Tag Archives: butterfly kisses

Everyday Play with social interaction

by Sukie Jackson

Promoting Social interaction: Handshake, High Five, Hug Or Butterfly Kiss!

We are so lucky, in our parent cooperative, to have parents with a variety of skills sets. Nathan’s mother, Jennifer has her master’s in Early Childhood Special Education.  She recently presented to our staff “Promoting Social Interactions in Daily Routines” which began with the statement that adaptations that encourage positive social behavior “don’t require a ton of effort” and can be “built into daily routines.” Jennifer’s presentation was filled with good ideas and good reminders appropriate for teachers and parents both.

Jennifer suggested that when singing “If You Are Happy and You Know It….” social alternatives to “Clap Your Hands” include:

  • Eyelash to eyelash, Kerry gives her son a butterfly Kiss

    Eyelash to eyelash, Kerry gives her son a butterfly Kiss

    Hug a friend

  • Give a Thumb Kiss
  • Give High Fives
  • Hold Your Neighbor’s Hand
  • Scratch your Neighbor’s Back
  • Give your friend a side bump
  • Blow a kiss
  • Wink at Someone
  • Smile

These are all such simple, wonderful ways to for children to connect to each other and for us as adults to connect with children anytime, not just when singing a song.  Teachers may incorporate them into a Circle Time routine, while parents may want to make them part of saying good-bye or good-night to a child.

Nyshie and her dad share a thumb kiss

Nyshie and her dad share a thumb kiss

How did I raise three children and never encounter a “thumb kiss” (simply touching your thumb to another person’s thumb).  My grandmother always gave me butterfly kisses (eyelash to eyelash). Try this with your child. And then try it with your partner or friend! It’s a fun and funny way to relate to another person (imagine being the husband of this preschool teacher).

Jennifer suggests that children can be encouraged to work together cleaning up by having one child hand toys to a peer to put away.  She offered ideas for children to work on art projects in pairs (it can be as simple as putting two chairs close together at the art table with just one canvas and one set of art materials to share). I believe that all the good ideas Jennifer shared with classroom teachers could be used to promote positive interactions with siblings too.

I often think of my son’s first Ruth Washburn teacher, Pat. At the end-of- year Circle when Pat called on each child individually to give them a Certificate of Belonging,  she offered to say good-bye  with a “handshake, high five or hug. ”  I appreciated that Pat respectfully offered a variety of choices that honored different comfort levels for physical touch in a class full of children.  I couldn’t have been more surprised and delighted when my shy and reserved son ran up and gave Pat a hug.

Hug, handshake, high five…. or butterfly kiss your child today!

Sincerely, Sukie

Special thanks to Jennifer Cronk for being such an inspiration.