Back-to-school is an exciting time full of new faces, new friends, and new routines! But, for some young children, it can also be a time of worry and anxiety as they leave their parents for perhaps the first time to join a new classroom community. Understandably, this can be overwhelming and even a little scary for children which is where The Kissing Hand Raccoon Puppet comes in! Perfect for children experiencing separation anxiety and back-to-school blues, this easy arts and crafts activity helps children know they're not alone even though they may be away from home for the day.
What is The Kissing Hand Raccoon Puppet?
The Kissing Hand is a beloved children's book that follows Chester Raccoon as his first day of school draws near. Chester does not want to go to school so, to help ease his fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. This heartwarming book has become a children's classic that touches the lives of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. This makes The Kissing Hand Raccoon Puppet the perfect activity for children who are anxious about leaving their parents. Whether it's used as a prop or a take-home tool to engage families, the Kissing Hand Raccoon Puppet helps children feel a little more comfortable and a little more certain that everything will be okay as they face the unknown.
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1Gather Your Materials
Gather a kraft paper bag, construction paper, glue, a black marker, and googly eyes for this activity! Time Saving Tip!: If you don't have time during class to cut out each of the pieces required for this puppet, cut them out ahead of time so children can easily glue the pieces to the bag and assemble their special puppets.
2Build Your Raccoon Puppet!
Cut out a medium-sized circle for the raccoon's chin, black paper for the eyes or the raccoon's "mask," a small circle for the nose, and two triangle shapes for the ears, two big and two small to create the outer and inner ear! Make sure the pieces of the raccoon's face are glued to the paper bag's flap only, so that, when glued, the flap still opens and closes to create the puppet's mouth.
3Add the Finishing Touches!
Add the finishing touches to your puppet by gluing googly eyes to the face, drawing a smiley face, and drawing arms to hold your special Kissing Hand heart, cut out of red construction paper.
4Share the Love of The Kissing Hand
Once their puppets are created, encourage children to share the love of the kissing hand with their grownups at home. If a child is having a particularly hard time adjusting to school, encourage their parent or caregiver to read The Kissing Hand with them at home and send their very own special kiss to school each day with the child.
Support mindfulness and social-emotional learning with this craft! Browse our selection of classroom arts and crafts and related resources to start the school year off right.