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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 10

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbook Activity 10
Friendship: Circles of Friendship

Purpose of activity: To show that we have different kinds of friends

Life skills: Self-awareness, Creative thinking, Critical thinking


Important points:

If the group of children are familiar with a story, which has a favourite central character, the character’s circle of friends could be used as an example. With younger children, a puppet could be used as the example and the children can help to invent and place the puppets friends on the circle.

If you feel this activity is too sensitive for the group, ask them to make up nicknames or code names for people that they know. Pictures or symbols can be used to represent people.


  • Large pieces of paper with example of a Circle of Friends
  • One large piece of paper for each child
  • At least one marker pen or crayon for each child
  • Puppets if used


  1. Explain that not all friends are best friends, or even very close friends. We have different kinds of friends. Ask children to think about this and give examples of this.
  2. Show the example of a Circle of Friends. Explain that this shows close friends in the circle close to the person in the centre, casual friends in the next circle, and acquaintances in the outside circle.
  3. Ask the children to draw four circles like the example.  Ask them to:
    • Write their own name in the middle (or draw a symbol or write their initials);
    • Write the name(s) of their closest friend(s) in the next circle;
    • Write the names of casual friends (people they enjoy talking to and visiting) in the middle circle;
    • Write the names of acquaintances (people they speak to sometimes but do not consider to be friends) in the outer circle. 

Final discussion:

Select some of the following questions:

  • How did you decide who was in your inside circle? In the middle circle? The outside circle? What makes a closest friend different from other friends?
  • Have your friends moved from one circle to another? When and why?
  • Some people have many best friends while others have one special friend; some have more casual friends and some have more acquaintances. What did you learn about your own friendships from this activity?
  •  How old are your closest friends? Casual friends? Why do people choose friends of a different age? What are the advantages or disadvantages of having older people or adults as friends?
  • What are two things you would talk about with close friends but not with casual friends or acquaintances? Why?
  • What three things could you do to get to know an acquaintance better?
  • In your circle of friends are there things that make it difficult for newcomers to be accepted?  How can you help newcomers in your community feel more welcome and comfortable?

Follow up activity: 

Do two role-plays; in one, a group welcomes a new child into the group and in the other, a child is not welcomed.

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