Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sharing and Caring

Extend Valentine's Day by talking about friendship, with explicit lessons about making and keeping friends, taught with storybooks. Sometimes our little friends need things spelled out for them ... and what better way than through a story?

Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister, tells the story of a little fish who is beautiful to look at and sought after to play with, but when he snubs the other fish, they stop trying to be friends and he feels isolated. Through learning to share, the Rainbow Fish eventually makes friends, and plays happily with his new friends. (I always stress to my little ones that sharing friendship and experiences is really the best gift of all. )

Corduroy, by Don Freeman, is told from the viewpoint of a stuffed bear who just wants to belong to someone and have a home. This sweet book can be a stepping stone to great conversations about inclusion and making sure no one feels left out - and how good it feels to feel wanted!!

My kiddos always enjoy The Crayon Box That Talked, by Shane deRolf. It gives voice to all the different crayons, who eventually put aside their griping to see that if they all work together, the results can be amazing - a great lesson for those having trouble sharing and working as a team.

Of course, there are always some great on-their-level Clifford books to go with these friendship lessons. Clifford's Pals and Clifford's Best Friend, by Norman Bridwell, highlight friend relationships with characters that are known and loved!

Take some time to read through these titles and others before reading with your kiddos, so you know what discussion points you might want to steer them towards. Or ... let them do the talking and encourage them to share what they feel like after reading these books - and any connections they might have to the characters in the stories. Sit back and listen while you color a picture together of one of the characters - great coloring sheets and extension projects are available on the author's websites.

Or, search Pinterest - great ideas should pop up!

Have fun!

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