Monday, August 19, 2013

Kinder Rocks

My middle child, Elliot, will be starting kindergarten next week. Whoa, I'm not quite ready. You'd think that having been through this already with my oldest, I'd be better equipped to handle such a milestone. And yes, I am more at ease about school anxieties, but I am still having trouble grasping this big step for my sweet five year-old.

Today we pulled many of our back-to-school books off the shelf and started reading in preparation for next week. Before any big transition, we always read stories about characters going through similar scenarios as a way to prep ourselves. It gives us a very easy way to talk about fears, expectations, etc., and it (usually) provides happy endings and possible solutions to conflict.

Kindergarten Rocks!
by Katie Davis is a story about soon-to-be kindergartner, Dex, who gets lots of advice from his 3rd grade big sis. Dex voices lots of his concerns through his lovey, a puppy named Rufus. Rufus and Dex end up having a great first day of school until Rufus gets lost. When he is found, of course, Dex realizes that tomorrow he can go it alone at school and it would be safer to leave his lovie at home.

Activity 1: Kinder Rocks
Knowing that I don't want my son to be tempted to take his lovey to school on the first day, and being inspired by the title of the book we had just read, I told Elliot that we'd sit together and make special rocks. I would make one (with love) for him to keep in his backpack as a way to remember that I'm always thinking loving thoughts for him. And he'd make one for me to hold when I'm missing him when he's off at school. Much like Audrey Penn's The Kissing Hand, our plan was to exchange affections to have when apart from each other.

We simply walked outside and gathered rocks. We painted them together (yes, we used nail polish for a glossy quick dry). And after they were dry, we exchanged them with a big hug and an "I love you." It's the perfect trinket for his backpack pocket on that first day.

Activity 2: Shrinky Dinks Backpack Tags
My son chose a very plain red backpack for school. He preferred something simplistic, but he chose to customize it with a few patches from the craft store. Additionally, we decided to make a little name tag for it out of Shrinky Dinks.

We simply took out a strip of plain Shrinky Dinks paper. Elliot wrote his name in colored pencil on the rough side and decorated it to his liking. We punched a hole through one corner, and we put it in the oven to shrink. When it cooled, it made just the right tag for his one-of-a-kind backpack.

So now that Elliot is ready, I just need to pull myself together and assure him that it's going to be a fabulous year ahead!

1 comment: