Activity 1: The Wonder Box
Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Wonder Box (See Session 1 or instructions.)
- A toy, stuffed dog (preferably, a guide dog dressed for work) and/or items representing care of a puppy
Preparation for Activity
- Place the toy dog and/or other items inside the Wonder Box.
Description of Activity
With the children still in a circle, show the Wonder Box. Invite them to guess what gift could be in this big, beautifully wrapped box. Take some guesses. Then pass the box around for children to open and find the dog-related items inside. Invite brief comments on their experiences and relationships with animals. Let them know they will have more opportunity to share later.
Including All Participants
Some children may want pets and their parents have chosen not to have one. Without taking a side, you may want to affirm the immense responsibility of pet ownership.
Children whose allergies limit the contact they can have with animals may express sadness about this. Be mindful to offer empathy.
Be prepared for a child to bring up the death of a pet. You may like to have on hand the book, The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Erik Blegvad (New York: Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 1987). The book focuses on a little boy's relationship to his cat and how he copes with his loss when the cat dies.