Author: Roger Hargreaves
Age: preschool, elementary school
Description: One of the “Mr. Books” that outright speaks to those overly active, well-meaning, but tough-to-manage kids.
- Body awareness
- Motor planning
- Perspective taking
- Good intentions
- Understanding consequences of actions
- Accepting help from an adult
Why I like this book: First of all, this is a series that I used when I was teaching in the late 70’s, and it is adorable. Even though it’s “old”, kids respond to the characters and story. There are few books that specifically address those bouncy kids and, as an OT, I am happy to use this one.
Ideas for use:
- Before reading, discuss times when you moved too quickly or moved without looking which caused a problem for you or others. For example, knocking over a coffee cup or tripping over a pair of shoes. Have the kids offer suggestions of times their high activity level caused bad things to happen. This helps “normalize” the situation without pointing a negative finger at the “Bouncers.”
- As you read the story, have the kids anticipate what will happen. There are lots of opportunities for visualization. For example, “… you can guess what happened next, can’t you?” and “As you can imagine, that made things very difficult.” Taking time to think about and discuss these concepts helps kids with ideation and planning.
- Discuss feelings as you read. How did Mr. Bounce feel about falling in the water? The simple line drawings actually have very expressive faces. Have the kids work on mimicking the expressions.
- Young kids may not know they need help from adults to manage their high activity level. They may be disciplined for accidents they cause and feel that they need to figure it out on their own. I love that Mr. Bounce seeks help from an adult in this book. Talk with kids about how we, as adults, are here to help them, not punish them.
- Play a variation of the Silly-Calm body game from the Social Adventures App after reading this book to help kids recognize they can have control over their bodies. When you say, “Bounce” kids can move, dance, or bounce around the room. When you say, “Red Boots” (the shoes that were given to Mr. Bounce to help him be more grounded) the kids will freeze their bodies or pretend to sleep, or go back to their seats and remain still.
Check out their great website for lots of fun stuff http://www.mrmen.com
Submitted by: Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L
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*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.