Today we’re back with another back-to-school video from our friends at The Jim Henson Company! In case you missed the last one, we’re pleased to introduce Mrs. Raccoon and Chester from The Kissing Hand. Now that September is upon us, back to school season is really and truly here. This week, we’re sharing another tip for parents looking to make their little one’s transition into school a little easier: making a simple back-to-school storybook! Mrs. Raccoon tells us all about it in the new video so you won’t want to miss that. Once you’re done, download your very own printable template so that making your own story is a breeze.
To make your own back-to-school story, download our blank template for both girls and boys and then work together with your little one to fill it out!
Once you have all the pages printed out, fold each page in half so that the words are facing in. Arrange all the folded pages one on top of the other so that they’re in order and then use a glue stick to adhere the blank sides of the pages together, forming a book! Fold a piece of construction paper in half and glue it around the rest of the book. Finally, take the sheet with the front & back cover on it and cut it in half, and glue each one onto the front and back. Voila!
And a huge thank you to Sleepy Planet Parenting for providing the perfect story to read with our little ones! Read even more about the purpose of the book and a few more ideas below.
One of our favorite tools for helping kids face separation and the big feelings they can bring is to make a book to read together. Going to school or camp in the morning, or saying goodbye when a parent works outside of the home, travels, or goes out for the evening and a child stays with a sitter, are just some of the occasions when a child can feel afraid when separating from a parent. The big feelings your child has will undoubtedly tug at your own heartstrings as you search for ways to help your child cope with the situation at hand with more confidence and resilience, new skills, and a broader perspective about himself and about life.
The purpose of this book is to not only empower kids by helping them understand the transition but also to give them an avenue for processing their feelings about that change. Research shows that when kids can tell the story of life events that are potentially overwhelming – using both language and the visual support of pictures to support the story – they can better integrate both the change and their feelings about it.
The book you create for your child can be quite simple or more elaborate. If you’re not artistically inclined, don’t worry! Tell the story of the separation using simple language and no more than one concept on each page. Avoid the temptation to tell your child not to feel sad, scared or angry; instead, give your child explicit permission to have any feelings she has, and let her know that you’ll both support her in expressing those feelings and also keep her company while she has them, without trying to “fix” or change them. In the pages that follow permission to feel feelings, you can offer ideas for how to handle the situation (like remembering the Kissing Hand!) or a reminder to ask for help when she needs it.
We hope you enjoy putting this book together and that it helps your little one with their back-to-school routine! And check back next week to see even more tips from Mrs. Raccoon and Chester. See you then!!