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BULLYING - What feelings do you have when you think of that word?
Sadness? Helplessness? Anger? Frustration?
Perhaps you have a sudden memory of your child coming home and talking about that kid on the bus again?
Maybe you even flash back to your own childhood?
Bullying is an important topic for families to talk about, but it can be hard to approach the topic. How do you start to talk about such a big emotional topic with your children?
I’m always looking for new ways to introduce the topic of bullying. When I heard from Laughing Leopard Press about their new book on bullying, I was looking forward to reading it with my own kids.
This is A. Blob is about a purple blob who is a bully. It’s written in a refreshingly simple way, and it’s a great jumping off point for starting a conversation about bullies, especially with the younger elementary school age crowd. My own children are 5 and 8, so they were the perfect ages. My kids also enjoyed the illustrations in the book.
What I found the most helpful was the Materials Discussion Guide. For teachers, there are two separate lesson plans written out for K/1st grade and 2nd/3rd graders. For families, there are discussion questions about the book and bullying in general. The questions are a great way to start talking about what bullying is, how bullying impacts everyone involved (including the bully) and what you can do if you are being bullied.
I picked a few of these questions to start. Our conversations weren’t super long, just as I expected, but it’s like planting a seed that will grow later. They will have more questions about bullying as they get older, and this book is a good jumping off point to revisit this topic with them.
There’s also a craft to help extend the learning time. This was my kids’ favorite part. We’ve actually never made anything like this before so so they were really excited to try it. It was a super easy project to do, and we worked on taking turns when we were mixing and adding ingredients together.
As we played with the slime we talked about how words and actions can stick to us, just like the slime was sticking to our hands. We love a good craft project where we can also work on social skills!
For another activity to help children understand the impact their words have on others, check out our wrinkled heart activity using the book Chrysanthemum.