I Can Be Brave: Success Skills for Kids

Kids, have you ever been afraid of something?

Join Dr. Lori and adorable Dozer the Dog in this episode where Dozer learns how to use his imagination to hope for good things instead of imagining scary things – and he learns that sometimes, when you take action even when you’re scared, wonderful surprises can be in store! What awesome success skills for kids to learn.

To subscribe to our channel at How Dogs Help Kids and watch this video now on YouTube, 
To learn more about Dr. Lori’s literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, visit www.howdogshelpkids.com!

Featured Book: Stanley’s Party

Stanleys-Party-480Have you ever wondered what your dog gets up to when you go out for the evening? Linda Bailey’s Stanley’s Party is a fun and highly creative “tail” featuring one adventurous dog who knows how to have a seriously good time. The illustrations by Bill Slavin are absolutely adorable, and bring this very lovable character to life. When Stanley’s people go out, he knows that he’s not supposed to sit on the couch. But he also knows how luxurious and comfortable it is. He knows he probably shouldn’t play with the stereo, but man, he also just loves to dance. He knows that the fridge and TV are off limits, but it’s just too much fun to enjoy snacks while watching his favorite shows (of course, all the while sitting on that oh-so-luxurious couch!). And of course, somewhere in Stanley’s adorable little brain he also knows that having a party is probably not a great idea, but sometimes a dog just gets carried away, doesn’t he?! I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say that even though things go badly for Stanley for awhile, they come together in his favor in the end. 🙂

If you are a teacher or a parent, the children in your life will LOVE this book. How do I know? I’ve read it to over 300 second-grade children and each and every time, they can’t wait to tell me about what they imagine their own pets get up to when they go out. And then they ask me to read it again, which in my opinion, is the true mark of a great book. But don’t take my word for it – just take a look at this long list of awards that Stanley’s Party has earned:

Winner, Time to Read Award, B.C. Achievement Foundation, 2007
Winner, Oregon SMART Award, 2006
Winner, Saskatchewan Shining Willow Award, 2005 
Winner, Georgia Storybook Award, 2005 
Winner, B.C. Chocolate Lily Award, 2005
Winner, Christie Harris Award (B.C. Book Prizes), 2004 
Winner, Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, 2004 
Winner, Zena Sutherland Award for Children’s Literature, 2004
Winner, Tiny Torgi Award (CNIB Print Braille), 2004 
Winner, Child Magazine Best Children’s Book Award, 2003
“Book Sense 76” Title
Shortlist, California Young Reader Medal, 2007

Stanley’s debut was so popular that Linda Bailey wrote four more books featuring this wonderful character (inspired by her own dog Sophie). To learn more about Linda Bailey’s great work, please visit her website by clicking here.

To order Stanley’s Party on Amazon now, just click here. What a great gift for the children in your classroom or in your own home! To order any of Linda Bailey’s other Stanley books on Amazon, just click on the images below. Happy tails to you!

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“Just” Stuffed Animals?

IMG_1343When I first designed this program for classrooms to help children learn to demonstrate more kindness and compassion towards dogs while also teaching them to read, I received some skepticism because these were “just” stuffed animals. Even the children themselves, just before they received their new adopted little buddies, were asking when the real dogs were coming to visit the classroom.

But then the children each received and named their dogs, and made them their own name tags and collars. They began to cuddle and pet their dogs as they participated in lessons. They turned their dog to face the book so their dog could “see” the pictures as they read, and they practiced their spelling words with them, lovingly patting their dog on their head.

IMG_1363We are now mid-way through the program, and today was Crazy Hat Day, so of course all of the children ran over to where I was, asking to have their pictures taken with their dogs and their Crazy Hats (pictured above on the left). And then I realized that it wasn’t just hats that these dogswere wearing – many of them had their very own outfits. I asked the teacher about this.

“Well, I’m not sure how it started, exactly,” she said, shaking her head with a smile on her face, “But before I knew it, they were all going to the dollar store and buying dolls just for the clothes – then throwing the dolls away so they could dress up their dogs!”

The bond that these children have formed with their dogs is clear by the way they nurture them, talk to them, cuddle with them, and care for them. As was so eloquently expressed by Alan T. Beck:

“Companion animals are our children’s children.

The best thing we can do for our
children is to help them be better parents.”

IMG_1366Especially for children who are unable to have a pet of their own due to allergies, family financial challenges or family circumstances, having a little stuffed animal to love and care for can offer valuable lessons for children. Young children are rarely in the role of nurturer or “caring for” (instead of being cared for), and pets (both real and imagined to be real) can provide valuable opportunities for children to learn responsibility, empathy, and compassion.

IMG_1371Research suggests that young children have one foot permanently placed in reality and the other in imagination. What a wonderful gift for a young child to know that such an unconditional and loving friend exists for them when they are at school; a place where teachers have been warned against hugs, yet a place where so many children desperately need this form of comfort. I wonder if these kids would describe these dogs as “just” stuffed animals to them?