What is a Merlin Buddy Bench?
It’s tough to feel alone or excluded. It can be even more difficult to find the courage to ask to be included. Oftentimes, kids don’t even notice that someone feels left out. They are too busy with whatever they are doing. This can happen anywhere: the playground, gym class, in the carpool line. The Merlin Buddy Bench is designed to help change that. It is designed to remind kids to take notice of those around them. To foster friendships.
To do this, Kelly Bellinger created a book to accompany the bench she created in memory of her late husband, Merlin Bellinger. Merlin had a wonderful way of making other people feel included. It was his gift. The gift, or “magic”, of this bench is that the children learn that should they feel left out or lonely, they can sit on the bench and the other kids know to go ask that child to play.
And, so, we hope to share this gift with others by encouraging kids to learn about the bench and to take part in the magic of friendship if they see someone sitting on it.