the year.
Poor Charlie Brown needs a few ideas for how to introduce himself to the new friend who moves in next door.
In fact, a fun trailer like this can be the perfect opening during lunch with a new friend! Watch the trailer together and talk about some of your favorite movies. Kids might also enjoy VISITING THE NEW PEANUTS WEBSITE to create their own Peanuts character.
It's important to have something to talk about when you meet someone new. While you’re having something to eat, play this "get to know you" game with that will help kids (and adults) to strike up some good conversation!
Each person can take turns choosing one of the cards to read aloud and then everyone around the table can answer the question.
PRINT OFF A FREE COPY OF THE QUESTIONS so you can use them with your new friends!
Introduce New Friends to the Neighborhood
After a snack and some "Get to Know You" conversation, why not introduce your new friend to some of your favorite places! New families always love to learn about where the 'locals' hang out and what kids like to do in their new city.
Try a few of these ideas:
• Invite your friend to play at your favorite playground
• Ask them to walk home from school with you and introduce them to other kids from school
• Tell them where all the important places are located -- the library, your favorite ice cream spot, the post office
• And don't forget to mention any fun holiday events that happen in your town or neighborhood!
How do you encourage your kids to kick-start a conversation with a new friend?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson®. The opinions and text are all mine.