As we gear up to return to the classroom, I am thrilled to share with you some exciting and fun ideas for using the beloved book, “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn, to welcome our little kindergarteners. This heartwarming story is the perfect tool to ease separation anxiety, foster a sense of belonging, and build a positive classroom environment. In this blog post, I’ll explore three engaging and low-prep suggestions for incorporating “The Kissing Hand” into your kindergarten classroom activities. Get ready to create a memorable and reassuring experience for your students!
(Disclosure: Some of links below are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
1. Dive into the Story:
First off, if you don’t already own a copy of this comforting tale, be sure to grab one from your library or use this link to shop for one on Amazon.
For your very first story time of the school year, gather your students and explain how you felt so nervous coming into school today. You had enjoyed summer so much, being with your family, and now there would be so many new faces. But then you remembered one of your favorite books – The Kissing Hand! It always makes you feel better! Use your best animated voices and expressions to captivate your students’ imaginations. As you read, pause at key moments to ask questions and encourage your little ones to share their thoughts and feelings. You can discuss the emotions of the characters, especially Chester the raccoon’s fears, and relate them to your students’ own experiences. Finish by brainstorming ways we can help each other feel safe and loved in our classroom.
2. Make a Personalized Kissing Hand Hat
What could be more special than creating personalized name hats inspired by “The Kissing Hand”? Let’s make our kindergarteners feel like stars from the very beginning! This editable name hat template is low prep for you and will make a special keepsake for your students to take home on the first day!
This activity not only builds name recognition and fine motor skills but also gives our students and parents a positive end to what can be a traumatic day. Watch your students’ faces light up as they proudly wear their name hats home! Click to see it on TpT.
Promoting a supportive and inclusive classroom environment is crucial, especially in kindergarten. Extend the themes of “The Kissing Hand” by creating a beautiful display of friendship handprints. Provide washable, non-toxic paint in various colors and invite each student to dip their hand in a color of their choice. Then, guide them to make a handprint on a large poster or a bulletin board. Encourage students to explore different hand positions, such as holding hands or giving a high-five, symbolizing friendship and unity. This collaborative art project will serve as a visual reminder that your classroom is a caring community where everyone is valued and supported.