Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking (book + activity!)
Kids are back in school. Does your child get along with others? Or does he or she struggle with this important skill? With bullying and teasing reaching epidemic proportions in schoolyards and playgrounds, parents need to make sure that their children know how to get along with others and respect others, while at the same time stand up for themselves and value their own strengths and qualities.
Here is a perfect picture book (and activities!) that will serve to launch a wonderful discussion about getting along with others. The story is one of the hundred classic picture books recommended in Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.
Yes We Can
Written by Sam McBratney and Illustrated by Charles Fuge
Ages 2 – 7
Valuing one’s own (and others) strengths and qualities, bullying and teasing, getting along, diversity.
“Little Roo was chasing leaves one windy day. Roo’s friends, Country Mouse and Quacker Duck were waiting to play with him.”
The beautiful autumn day begins with high hopes on the part of the three friends. They want to make the biggest mountain of leaves ever seen. Unfortunately, they begin to make fun of each other and everyone is feeling sad and mad until Roo’s mother comes out and suggests that instead of making fun of what each of them cannot do well, they should appreciate what each of them can do well.
Why do I like this book:
This book appeals to young children…the clear, colorful engaging illustrations support the text that relays a common problem that parents and teachers see all the time. Unfortunately, children can be very cruel to each other and this is a story that helps them see a positive alternative to teasing and bullying. In Show Me How, I pinpoint the six major components of self-esteem…one of them is to be able to value one’s own strengths and qualities while respecting those of others. This is what the three animal friends learn to do. The book also provides a lesson in diversity…the leaves are different colors and shapes and sizes…and they are all beautiful leaves. In the same way, people are all different colors and shapes and sizes…and they are all beautiful people, valuable in their own unique ways.
Related Activities: Project 1: Leaf Collage
I’ve read this book with kindergarten and Pre-K classes, as well as at library programs with children ages 2 – 7. After the story, we talk about leaves and I show them a collage with leaves of different sizes, shapes and colors. A nature walk can be taken before this project and the children can collect some leaves and then make their own leaf collage by gluing the leaves on a piece of construction paper.
Project 2: Mad and glad leaf doorknob hanger
We talk about how it feels when someone teases us. Every child can relate to that…hands go up to tell me about a time when someone was mean to them. I ask them how their face looks when someone makes them feel sad. I look at a sea of frowning faces. Then I ask them how they feel when someone tells them they did a great job. Every frown becomes a beaming smile. I show them the leaf pattern frowning face and ask how the leaf person is feeling. Then I flip it over and ask the same question. Each child get a blank piece of heavyweight construction paper in the shape of a leaf, and using markers or crayons, they make one side happy or glad and the other side sad or mad. We punch a hole in the top and put a piece of yarn through it so they can hang it on their bedroom doorknob…turning to the happy or sad face depending on how they are feeling.
This is a great opportunity for parents or an older sibling to talk to a young child about how they are feeling…if they see the sad/mad face hanging on the door, this is a signal that there may be a problem.
Vivian Kirkfield is a mother of three, an educator and the author of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. She lives in the Colorado Rockies and is passionate about picture books, enjoys hiking and fly-fishing with her husband, and loves reading, crafting and cooking with kids during school and library programs. To learn more about her mission to help every child become a reader and a lover of books, please visit her Positive Parental Participation blog or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you order the book in September and identify yourself as a MileHighMama reader, a bonus gift will be included.