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Sometimes talking about ourselves, especially with new people, can be a difficult (and scary) thing to do! But as many teachers and therapists will tell you - incorporating creativity and play into the conversation can make it much less intimidating to share our inner world with others. I have designed this printable book called "All About ME!" to help us grown-ups to start and facilitate conversations with children about their personal interests, their families, their values, their fears, and their dreams.
This book contains 13 pages, including the cover. Each page is interactive, and requires the child to think about and respond to questions, such as : "Who are the people you feel closest to?", "What is your favorite memory?", and "What are some ways that you like to help out around the house?". Some questions ask the child to respond with written words, and others ask the child to depict their answer in a drawing.
Here are a couple of suggestions for how to use this book:
1. Time Capsule: Ask your child or students to complete one page at a time throughout a school year, treatment period, or any other measure of time. Save the completed book in a special place. When the child gets older, this can be a priceless window into the world of who they once were. This can be especially fruitful for children who have made significant emotional and developmental growth since they completed their book. Looking back at what they wrote in their book can illustrate just how much progress they have made, and allows them to have confidence in themselves for how far they have come.
2. Conversation Starter: You don't have to complete the entire book with every child. Perhaps you will find that particular pages in this book are more pertinent to the work that you do, and the children that you serve. You can select one page to use at a time with a child. For example, maybe you are aware that a child is being affected by past or present family stress. You could use the page that prompts the child to decorate the peg dolls to look like their favorite people (see image in listing). This would help you to understand who the most important people are in their lives, and could help you to start a conversation about the nature of the child's relationship with each of those people.
PRINTING AND ASSEMBLING YOUR BOOK:
When you download the PDF file for the "All About ME!" book, you will find that this file is formatted to print on normal 8.5 x 11 inch paper. However, their is extra white space on the left side of each paper. For best results, I recommend completing the following steps:
1. When printing, select the options "Scale to fit, Print entire image" on your printing preferences.
2. For a more sturdy, higher quality book, print onto a thicker paper, such as cardstock.
3. Once printed, trim 0.75 inches off of the left hand side of each page.
4. You can bind your book by simply stapling along the lefthand side of your book. You can also use a coil binder for a nicer finish, if you happen to have access to a coil binder.