...It's Hard To Fix A Wrinkled Heart!
Another great demonstration to do with your preschoolers as you talk about bullying is the wrinkled heart exercise. For young children who live in the moment and have a hard time correlating their present actions with future consequences, the wrinkled heart is a great visual reminder that what we say and do matters because hurtful words and actions can have a lasting effect on others.
Wrinkled Heart Demonstration
Have your students start with a construction paper heart and invite them to fold/crumble the cutout. Then, have them straighten the heart and try to return it to its original condition. As your students will find out, it's not possible to remove every crease and wrinkle. In the same way, when we choose to do and say mean things to others, we can never fully know how it will affect the other person - it might cause a small wrinkle that smooths out relatively well or it could cause a large crease that is not easily fixed. Because of this we each have a big responsibility to choose our words wisely and think before we act!
This poem sums up the lesson perfectly:
Before you speak Think and be smart. It's hard to fix A wrinkled heart! --Author Unknown
While your students won't be able to return their heart cutouts to their original condition, they can pledge to do what is right and do their part to create an environment that they, and their peers, will feel safe in and want to be a part of by being an encouraging and helpful friend! We love the idea of using the wrinkled hearts as a reminder of their commitment to end bullying. Simply invite students to put a band aid on their wrinkled heart, have them write or draw how they can help stop bullying, then display the colorful heart pledges in the classroom!