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The Day the Crayons Quit!

A lover of children’s stories, this book by Drew Daywalt provides a wonderful message to children about empathy and conflict management.

The story starts with little boy Duncan wanting to do some colouring in but when he opens his box of crayons, the crayons are gone and he is left with a selection of letters.

The crayons have gone on strike!

· Blue crayon is tired of just being used to colour the sea

· Pink crayon is sad because they never get used enough

· The orange and yellow crayons are fighting over who is the colour of the sun

· Red crayon is just tired of colouring in everything

There are a few lessons that readers of all ages can take away from this book:

· Being able to communicate your feelings to others is important for healthy relationships (although the boy in our story was quick to change, it's often harder for adults and we shouldn't let a situation get to breaking point before we communicate how we feel)

· The decisions we make will have an impact on others and we should think carefully about them

· We all need to work to recognise when someone is sad or hurt and help them however we can

In the end, Duncan decides to make a picture using all of his crayons in a more creative way, including an orange whale, a blue car and a pink airplane.

Duncan learns that it is vital to respect others because sometimes we might think everyone is fine with how they are treated but really, they feel quite the opposite.

Not only does this book have humour that your child will love, it allows you to talk with your child about respect, empathy and kindness; all important elements for conflict management. A few conversation starters you can use are listed below:

· Why do you think Duncan drew the different picture at the end?

· Have you ever felt like one of the crayons, fed up of doing the same thing? What note would you write?

· How do you treat Mum/Dad/Brother/Sister/Auntie What do you think they would like to do if they could do anything?

· Which crayon do you feel most sorry for?

Empathy is an important skill in life and this book is a wonderful introduction to it. Most of us are not as good at empathy as we'd like and it is so helpful to learn this (and other skills) at an early age. Kate can work with you and your child to support and enhance these skills further though creative techniques and activities.

For more information, email kate@cherrytreecounselling.com.au


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