The Kissing Hand


The Kissing Hand (a heart-warming story by Audrey Penn) ~is a perfect story for the first day of school. It is a story about a little raccoon ready to start school. He talks about his fears, fears that most children have before starting school, with his mother. His mother comes up with a wonderful solution to help her little raccoon remember that she loves him and is thinking about him, even when she isn't with him. A wonderful story to share with little ones as they can easily relate to Chester's fears.

The following activity is a good way to learn a little bit about your students' writing ability and their personalities.  After reading the story the children color the hand and write his/her name on the first line of the paper.  ___________  brought (Student's name) to school on the first day, and (s)he felt _________________.  This makes a nice first day classbook.  Don't forget to put a heart in the palm.












To introduce the art area on the first day the students make a print of their hand on a puzzle.  (Make sure that you use the washable ink so they don't go home on the first day all covered in ink.)  A heart sticker is then placed in the palm of the print.  I send the puzzle home in a ziplock bag with the note shown below. This makes a great first day keepsake. This idea came from which seems to be no longer available.


Another activity that is not quite as expensive or involved comes from Teacher's Helper, Sept./Oct. 1999.  The student's paint their hand brown and print it on the worksheet.  They later come back and color and cut the heart out that is at the bottom of the page (good for assessing fine motor - coloring and cutting) and glue it in the middle of the hand print. This is also a great way to begin introducing sign language with "I Love You".

After reading The Kissing Hand we go on a tour of the school to find Chester.  This is a great way to introduce the children to the different areas of the school that they will be going to for special activities.

In the Classroom

"Let's take a tour of Oakland.
Remember to be quiet and walk in the halls."

Computer Lab

"You'll learn to use computers here.
When you need help,  Mrs. Files will be near."


" From Mrs. Kanipe you can check out a book. But don't forget to bring it back so others can look!"

Art Room

"With Mrs. McKinney in Art, you'll use paints, markers, and clay.
We'll make lots of artwork from August to May."

Health Room

"We have lots of friend and I'll tell you why...
In the health room they fix what hurts and makes you cry!"


"The cafeteria staff likes us a bunch!
They always make sure we have a good lunch.
If you're very polite, and help keep it clean,
and use soft voices, our cafeteria will be keen."


"The office is a busy place. Everyone has a friendly face!
Oakland is a big school, so there's always a lot of work to do!
Even so...Mr. Moore, Mrs. Robbins, Mrs. McDowell, and Mrs. Hall
will ALWAYS stop to say 'Hello'!"


Ms. Pope is our friend.  She can teach us a lot about how to help others and keeping kind thoughts.


"Sometimes you'll sing soft, sometimes you'll sing loud.
In Music sing nicely, make Mrs. Dickson proud!!"


"This is the gym where you can hop and run.
P.E. days are lots of fun!
Listen to what Ms. Cabe has to say
And follow the rules whenever you play!"


Ms. Susan and Mr. Gerald are part of the crew.

They keep our school looking nice as new.

We do our best to help them out,

Pick up your trash don't throw it about.

We'll keep our hands at our sides

They will not on walls or windows glide.


The playground is a place  to have fun.

There we can jump, skip, slide, and run.

When it is recess time each day,

Your green star will pay your way.

When we return from the tour Chester has left a "Kissing Hand" snack for each of the children.  They love them.



The children love to help Chester find his mother.  This board game is a great way to assess the children's understanding of numbers.



This activity helps to introduce the children to sign language (I Love You) and also gives the parents a copy of the song The Kiss Goes On.


Songs, Poems, and Finger Plays

The Kiss Goes On

[Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star]

Here's a special trick I know,

When I'm sad and scared to go.

Take my hand and kiss it here,

The kiss from you I will hold dear.

Down my hand and up my arm,

Into my heart the kiss goes on.

Here's a special thing to do
When I am scared of leaving you.
Hold my hand, then kiss it here.
The kiss will help to keep you near.
It will help me through my day,
So I can work and learn and play.

First Day of School

It's my first day of school
And "The Kissing Hand" is what we read.
It's about a raccoon
Who did just as his parents said.

Like the raccoon's first day at school
I was scared and a little shy.
But because of what you said
I was brave and I got by.

All through the year
I'll make more things for you.
So as I change and as I learn
You can see my growth, too!


Kissing Hand Finger Play 

Each day when I come to school
I tell someone good-bye; (wave)
I get a kiss (blow kiss)
or a nice warm hug (hug yourself)
and I don't want to cry (rub eyes)
I don't need to feel worried
or sad to see them go (sad face)
because there is a special thing
that only I can know (point to self)
I have a kiss that I can keep (kiss palm of hand)
and use when I feel sad,
because I've got a "kissing hand" (hold up hand)
that always makes me glad!


Kissing Hand Poem

A piece of me I give to you,
This special heart because
"I love you."
The heart is you, the hand is me,
It shows that we are
A Family.


I made a puzzle just for you

At school on my very first day.

Its made with love and my handprint,

In a very special way.


Now you can sit down on the floor

With your favorite kindergarten kid.

Well put it together while I tell you about

 all the fun things that we did!

Check this out for a song using sign and the word love.

Great to start the year with if you do The Kissing Hand.


Night and Day Chart

After reading "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn, we talk about how Chester the Raccoon goes to school at night (introduce the term "nocturnal"), but of course, we go to school during the day!  We then do some comparisons of day and night time activities.  I have sentence strips with Day/Night ideas written on them.  As a group we decide if the ideas happen at night or during the day, and place them on the chart in the correct category.  After they get the idea, I have the kids give me examples of things they think belong on our chart and write them on sentence strips before attaching them to the chart. 
The children decided that we had to put the sentence about animals in the middle because we have frogs in our classroom  - therefore there are animals in both schools.





With all the fun that can be had with this story don't forget to let the children know real facts about raccoons.  They are cute to look at but they can be very dangerous.                         

Raccoon footprints.


Additional Web Site Sources   Chester Path game  -  raccoon coloring pages