Mates Traits: Cards and bonus colouring book

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Russell Deal, Illustrated by Mat Jones Australian author

  • Mates Traits
  • Mates Traits
    A set of 32 colourful, light-hearted cards that describe some of the characteristics of real friendships. Includes colouring book & stickers

32 pages
ISBN: 9780958018814

Making friends comes absolutely naturally to many children. But even young children may find forming friendships a highly complex business, overlaid with social rules and expectations imposed by adults and their peer group.

Mates Traits is a set of 32 colourful, light-hearted cards that describe some of the characteristics of real friendship. Using a delightful cartoon cast of Australian birds and animals, Mates Traits attempts to unlock the strengths, attributes and understandings that go into friendship-making.

What are the strengths needed to make friendships work? What does real friendship look like? How do friends manage when they have disagreements or things don’t go according to plan?

Mates Traits can be used by people of all ages to open up conversations about relationships, social skills, communication, personalities and interests. It is also a unique resource for preventing bullying and overcoming the effects of bullying on children’s social confidence.

  • Select cards to help explore the difference between being friendly and being a friend.
  • Pick 3 cards that describe what some of your friends/you/your team do well. Is there a card that suggests something you’d like to improve?
  • Pick a card that illustrates a difficult experience you have had in a friendship (e.g. ‘We have our moments’). Were you able to move forward together or did the friendship dissolve? What did you learn?
  • Invite everyone present at a celebration to select a card they think matches the guest of honour.

This resource is designed for anyone concerned with the role that friendships play in the maintenance of good mental health and social well-being. It is also a must for the toolkits of primary teachers, chaplains and social welfare coordinators.

Now comes with a bonus colouring book and stickers.

Table of Contents


  • 32 laminated, full-colour cards
  • 120mm x 120mm
  • Polypropylene box
  • 24-page booklet

Colouring Book:

  • 68pp
  • 200 x 200mm
  • Includes set of stickers

"As a tool for parents, Mates Traits can help to build conversations about safe friendships and the characteristics of a healthy family. For teachers and school counsellors, the cards are a fun way to develop cooperative learning environments and tackle problems such as bullying and self-harm. In a human services setting, Mates Traits covers a wide territory; from family and foster care situations to youth work and pastoral care. Kids will want to interact with these cards. Mat Jones’s illustrations are irresistibly vibrant and funny. Combined with simple, yet powerful, statements they form a resource that will remind children and ‘big kids’ alike about the value of true friendship."
- John Holton, Bendigo, Australia