Today I am handing over my blog to Sandra Wilson, the author and founder of the Kindness Kangaroo Project.
Hello, I am delighted to share more about the Kindness Kangaroo Project and also how you can create it for children during the global pandemic.
Through the Kindness Kangaroo Project, I am able to visit classrooms of children and we make books together. My first visit into the classroom is for brainstorming ideas. We discuss ideas for the story based on the theme I have in mind for the book. For the Super Kids Save the World series, for example, the theme is environmental issues and each book represents a specific issue.
In the class that helped create Super Kids vs the Garbage Monster discussed ways to reduce garbage. We also discuss the story format. We build characters, decide on a problem that occurs in the story and suggest resolutions to the problem. After about an hour of collecting ideas I return home to work on the story.
Using the ideas from the children as well as inspiration from my interactions with them I create a suitable story. For Messy Monkey (one of the Emotional Animal Alphabet books) I was working with a kindergarten class and one child responded to a question with the word hamburger (the question was not food related but I was working with five-year olds). The next few responses to follow were all random food words – much to the delight of the children. Not only did this generate giggles but it also inspired me to include a food fight in the story!
After I have written the story, I send it to the teacher so she can share it with the class. The class then begins to create the drawings that will illustrate the book. On occasion I have joined the group for the story reveal and art portion so I have gotten to see the delight on their faces as they hear how I incorporated their ideas.
Once the drawings are finished, they are sent to me so I can scan them in, format them into the book which is then sent to the printer. The next time I visit the class it is to reveal the book, to show them their art inside and to applaud them all for their accomplishments.
In our new reality brought on my the COVID19 pandemic I am not working in classrooms anymore. I have worked in a group virtual meeting with children though to do a similar book project. This concept of creating a book though can be translated into the home for parents to do with their children.
So here is your Step-by-Step Lockdown Guide to The Kindness Kangaroo Project:
- Think of an interesting or relatable subject matter (for example my virtual class discussed the importance of keeping things clean).
- Have a discussion together (all ages can take part if they are able as it is wonderful to see different view points and understand each child’s perspective of the world). Think about the ideas and how they could be translated into a story format.
- Work together on writing a story.
- Once the story is written, encourage each child to draw some pictures that help illustrate the story. And just like that, you have your own family created picture book!
The Kindness Kangaroo Project books are available to buy here.