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- Heart Chart: Make a chart to help keep track of little acts of kindness that a child does. When you make your chart explain to the child that Trina would like to help him to be kind and that he can help by making a reminder chart. Give him all the materials that he will need. If he is a very young child you should precut the hearts for him. Or if you think that he is capable then you could show him how to cut the heart out by folding the paper in half and drawing half a heart on the fold.
- Each time you see something, no matter how small, you or the child puts a small check or heart on the Heart Chart. If the child is experiencing difficulty in this area, you may have to be very alert and attuned to notice the smallest little act. It may be as simple as smiling at you in the morning when he first wakes up.
- Keep the child interested in the chart by noticing things daily. Encourage him to start noticing kindness in himself so that he gets the idea that he is becoming a kind person. When a certain number has been achieved (not too few or not too many because it shouldn't be too hard or too easy) then maybe you and the child could decide together on something special to do.
- You don't have to reward him with candy but it could be something like a favorite meal, taking a walk in the park, going to a favorite place, having some friends over, seeing a special movie, going to the library, or being allowed to have a special privilege. You could even decide on these ahead of time and write them on slips of paper. Put them on 2 separate envelopes: one marked Privileges and the other Activities. The child can pick which one he wants but you have to be ready to do or allow whatever he picks to take place as soon as possible.
Arts and Craft Activities
- Make a 'Love Book': Put together a book of blank pages and staple it. (Assist young children in any of the areas that it is needed but allow them to do it if they are capable.) On the cover, draw a large heart and write the words "I Love" or "I Am Grateful For." Children can then draw pictures of people, places, big and little things. If they are too young to print, you could print the sentences they tell you about each page. When it is finished they can read it as often as they want.
- Make a 'Family Love Book': Pages for this could be a little larger. Each page could have a picture of one of the members of the family so that each member has their own page to work on. Later, you could put all the pages together and staple them. Written sentences can be included for each page. This makes it more interesting for everybody to read.
- Grow Trina's Garden: Plant seeds and when you water them send them loving thoughts and watch them grow better. You might also try misting them like the dew drop method.
Role Playing for Younger Children
Let children act out the story of Trina or the different sections of the story.
- Encourage them by asking them to show you how Trina and the toads saved the duckling.
- Act out how all the fairies and elves in Fairyland treated the toads when they first saw them and later how they changed.
- Show how Trina looked after her garden and used the 'dew drop method'.
Quiet Time/Self-Reflective Activities
- First, you may want to imagine yourself in Trina's beautiful garden and the rest of Fairyland, looking at all the wonderful flowers and breathing in the fresh air. With your eyes closed, see if you can picture every incredible flower, bird, fountain, stream, forest and animals that you can.
- Another time, find a quiet place to sit with your child and think about someone (it could also be a pet or a favorite place) you love. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Think of the nicest time you ever had with them and capture that feeling again. Stay in this feeling until it becomes as deep as you can make it. Now send this feeling to other people you know and possibly to the whole world.
- You could vary this time by listening to some beautiful music. If the child feels like it you could share what you experienced.
Additional Books and Videos on Love
Topics to Study
- Find out who Mother Teresa was and what she did to help others.
- Explore the life of Gandhi and what he did for the love of his people and his country.
Books to Read for Younger Children:
Mama, Do You Love Me? By Barbara M. Joose
Set in the Arctic, a little girl learns that her mother loves her 'more than the whale loves his spout' and will love her 'till the stars turn to fish in the sky,' even if she stayed away to sing with the wolves or turned into a walrus.
Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco
A little boy's love for his toy rabbit brings immortality to it.
Books to Read for Older Children
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White, Garth Williams (Illustrator).
Begins with a little girl's impassioned love for a pig and her attempts to save him from the ax. Later blossoms into the pig's love for his best friend, Charlotte the spider and how they both sacrifice themselves for the love of the other.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The story of a little girl and her deep love for her grandfather. The story takes us on an adventure of being separated and then the joy of being reunited again.
Henry Higgins or Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling (Illustrator)
The story of a boy's love for his dog and the troubles he has keeping it.
The Secret Garden by Madeleine L'Engle.
The love of a little girl breaks through selfishness of those around her and triumphs in the end.
Lassie Come Home by Rosemary Wells
The story of one determined dog to get back to the family he loves through the rough country of Scotland.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Another story where the love of a little orphan melts the hearts of those who she goes to live with.
Free Willy (1993) -- Wincer, Richter
Wayward 12-year-old, ordered to remove paint from aquarium walls, befriends and helps train an orca whale, eventually exploited by his owner.
Sound of Music (1965) -- Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer
This classic musical set amidst the splendor of Austria's alps chronicles a young governess' budding romance with her employer, and the family's daring flight from Nazi rule.
Old Yeller (1957) -- Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker
Heart-warming story of a boy who bonds with a feisty stray dog in 1860s Texas and the trials and tribulations they face.
Annie (1999) -- Alicia Morton, Kathy Bates
A movie musical, in which an charming orphan seeks her true parents but finds unlikely friends and adventures instead.
Heidi (1993) -- Jason Robards
A grumpy grandfather and his orphaned Swiss niece become tragically separated. But love conquers all obstacles
To order these or many more books, music, and videos check out our recommended lists: