For Little Friends

By Trudi Merz Foss


Hugs Are for Teaching

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done (John 13:15).
  1. 1.

    When Amy was three, her mother and father brought home her baby brother, Paul. They said Amy was a big sister now. But she didn’t feel any different. She still felt little.

  2. 2.

    Amy wasn’t sure she liked the baby. He didn’t do anything, even when she smiled at him. Then one day he smiled. “I taught my brother how to smile,” said Amy.

  3. 3.

    Sometimes Amy liked to shake a rattle in front of Paul. When Paul was three months old, he reached out and took the rattle from Amy and shook it. “I taught my brother how to shake a rattle,” said Amy.

  4. 4.

    One day Amy’s friend came over to play. They crawled on the floor and pretended they were dogs. Paul watched them. A few months later Amy saw Paul crawl. “I taught my brother how to crawl,” said Amy.

  5. 5.

    Amy liked to pretend that she was an acrobat on a high wire, walking very slowly, one foot in front of the other. When baby Paul was ten months old, he took his first steps walking very slowly, one step at a time. “I taught my brother how to walk,” said Amy.

  6. 6.

    Paul was growing big and tall. He didn’t always do what Amy told him to. Sometimes Amy forgot to be nice. She pulled his hair and made him cry. Then she felt bad and gave him a hug.

  7. 7.

    One day Amy would not share her book with Paul. He grabbed her hair. Amy rubbed her head and said tearfully, “I taught my brother how to pull hair.”

  8. 8.

    Paul held out his arms in front of Amy. Amy held out her arms, too, and they hugged. “I taught Paul how to hug,” said Amy. “I would rather hug than pull hair. From now on I will be very careful about what I teach my brother.”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney

Valentine Turtle

To make a turtle, you will need: a large gumdrop, scissors, half a walnut shell, a raisin, a toothpick, cloves, red paper, and glue.

  1. 1.

    Cut off the small top of the gumdrop and eat it. Push the sticky part of what’s left against the top of the inside of the walnut shell.

  2. 2.

    Put a raisin on one end of the toothpick. Stick the other end of the toothpick through the gumdrop so that the raisin is on one end for the head and the toothpick sticks out the other end for the tail (see illustration).

  3. 3.

    Stick four cloves into the gumdrop for the legs.

  4. 4.

    Cut out small red hearts, and glue them on the shell.

Valentine Relay Race

To prepare for the game, you will need: red construction paper, scissors, old magazines or white paper and crayons, glue, and string.

  1. 1.

    Cut out a large heart for each player. If there’s an odd number of players, cut out an extra heart.

  2. 2.

    For each two hearts, you will need to find similar pictures in magazines or draw pictures of a child doing the same action, such as running, jumping, crawling, walking backwards, etc. Cut out the pictures, and glue them to the hearts. Repeat with a picture or drawing of a different action on the next two hearts. Continue until all the hearts have been completed.

  3. 3.

    Attach a piece of string to each heart so that the children can hang it around their necks.

To Play: Divide the children into two groups. Arrange the hearts in the same order, making two piles at the end of the room. On “Go,” the first player of each team runs up to its pile of hearts, puts on the top one, then returns doing the pictured action. When the player returns to his team, the next player takes his turn. The team who finishes first wins. If there’s an extra player on one team, one of the players on the other team should go twice.

The Weather Zoo

FOG is a great gray elephant
on a runaway skateboard,
rolling in at breakneck speed—
Stay out of its way!
RAIN is a porcupine
spearing the earth
with its wet quills.
SNOW is a feathery fat bird
flying light … and slow … and low.
The SUN is a friendly yellow lion
with a pointed starry mane,
smiling at the world.

[illustration] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney