Put kids who’ve never met together, and it doesn’t take long for them to find commonality, play games, climb trees, or just run around.
Kids are built to make friends easily.
We all are, I think, but our adulthood gets in our way; forces barriers against openness and slows down the friendship train.
Encourage your students to observe kids meeting; then encourage them to exhibit the same openness, especially at the beginning of the year in class, as you start to grow your sense of ensemble. Their willingness to play games, find commonality, and make friends will set them on the right track to a year of musicality and growth.