Your preschooler accidentally spills a glass of milk, and instead of making it a teachable lesson, you yell at him. Don't worry -- we've all been there. Once you calm down, you probably just want your tot to forgive you. Teach your preschooler that we all have the opportunity to forgive those who have hurt us by making forgiveness crafts together.
Your toddler steals your preschooler's toy, so your preschooler bops the toddler on the head. Sound familiar? Take the opportunity to discuss the difference between fighting and forgiveness. Sift through old magazines and newspapers together. Ask your preschooler to choose and cut out pictures involving fighting, as well as examples of love and kindness. Divide a black piece of poster board in half using a white crayon. Title one column “Hurts” and the other column “Forgiveness.” Help your preschooler paste pictures in the appropriate column. Talk about the difference between people’s expressions in each picture.
Your preschooler probably associates hearts with love, but teach her that they can also symbolize forgiveness. Did a pal recently snub her on the playground? Help her think about forgiveness by making a heart necklace. Make a heart template and help her trace multiple hearts on a piece of red construction paper. Help cut out the hearts and punch a hole in each one. Measure and snip a piece of yarn large enough to fit around her neck, then help her thread the yarn through each hole. Encourage her to wear the necklace whenever an opportunity to forgive arises.
Sign Language Badges
Your tot is in constant action, so sign language offers a natural way to physically demonstrate forgiveness. Teach your child the forgiveness sign, and then create a badge to wear as a visual reminder of that sign. Trace one of your child’s hands on a piece of thin cardboard, making a template for multiple badges. Show him how to trace the hand on different colors of paper and cut them out. Pin a badge on any member of the family each time someone needs a "hand" with forgiveness.
Thankfully, your child probably doesn't know how a broken heart feels at her tender age. Puzzle pieces can demonstrate what a broken heart looks like, as well as how forgiveness can put the broken pieces together again. Use a piece of thin cardboard to create a puzzle. Tell your child to draw a picture of a favorite item or activity. Draw squiggly lines over the picture to outline puzzle pieces, and help her cut out each piece. Talk about the effects of leaving the puzzle in broken pieces, and watch as your preschooler places each piece back together, forming a perfect image once again.