Foster or adoptive children may have been removed from their homes for many reasons, and some children may feel unwanted, helpless, or insecure. The purpose of this activity is to build resilience and determination for children to go on with their lives by reinforcing in all children an appreciation for their unique characteristics—what makes them so special.
Have your child fill in and color the face outline below with facial characteristics: hair, eyes, nose, mouth, and face color. If possible, glue on yarn for the hair and buttons for the eyes. Then talk about the unique features that your child likes about himself or herself, and write these around the picture. Also, write down things that make your child special, including favorite foods, books, and activities, and what makes them happy, sad, angry, or afraid.
Next, have your child place a hand on each box, and draw the outline of each hand. Then ask your child to name two things he or she wishes were possible. Depending on your child’s wishes, create a plan together to identify steps to make the wishes a reality. Write these steps around each hand as a reminder how to make special wishes come true. Celebrate your child’s uniqueness by placing both pictures on the refrigerator for the whole family to see.
Going Further: Depending on the age of the child, have your child lie down on butcher paper, or any large sheet of paper, and draw his or her body outline using a dark marker. Then use crayons and markers to help your child color in facial features, hair, and clothing. Older preschoolers will enjoy cutting out pictures from newspapers or magazines of things they like or identify with and gluing them around their body. Hang the picture where your child can see this image often.
Music to Your Ears: While your child creates his or her image and thinks about the positive things he or she can do and wish for, play the Building Blocks music CD to create a positive, safe, and happy environment. The songs can be downloaded onto a CD or played from your computer. “Power Positive” is a song that celebrates what each of us can do and helps us feel good about ourselves. Also, “I Feel Many Different Ways” provides positive messages and thus helps children feel good about themselves. If time allows, let your child make up dance movements that go with the music and lyrics.
Directions: Have your child print his or her name and age and draw his or her unique facial features in the circle below.
My name is ________________________________. I am _____years old.
I look like this!
Directions: Have your child trace his or her right and left hands in the squares below.
My Right Hand
My Left Hand
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