- by Carolyn-Webster-Stratton, Ph.D., Developer, President, Incredible Years Inc.
Dear Incredible Years Mentors, Teachers and Group leaders,
Those of you who have been delivering the IY Classroom or Small Group Dinosaur social and emotional curriculum to children have asked us about ways to reach out to your children and their families with elements of this curriculum at this stressful time. Thank you for your commitment to your families and their children. Previously we hope you received our document and a possible script for how parents can talk to children about the virus. See document Providing Supportive Parenting on the Resources for Parents section of our web site and see our prior blog for a possible template for working on-line with the parenting program.
Now we are sharing with you two documents you can send to the children via email, or better yet, have Dina Dinosaur read the letter to them in person on the phone or via Skype or Zoom. The first letter is from Dina Dinosaur to the children about how she misses them, what she is doing (practicing flying with her wings), and how she is helping others stay healthy by washing her hands and calling her grandparents.
The 2nd document is some of Dina’s incredible activities related to things the children have learned in Dinosaur School and can do at home alone or with other adults.
Next you will find a document for child small group therapists and teachers with some tips for how to continue to offer support to children and their parents about using the dinosaur curriculum concepts via Skype or Zoom, if that is an option for you. In these calls you can include your puppet friends such as Felicity Feelings, or Wally Problem Solver, or Antonio Awesome, or Luciana Love to talk to the children via Zoom or Skype. Children will find these calls supportive, fun and reassuring. And by doing this with your puppet you may encourage parents to do similar puppet shows with their children. Puppet play really allows children to communicate their feelings in a safe way and your puppets can offer reassurance.
Soon we plan to bring Dina Dinosaur herself to you. Stay tuned. For now you can review on our web site Youtube Dina sharing her tips for survival and teamwork.
Wally and Dina
Dina Meets Dinatronic
Rules for Survival
And you might want to review our article on teaching children to problem solve through puppet play interactions:
Webster-Stratton, C., Reid, J.M. (2018). Teaching Children to Problem-Solve through Puppet Play Interactions. In A.A. Drewes and C.E. Schaefer (Eds.), Puppets in Play Therapy: A PracticalGuidebook (pp. 130-142). New York: Routledge.
I want to confirm our goal to supporting all our Incredible Years family and finding ways to help each other find ways to connect with families during these times of enforced social isolation. I am so grateful to our IY community and strong ties. I hope and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.