Category Archives: social/emotional

It will be OK – A Picture book about Anxiety and Empathy

During the Pandemic – we are finding more and more that our children are anxious and worried. I feel is is very important that young children know that this is a normal response to these uncertain times, we can help them but also it is okay to be anxious.

Finding a book with this message, that suitable for the preschool children I teach is a challenge. There are plenty of books about worry, some are a little wordy, others have slightly scary characters and many by the end show a character who is no longer worried.

For the times we are in ‘ It Will be Okay’ ticked all the boxes for what I was looking for. I will, without a doubt, be adding this book to my social/emotional collection in my preschool classroom.

The story follows Giraffe, who can’t go out with his friend because he is worried about a spider. He knows his fear is irrational, but hides in the tree regardless and can’t bring himself to come down. His friend Zebra, listens to his fears and waits until giraffe is ready to come down. Zebra tells Giraffe that his fear ‘isn’t silly if it bothered him’ (my favourite line from the book), he shows empathy and understanding and shares a message that friends can help us with our fears, but most importantly it is okay to be worried by things. I love the resolution of the story. Instead of ‘curing’ Giraffes fear, it shows the comfort of an understanding friend and the message that being afraid is perfectly normal. Bravo for this modern take on worry, anxiety and friendship!

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Problem solving in Preschool Using Songs and Puppets

Problem solving in preschool is particularly challenging to teach in the virtual classroom. I have been using puppets and songs, to help teach problem solving concepts. The videos are recorded for my class, so they can watch multiple times. The children love the puppets and find these songs especially engaging. Though it doesn’t replicate being able to practice problem solving skills in the classroom, it is a tool to help support social and emotional learning in a non- traditional classroom.

This is an adapted version of the song ‘Oh dear what can the Matter Be?’ In it the puppets are sad and talk about their problem, and then we try to come up with solutions.

We have also talked in class about problem solving, using the puppets as a model. I have taught about taking deep breaths and finding a quiet space as a way to calm down. Sometimes, children in our class encounter problems, even in the virtual environment. If we see a child is upset or frustrated we often notice saying, ‘I see ….. is sad, if you have a problem you can tell us’. In some ways, I feel in the virtual environment, we need to be even more intentional about teaching these things than we would in person.