I always looked forward to the start of school. YES, I liked school and learning, but I especially liked being and PLAYING with my friends! It was more common, then, for families to save their vacations for the summer months. So when school started up it was a reunion of sorts. I had a lot of good friends in school. A handful I considered very close, dear friends. We spent time together…
doing…dressing-up and putting on shows
exploring in the woods
Monopoly marathons or
playing at the school playground AND
sleepovers on the weekends!
The general story line:
Sleepovers and friends are the basis for the book Sorrel and the Sleepover by Corrinne Averiss I received from B.E.S Publishing. Sage and Sorrel, the characters of the story, are BFFs. They sing and play games together. And,the evidence that seals the deal, they look alike! They have the very same stripe on their tail! But friendship bliss turns to fretting after a sleepover that highlights their families aren’t the same. How will their friendship survive?
At preschool, I liked to read books where kidlets could see themselves in the characters. This gave them an easier time understanding or empathizing with whatever problem/dilemma the story presented. Sorrel and the Sleepover provides a very important service: Highlighting the meaning of true friendship.
In addition, Susan Varley’s illustrations coordinate with the tone of the story. I love how her artwork evokes the meaning of a true friend. Steadfastness, represented in the pine branches with the cherry blossoms offering a big hug.
After reading Sorrel and the Sleepover, I thought about how it could be used in a classroom or home. Opening up children’s perspectives, facilitating a broader point of view, only leads to better relationships.
Take your kidlet out to a cultural festival in your community. Most likely there’ll be options to taste ethnic food. YUM! In addition, you’ll likely be able to see traditional dress and view other customs like traditional dance. Following the festival, add props and accessories to your kiddos pretend PLAY! Even just adding visuals, like photos, will stimulate their creativity and contribute to their understanding.
Children’s books are another resource for helping to develop an understanding of those different from ourselves. There are many ways to parse how people are alike and different. One of the 1st things I would discuss in preschool was:
What is a family?
•Create a chart with different families you know.
•Have your kiddo describe the families. What are the results?
More than likely you’ll find:
·Not all have the same number of children.
·Not all have a Mom and/or Dad.
·Some have grandparents.
·They do things
Inevitably our discussion would morph from “how many and who” to “what families do for each other”.
Bottom line: A family are people that love and care for each other.
Making friends is an important skill; one begun in the early childhood years. Support your kiddos’ emotional and social development through PLAY and enrich it with books!
Yours in Play!