Who Makes a Good Friend?

What qualities are important in your friendships? Let’s look at what it means to be a good friend and evaluate the health of current friendships.

About the Activity

As you grow up, your circle of friends may affect where you hang out, what activities you join or what else you do in your free time. Having positive friendships will help you become a responsible and mature young person. Friends who aren’t looking out for you and want you to do things that aren’t right, might send you down a path that encourages poor choices.

In this activity, you’ll learn how positive friendships support a healthy lifestyle.

This activity is part of our 4-H Health Rocks!® program. See the rest of the activities here.

Grades: 3-8
Topic: Healthy Living
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

Group of children holding hands

New Interactive Activities!

4-H at Home's new, interactive lessons provide a much more exciting, fun way to learn. Click the Launch Lesson button to try it out!

Start by gathering all the materials you’ll need for this activity.

supply list icon

Activity Steps

  1. Start by thinking about what makes a good friendship. On a sheet of paper, write down the words that come to mind when you think of the word “friend.” You’ll probably come up with lots of descriptive adjectives, like “Funny,” “Kind,” and “Thoughtful.”
  2. Review the handout “Qualities of a good friend.” Consider the importance of integrity, congeniality, and having a caring attitude when being a good friend or making new friends. There are many qualities that go with those characteristics. For example, to be a person of integrity, one must be trustworthy and honest.
  1. Once you’ve reviewed the handout, select ten of your qualities (e.g., loyalty, listening skills, humor, etc.) that you feel are important to be a good friend. Take several strips of paper and write one quality on each piece of paper. Use as many strips of paper as you need!
  2. Link your strips of paper into a chain using pieces of tape, or a dot of glue. This chain is a reflection of the characteristics and qualities you value most in your friendships. As you make new friendships, keep in mind which qualities are most meaningful to you. If you have a friend who doesn’t share these qualities, consider that they might be a negative influence. Think about how this activity made you feel about your current friendships, and plan to discuss them with others in your family or when you are with a group of friends, like your 4-H club. Use it as an opportunity to process your emotions. If you have struggles, get help when it comes to navigating challenging friendships.
Boy writing in a notebook

Reflection Questions
Bonus questions to help foster healthy friendships:

  1. How can a good friend help you avoid risky situations and make good choices?
  2. Think about your good friends. What characteristics do they have that make you smile?
  3. Think back to a time when you joined a new activity. Were there new friends, current friends or maybe an adult that helped make you feel like you were part of the group? How can you do the same for someone in a similar situation?
  4. What are some things you can do if you have a friend who is not a good influence?
  5. What have you done to demonstrate that you’re a good friend?
lightbulb icon

Investigate and Explore
Take what you've learned to the next level to learn more and explore the possibilities.

Next, learn about “Family Corner” and “Community Corner” to understand how you can share what you learned about friendships with others. Walk through this same exercise with your family members. Together, you can learn more about qualities your family members value in friendships, and lengthen your chain.

Family Corner: Hang up your new chains at home to remind your family of the qualities you all look for in your friendships.

Community Corner: Try this exercise with your friends. Once you've completed your own chains, take a picture of you and your friends holding your paper chains. You can write an article about being a good friend.

Friends holding hands
Children painting

Career Connections

You can be a positive role model throughout all stages of your life. Consider the qualities of a good friend and look around you. You’ll likely see that the teachers, coaches, and doctors you know work hard to be positive role models.

If you have the qualities of a good friend and enjoyed the process of thinking about your own positive and negative influences, there are endless career opportunities that may be well-suited for you. Be inspired by those who are good role models!

Health Rocks! Curriculum from Shop 4-H

Shop 4‑H has Health Rocks! facilitator guides for beginner (ages 8-12) and intermediate (ages 12-14) levels.  Now available in Spanish.


Beginner Level

Grades: 3-6

Appropriate for 4-H clubs, school settings, homeschools, camps, health classes, as afterschool or enrichment activities, etc.



Intermediate Level

Grades: 7-9

Appropriate for 4-H clubs, school settings, homeschools, camps, health classes, as afterschool or enrichment activities, etc.



My Health Rocks! Journal

This interactive journal is for you to mark up and make important notes.



Nivel Inicial

Health Rocks! es una serie de planes de estudios para lideres que forma parte de un programa de vida saludable destinado a jovenes de 8 a 12 años, y cuya meta es reunir a los jovenes, las familias y las comunidades de los Estados Unidos para reducir el consumo de tabaco, alcohol y drogas de esos jovenes.



Nivel Intermedio

Es la segunda de una serie de dos planes de estudios para líderes. Esta guía para el nivel intermedio contiene actividades para jóvenes de 12 a 14 años, y se centra en intereses propios de esta franja etaria.



Health Rocks! T-shirt

This 4-H Health Rocks! t-shirt is relaxed, tailored and ultra-comfortable.



Brought to you by:

No endorsement of these supporters' products or services is granted or implied by 4‑H.

Help 4-H Provide #Opportunity4All Kids