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Relationships are an important part of development and future success. This friendship soup activity is a great way to get kids thinking about others.
Building social skills is crucial. This friendship soup is a great way to get kids thinking about others and sharing. It’s healthy too. Even my pickiest kids ate this up because they helped make it and shared ingredients for it.
This friendship soup activity is based on the story of stone soup. If you haven’t read it, check it out here. The story tells of a stranger who comes to town and gets everyone to work together for a good meal. I like to do stone soup with the kids during the year too, but this friendship soup is a little different.
You can do this friendship soup activity with a school classroom, with your daycare like I did, or just a group of friends or a family with several kids. You don’t have to have a daycare to learn about loving and sharing with this.
I ask each parent to send a vegetable with their kids to share. I tell them it can be fresh vegetables, like a potato, or a can of corn, or a bag of frozen peas. It doesn’t matter, just whatever you have around the house is fine. This helps the families be involved in daycare too. Click here to see why family involvement is so important for kids and their families.
Once you’re ready to have the kids make the friendship soup, have each child gather at the table with what they brought to share. Kids get so excited about what they brought. If anyone forgets, just have a few things on hand to give them to add to the soup.
Different vegetables cook at different times. We cooked our onion in a little oil and then added the hard veggies like raw carrots and potatoes. Then we cooked the soup until they were tender and then added canned and frozen stuff. It works great.
Grab the printable friendship soup recipe here.
Friendship soup story
Here’s the story I tell the kids for the friendship soup activity. I just interject their names and the food they brought to share.
Once upon a time, there was a village. The people in the village were very poor. One time they were so poor that none of them had hardly anything to eat. What little the people had left, they were saving, and everyone was hungry.
All the people in the village were friends and loved each other. But no one wanted to give up the last of their food and have nothing left. So, they just sat around talking about how hungry they were.
Suzie was soooo hungry. So, she decided to take her carrots, which were the last of her food, and make some carrot soup. She got a big pot of water and built a fire. Then she added her carrots and a little salt and pepper. She picked a few herbs she found and started cooking her soup.
Stone soup story
As she stirred her carrot soup, it smelled so good. Her hungry friends started coming out of their houses to see what it was. They were all very hungry. Suzie told her friends it was carrot soup.
This soup smells so good, she said, but it would be so much better with a few potatoes. Well, Matt thought, I do have a few potatoes at my house, so he went to get it. He diced them up and put them in the soup.
As the water started boiling, that carrot and potato soup smelled amazing. (I send the kids off to play for a while since it takes about 20 minutes for the veggies to get tender.)
Then I bring them back to the table and we continue on.
Man, that soup was really smelling good now. Suzie said, this soup smells awesome, but it would be so much better if we had some green beans. Tucker started thinking, well I do have some green beans at home. So, he went home and got his can of green beans and opened them, and dumped them in the soup.
Friendship soup lesson
Continue on telling the story with each child and what they brought or you gave them to share.
As the soup builds and it’s smelling great, you can say, the soup was smelling so yummy and Suzie said, this soup smells so great, but it would be even better if it had a little meat. Ms. Christina remembered that she had a little bit of leftover chicken (ham, turkey, beef, whatever you have on hand) at her house, so she went home and got it. She chopped it up and put it in the soup.
The end of the story goes.
Everyone was so hungry but when they put all the bits they had to share together, it made an amazing soup! It was so good and they all ate until they were full and had enough left over for the next day too. When everyone shares what they have, what you end up with is better than what you were saving for yourself.
Friendship soup recipe for kids
It doesn’t really matter what the kids bring to share. If you think it’s going to be too much of one thing, just take part of it out for another recipe, and let them put in the amount you think will work.
For this friendship soup activity, we had so many vegetables that we had to change from our Dutch oven to a big stockpot mid-recipe. Things will happen, just do what you have to.
One year, all but one child brought corn. It was a corny soup, but it had meat, and I added a bag of frozen peas and some carrot sticks we had in the fridge. It turned out great.
You could add cooked pasta or rice to the soup if you wanted, or whatever you like to have in your soup. Soup is so versatile. I find that kids eat soup better than most things. Even the picky eaters will eat soup.
Here are a bunch of really good soup recipes kids love.
Here is another soup that kids can make. Kids are much more likely to eat something they helped make and them bringing the ingredients multiplies that too. My kids ate this soup UP and yours will too.
Stone soup ingredients
The basic things you need for the soup are:
A variety of veggies
Some type of meat (not a must, but meat is good)
Liquid (you can use water, stock, or broth)
Salt and pepper (if your soup makes a lot and you don’t use stock, you’ll need a good amount of salt)
Herbs such as a teaspoon of thyme, Italian seasonings, oregano, or sage.
That’s all you need to make an awesome friendship soup.
Here are more ways to celebrate friendships with kids.