Friday, September 9, 2011

The Kissing Hand

OK... Our first week back to preschool is over... What a whirlwind of emotions!!! Everything I had planned went down the drain... I had to use PLan B nearly every day.. But you know what? It all worked out and all came together at the end. I always seem to OVER plan my first week, when there is no real need. This wek was more about settling the newcomers and let them appreciate their new environment and their new friends. On the first day of school there are always mixed emotions everywhere!  Some children are thrilled to be at school while others have much difficulty making the home to school transition.  So this year,  I read the Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. 

The children can relate to the little raccoon who feels a  little bit scared about his first day at school. It is a great way to discuss how the Chester Raccoon is feeling. It also allows children to see that they have a connection with Chester. Many children will state to their classmates that they too felt the way Chester felt on the first day of school. It is definitely a great way to tackle the topics of emotions and how to express one's emotions. This also shows children that their mam or dad are always there with hem in their heart no matter where they go. There are many different activities to be done with this book and all you need to do is google the book to see for yourself.

This is what we did: I prepared little booklets (one colourful A4 sheet folded up) with a picture of Chester in the front and  a poem inside the page. The children then printed their painted hand onto white paper. When dry, they added a heart-shaped sticker in the middle of their painted hand to represent the kissing hand:

I got the idea from Peace, Love and Learning blog. Great ideas there and Donna also has a great Maths and Literacy unit based on the Kissing Hand.

A Handful of Love
By D. Conway
It was my first day of school,
And now that it’s done.
I can’t wait to tell you,
About all the fun!
We read a book called The Kissing Hand
About Chester, a sweet raccoon.
He went to school up in a tree,
Beneath the shining moon.
Chester was scared and a little shy,
Until his mom kissed his hand.
It sent the love right up his arm,
Towards his heart for it to land.
Just like Chester, I was brave
Because of love from you.
I made this gift so I can show,
How much I love you, too!

Then yesterday the children coloured Chester. I laminated their picture and cut it out. The tail is articulated with a pin. We then added some fur on Chester's tummy and threaded a furry pipe cleaner through the tail. Finally, the children sprinkled some glitter on its nose and added googly eyes to make it even more fun.

What do you think? What do you do during your first week?


  1. At my old school we read that book the first week of school. This year because I went back to work after a year off on maternity leave with my baby, when I returned to school I had him kiss my hand so I wouldn't miss him during the day :)
    My first week back went ok. It's going to be a busy, yet fun year ;)

  2. I love this is one of those sweet stories that your child will remember for some time.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. I always read "The Kissing Hand" too! Oh, we must be kindred spirits! : )

    I also read, "Will I Have a Friend." Do you know that book? It is simple, but cute. And of course, The Gruffalo! B/c who doesn't love that one?

    Speaking of, did the children like your excellent Gruffalo charity shop finds? I found a Matroyshka doll set at our charity shop today! Excellent, right? : )

    I can't wait to read more about your year. Aude, you are fabulous, and your students and children are blessed to have you in their lives!

  4. Hi Aude
    I read the Owl babies and helps to affirm to the kids that mammy always come back
    Love ur blog n just found u last night.
    Had difficulty connecting to ur highlighted links as it took me to a polish version of google?...
    Was really interested in your assessment flower
    Caroline from KMS preschool

  5. Hello Montycar.. I am glad you found us on this blog.. I would definitely recommend creating your own blog. As i said in one of my posts, you will meet great people and even make online friends!! It is also a great way to record eveything you do with the children in labels. Everything is easily retrieved thanks to the blog archives. And parents are kept informed on what goes on inside the classroom. I don't really know why the link turns up in Polish. I will have a look at it (though I am not that good with technology!!). In the meantime, send me your email address and I could email the flower link to you. Thanks for your lovely comments. AUde


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