It doesn’t take long for children to start figuring out what separates them from others. In fact, from a very early age, children notice their differences. Sometimes, these differences lead to children bullying each other, causing loneliness and isolation. That’s why the buddy bench is such a wonderful idea. The whole idea behind buddy benches for schools is to bring children together who might feel lonely or left out. If your school is looking for ways to create a more inclusive, friendly, welcoming environment, keep reading to learn more about how a buddy bench can help.
Buddy benches are a kindness zone. If someone is feeling lonely and needs a friend, sitting on the bench signals to their classmates that they want to connect. Likewise, if a classmate wants to give kindness, they can take a seat on the bench and welcome any classmate who might want company.
A Non-verbal Way for Children to Connect
Small children in preschool and elementary school don’t always know what to say when they notice a peer in distress. With a buddy bench, children don’t even need to speak to express their feelings. All they need to do is take a seat on the bench and know that it’s a safe and welcoming place.
Some children make friends easily, and some have a more difficult time connecting with others. Buddy benches are designed to make it easy to foster relationships. Ideally, no one should have to sit on the bench for long before someone comes to join them. A buddy bench lets children reach out to each other without feeling afraid of being rejected or bullied.
The simple presence of a buddy bench on a school’s playground makes a statement against bullying. These benches are a visual reminder that the school is an all-inclusive community, and everyone is welcome. Having buddy benches at your school is a constant reminder that bullying isn’t tolerated and there’s always a friend waiting on the bench for you.
Make the Most of It
When you decide to install a bench at your school, it’s important to let kids know what the bench is for and how to use it. Here are some suggestions for what to tell your students:
- The bench can be used for observing activities and games you want to join. See something fun? Hop off the bench and join in.
- See someone sitting on the bench? Go over and invite them to join your game or group.
- Think of the buddy bench as a chance to make new friends. If you’re feeling lonely, take a seat on the bench so a classmate and future friend knows you’d like some company.
It’s important for teachers and staff to explain how the benches work to get the full benefits. Buddy benches have been used at many schools, proving that once children understand the bench’s purpose, they’ll be excited to try it out in no time.
Are you ready to add one or two of these benches at your school to promote values of kindness and friendship? There are plenty of buddy bench designs that are available in many colors and materials. To learn more about ordering one of the best buddy benches for your school, contact Outdoor School Furniture today!