Sunday, March 23, 2014

Magical Monkey Dust

"Distract your brain!" That's what I say when kids come to me with a boo boo— the kind that you can barely see and is clearly not a lasting injury. In kindergarten we talk about how the brain works. Our brain can do lots of stuff at the same time, but it likes to focus on one thing. In fact it does its best work when we let it focus (this concept gets a lot of milage at work time). Sometimes, however, the brain works so well that it just keeps getting the message— the boo boo hurts, the boo boo hurts, the boo boo hurts... That's when I give a quick hug, and say to the injured and their entourage (you can never report a boo boo without a lot of help from friends) "Distract your brain!" I send them off to a new activity QUICK so the brain has something else to focus on. Works like a charm for "lite" boo boos.

Sometimes kids really do need a bandaid because they have broken the skin. And sometimes a boo boo needs more than a suggestion of distraction. So I have a special box of bandaids in my room.

It is a wooden box with a sculpted monkey on top and I got it for a buck at a garage sale. Whenever one of my kids gets an ouchy, owie, or boo boo, they know they are allowed to get a bandaid if they ask me first. The injury always hurts less once they are distracted with a visit to Boo Boo the Monkey.

Well, this fall I was shopping in Cost Plus World Market— love that store— and I found a little monkey snow shaker. I had no idea what I would use it for (eye roll from Jonathan), but I knew it was a Kidpeople thing. I collect monkeys and monsters, so it doesn't take much for new ones to find their way into my home or classroom. I brought it to school and set it near Boo Boo's box, just because monkeys go together. The kids liked that Boo Boo had a friend, and named the new one Boo-Boo-in-a-Bubble... we tend to name everything in our room.

Later in the week one of the kiddos came to me with a really nasty looking hangnail that had ripped down the side of their nail. Yikes! A true boo boo. No doubt IT needed a bandaid, so over to Boo Boo we went. The bandaid helped, but I could tell this was a biggie. Inspiration hit and I said, "Hmm, I think a little Magical Monkey Dust will do the trick." I picked up the monkey snow globe and "sprinkled" a little magic over that hurting finger.

Instant smiles! As the word spread quickly through the room, I knew I had a winner.

So now kids have a choice of remedies for what ails them. They can have a shot of Magical Monkey Dust, they can have a bandaid from Boo Boo, or they can have both. It is surprising how powerful Magical Monkey Dust is at making boo boos go away! Use your imagination and keep your eyes open for special "emergency kit contents," and I bet the magic works in your classroom, too. Please let me know if you try it, and share how you handle boo boos in your room.

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  1. Cute idea! In my room, we have a boo-boo binder. Kids can visit the "calm down corner" and make a page for a class book with a prompt that says "I have a boo-boo on my _____." They add the word and draw the picture and then we add it to our class book!