About four years ago my husband was traveling full-time for work while our oldest and myself stayed behind at “home”. I had a few friends I loved, a small support group, and was miserably lonely searching for other women who really understood. In those moments of weakness, unsure of what the future held, God heard my heart. That time of need is when I first met her, the woman that I could not live without today. As we celebrate National Best Friends Day, I look back on those simple days. Those moments where we began to bond and those late nights when I had no idea who she would become to me. Emily A, I seriously love the heck out of you, Lady!

We were both pregnant, she with her third in three years and myself with our second in two years. Both expecting little bundles of pink joy within a few weeks of each other and experiencing severe bouts of prenatal insomnia while our men were hours away keeping the lights on for thousands of others. We shared a great deal more than we imagined we ever would with a stranger but in those late night chats, we became so much more than just fellow linewives who happened to belong to the same support group. We became safety nets.

Best Friends are some of our greatest supporters but they’re also some of our best teachers. I look to mine for inspiration every.single.day. To honor National Best Friends Day, I’ve decided to share a few activities to foster those precious memories and important lessons.

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

B is of course for Bestie

Some of my greatest memories with my best friends happen to be simple things. Creating in the kitchen is a great opportunity to share family traditions, learn together, and make tasty memories.

Here is a simple, fun, colorful dessert from Turnip The Oven that little ones will enjoy. Stuff Nutella in raspberries, and garnish with rainbow sprinkles. So easy and just a few won’t break banks or bellies!

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Great for: all friends

E is for Empathy

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Siblings relationships can be some of the most challenging and rewarding – and they are truly lifelong! This New York Times bestselling set follows 6th grade Girl Scout Raina and her little sister Amara as they experience overcoming injury and differences as they welcome a new brother to their world. Growing up isn’t always easy, and nor is friendship and sibling-hood. I like that these stories show real-life challenges and the benefits of sisterhood.

Great for: Ages 3-7, especially sisters!

Price: $15.00 (down from $21.98) and includes Smiles & Sisters

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S is for Sharing

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It’s also for Super Cool! Magformers are colorful, unique magnetic shapes that come together like friends to create something great. The Forest Friends set has the pieces and idea book to make animals like a frog, squirrel, bunny and more. I like this one because it features animals that we’ll see camping this summer, but there are robot, light shows and other sets to share amongst friends.

Great for: Ages 6-12

Price: from $33, and up to 44% off

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T is for Thoughtfulness

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Photography is one of those contemplative activities that can be solo, but I love the idea of two or three best friends using this lesson plan to create an album or scrapbook together! I still have the albums I made with friends as a young one and cherish them to this day. This is a tradition I want to share with my kids and their friends, and when you can use your phone for pictures and download the lessons, it’s an easy activity to start!

Great for: Ages 8-13, your budding creatives

Price: 84% off at $24.95 (down from $119)

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F is of course for Fun!

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Getting outdoors with groups of friends and running around is some of the best food for the soul. I love these fun (even silly!) activities that center around cooperation. The paper Friendship Chain is also really sweet indoor activity for younger children. This round up of 12 activities by The Inspired Treehouse is full of great ideas.

Great for: Ages 3 and up!

R is for Respect

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Respect is so often spurred by a deeper understanding of the person, place, or thing. I love the whole wall sticker selection at Educents, but the Habitat edition teaches kids about our natural world, and the bear is adorable. Since they’re reusable and washable, this is a set that can travel with pals and be shared between houses. Great fun for between camping trips!

Great for: Ages 7-12

Price: $34.99 (down from $39.99)

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E is for Encouraging

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Some of the liveliest discussions between little ones surround the characters of their literary worlds! the Chronicles of Narnia, Dr. Seuss, Harry Potter – you name it! Book club is also one of my favorite things to do with my best friends now. This colorful, printable reading log from Balancing Home is a great tool for encouragement of lifelong learning and discussions between best friends of all ages. What’s on everyone’s summer reading list? Add the books and start encouraging each other to succeed with regular checkins. (Maybe with those raspberry treats from the letter B!).

Great for: All readers (and those being read to)

I is for Inspiring

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There is a reason Arts & Science go together – each inspires the other. Young Scientists Club put together an art and science fusion package to inspire creativity with 6 different activity kits. The topics range from bubbles to crystals to rainbows. It takes all kinds to make our world great – I like the idea that friends with different strengths can lean on each other, and friends with similar strengths can learn and be inspired together.

Great for: Ages 6 and up

Price: $69.99 (down from $199.94)

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N is for Nurturing

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Gardening is such a wonderful activity, and kids nurturing a garden together can be extremely rewarding, not to mention fun! Since June is also National Fruits and Vegetables Month, I like this kit as a kick-off to a vegetable garden. It comes with 18 biodegradable pots, green bean, tomato, and sweet pepper seeds. Lots of experiments (and healthy snacks!) to have, and plenty of plants to nurture together.

Great for: Ages 5 and up

Price: $29.99

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D is for Dependable

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Some of our longest standing and most dependable pals are our furry friends! The I Love You Through and Through Board Book and Teddy Bear illustrate the different emotions a little one can feel and demonstrate unconditional love. This is always important to know but especially for that babies and toddler stage.

The Teddy Bear comes in small-hands-friendly sizes, paving the way for a dependable unconditional friendship.

Good for: 8-36 months

Price: $11 (down from $14.99)

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I’ll leave you with a quote about friendship from one of my favorite children’s books:

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

E.B. White Charlotte’s Web

 

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Raised in Northwest Arkansas with the soul of a Georgia peach, Emily has always seen herself as a southern girl with a passion for the beach. Now, with her three young children, she travels the United States full-time following her husband’s career and her family’s dreams. Join them as she shares their adventures in camper living, healthy lifestyles, and travel schooling.

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