The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is one of my favorite books to start the year. A little raccoon named Chester is going to school for the first time and he is afraid to leave his mommy. Chester's mommy kisses the center of his hand and tells him when he misses her to touch his hand to his cheek and her love will flow into his heart. At the end of the story, Chester gives his mommy a much needed kissing hand that she uses as soon as he scampers off to school.
•Homework: In my meet the teacher packet, I provide each child with a piece of construction paper and directions for making their own kissing hand. Mom/Dad traces his/her hand and cuts it out. Then, Mom/Dad needs to decorate the hand any way she/he chooses.
When I made T Man's kissing hand, I covered the entire hand with photos of the family. No part of the construction paper was visible. T Man loved his hand.
Anyways... During the first week of school, the children take turns sharing their kissing hands with the class. I hang the hands in the hallway next to our classroom door. If a kiddo needs a little reminder of home, he/she can easily just go outside the room and look at the hand. It always works to bring a smile to the child's face.
•Chester Raccoon: The main character of the story, Chester, quickly becomes a favorite with all children. They know they are not alone in their feelings on the first day of school. Years ago I found this super, cute way to make Chester that is easy enough for the beginning of the kindergarten year. It does take a bit of prep on the part of the teacher, but well worth it in the end.
What You'll Need For Each Child:
3 x 6 brown rectangle
3 x 4 black rectangle
3 x 4 brown rectangle
small black triangle
1 x 2 black rectangles
small brown triangles
3 x 3 white squares
Just assemble the pieces to look like the above picture. The site this activity was originally found at is listed in my links at the bottom of the post.
Great Links for the Kissing Hand: