We have all had good days and bad days. But for those of you who have young children in your home or work with them on a regular basis, you know that children can go from crying to smiling in a matter of minutes. For some reason, children typically seem more open to receive the gift of a good thing and allow their mindset toward their circumstances to change. Unlike older people, young people don’t often get stuck in a negative or pessimistic attitude for an entire day (although hunger, tiredness and illness can take a toll on kids and their caregivers!). Children frequently and unknowingly demonstrate how to cultivate an openness to receive a blessing and allow one’s attitude to change toward the entire outlook on the day.
All of us probably knew how to joyfully receive those blessings at some point when we were younger and at some point found that we no longer could in the same way. Is it because we are we more cynical or more realistic? Or just too preoccupied to take all the wonderful things in and allow them to captivate our attention and thanksgiving rather than the bad? Whatever the case, my yearning to receive good things with an open and grateful heart is what touched me as I read aloud A Good Day to my children this week. Each character in the story has something happen that makes him sad or frustrated or upset… BUT THEN… Something happens to each one that changes the course of his day along with his attitude.
Our little ones can all relate to the characters in this story and we can, too. Enjoy A Good Day by Kevin Henkes as a sweet read-aloud together. And hopefully you, too, will find that today is a good day after all.
Best Age: prek-1st grade
- Think of a time in recent days when you or your child were upset by something. What happened to change your feelings? Discuss this together and relate your experience to the characters’ experiences.
- Look for an opportunity to bring up A Good Day with your child this week. For instance: “Ben’s toy was lost… but then he found it! What a good day!” or “Our friend couldn’t come to play after all… but then we walked to the park! What a good day!”
- Ask students what they consider to happen on a good day. Examples could be visiting grandma’s house, going to a restaurant for supper or playing outside with friends. Share what makes a good day for you.
- Print out each of the characters’ good and bad experiences on separate pieces of paper. Mix them up and ask students to match the good and bad experiences for each character by hanging them on the board or easel. Have the words “but then” in the center to divide the two. Celebrate together that each character was able to have a good day after something upsetting happened.
- Write a story starter with a line such as “I forgot my lunch at home but then…” or “I lost my favorite pencil but then…” and ask students to finish the sentence with a positive thing that would change the event from bad to good. It will be fun to see what your students come up with!