How to Say Goodbye to Your Elementary School Friends
Make a Memory Book
One of the best ways to preserve memories is through pictures. You can create a scrapbook or memory book of the adventures you and your friend or friends have shared together through your elementary years.
Other elements you can include are drawings or homemade, three dimensional "pop-up" representations of yourself, your friend (or friends), your favorite teachers. Also, pressed flowers or leaves from your backyard make nice decorations in a memory book.
Don't forget to include vignettes, hand-written by you and your classmates of special moments you have all shared together and, of course, autographs!
Create Special, One of a Kind Gifts for Your Closest Friends
Take a page out of Wanda Petronski's class act in Eleanor Estes' The Hundred Dresses. Before she moved away, she left one hundred unique drawings - each one clearly one of her classmates - dressed in original designs. Think about each of your friends. What do you value most about each one? Then, create a drawing, a Christmas tree ornament or some other craft (duct tape dream catchers, perhaps) that highlights what you value most about your friend's personality. Do this for each one of your classmates (if you have time) or just for your closest friends and, maybe, for your favorite teachers and your school principal as well.
Donate Something Lasting to Your School
Ask your school principal if you can donate a tree or rosebush to the school's playground. Then, gather your friends for a special planting ceremony. Attach a little plaque to the tree or bush with your name, the date, and a special quote or thought. Another idea is to ask permission to paint a mural along one wall of the school building (indoors or outdoors). Then, gather your school friends and teachers for a painting ceremony. Then, have everyone sign their name. You can make this your memorial wall for your friends.
Make Intimate Play Dates or Throw a Large Going Away Bash
Regardless of whether you are the one leaving or the one staying behind, making intimate one-on-one play dates with your elementary school friends will help you both build lasting memories and share your deepest feelings.
Before you actually move away, consider throwing a large going away party for your friends and teachers. You can do this at your home or at a local bowling alley or pizza parlor. Wherever you hold it, do not forget to take out your memory book and, as you mingle, have your guests write an anecdote of how you met or a prediction for the future; and, of course, make sure your friends sign it!
An activity you can all take part in during your party is to make t-shirts for each other. Everyone could sign the t-shirts (maybe even instead of signing a memory book); this would make a great, wearable keepsake that could be turned into a pillow or a quilt when you outgrow it!
Use Technology to Keep in Touch
Whether you are the one who is moving away, or whether you are staying put while one or more friends move away, you are lucky to be living in the twenty-first century. Technology, especially Instagram and Skype, can minimize distance and keep a friendship alive. How about asking your new teacher to set up a class-to-class exchange via Skype? Once a month, your new class and your old class could meet via video conference or on Google Hangout and share your current learning. This would be a great way to enhance social studies or civics lessons and curriculum!