Each year I meet a new group of cute, sweet, 4-6 year old kindergarteners. Some kiddos enter kindergarten after two or more years of preschool, comfortable with separating from Mommy or Daddy or Grandma. Some enter kindergarten without ever leaving Mommy, which makes heading to school a little scary and worrisome. Regardless of background situations, I always start my year with The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.
The Kissing Hand tells the story of Chester Raccoon, who is a little nervous about starting school. It might be too hard, he won't get to play and of course, he'll miss his mother. Mother Raccoon knows just what to do. She gives Chester a kissing hand. A simple, warm kiss from Mother Raccoon into the center of Chester's palm. When Chester is missing his Mother, he holds his hand up to his face and remembers how her warm kiss feels and how much his Mommy loves him. This is a perfect story for children of any age who are facing a separations from their parent. Whether or not that separation is due to travel or school, a kissing hand is sure to help your little one remember how much you care.
The Kissing Hand lends itself well to many cute classroom crafts. For the past several years, I have had my students use Q-tips and red paint to draw hearts on construction paper. This year however, I branched out with a craft from my kindergarten teammate.
I traced a heart on red construction paper and had my son cut it out. (Yes, it's a heart). Then my son glued a pre-cut hand onto the heart. He glued the middle two fingers down to form the "I Love You" sign in sign-language. A heart sticker completes the kissing hand. The perfect way practice cutting, gluing and of course, to say, "I love you."