The buddy bench is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. Let’s spread the message of inclusion and kindness!
It’s a Buddy Bench. Children can go sit on it if they are feeling lonely or have nothing to do at recess. Other children that see someone sitting there are supposed to invite anyone sitting there to play.
Lonely children that find each other there can invite each other to play! What a great idea!
“Buddy Benches” help students stop bullying
Sometimes, especially on the playground, students forget how to be kind. Sometimes they leave people out, say mean things, or don’t share. The Buddy Benches are here to remind all students to be kind and to reach out to one another. Vista Nova wants to be a school where people help each other, cheer each other on, share with one another, think of others and focus on building a strong community. The idea can help eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.
History of the Buddy Bench:
Recess holds challenges for many children – whether it’s because a regular playmate is missing for the day or because a child hasn’t yet developed the social skills he or she needs to be successful. As parents, we try to give our children the tools they need to have successful friendships and to grow into compassionate adults – and the Buddy Bench is one more tool we can add to their kit; a visual reminder that sometimes we all just need a buddy. Children sit on the bench to indicate that they wanted someone to play with and classmates, seeing their peers on the bench, would invite them to play.
Why Do Schools Need Buddy Benches?
Recess is designed to provide opportunities for play, exercise and social contact. Most elementary age children also find that recess provides opportunities for peer conflict and social struggles. Perhaps it’s because their friends just happen to be absent from school on a particular day or because they haven’t yet developed the social skills to successfully navigate the playground. Unfortunately, in today’s busy society, many children don’t get the opportunities to independently hone spontaneous play and conflict management skills, and these children rely on adults to provide problem solving.
The Buddy Bench is designed to add much-needed tools to our children’s repertoires; including:
- Prosocial behaviour (voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another); such as: inclusion, empathy, sharing and compassion
- Conflict resolution, including the ability to identify a problem and then work together to solve it
- A concrete reminder (your school’s Buddy Bench) to keep these skills at the forefront of the children’s daily activities.