Little Children, Big Challenges
Young children face new challenges at every age and stage—that's why it's so important to help them build the skills they need to become resilient. With self-confidence and the ability to express themselves, little ones will be able to handle whatever may come their way…and will just keep getting stronger.
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As an educator, you play an important role in helping children feel confident and supported as they build skills for resilience. Sesame Street created the Educator Activity Guide to help you further develop resilience skills in the children you teach. You can find additional project resources to help children overcome challenges both inside and outside of the classroom.
#1 Saying Goodbye
Learning to separate can take time. Use a routine to help make the good-bye as concise and structured as possible. Each time you separate, try giving your child two hugs and a kiss and say, "I'll be back to pick you up later!"
#2 Practicing Patience
Five minutes can feel like an hour to a child. Explain time in a way she'll understand. If she asks, "How long?" you might say, "As long as it takes to walk to school" or "As long as it takes to brush your teeth."
#3 Getting Along with Siblings
Sharing with a sibling can sometimes be difficult. Try setting up boxes where each of your children can place items that they do not wish to share. Then you can designate some items that are always for sharing.
#4 Moving Along
Moving can mean big changes and transitions. If possible, take your child to his new neighborhood or school before you move. Show him some new places and things that you think will excite him.
#5 Coping with Bullying
If your child is being bullied, have him practice saying, "I don't like the way they are acting. I am going to play with someone else." Let him know that it is always OK to ask a grown-up for help.
#6 What I Am
Help your child brainstorm positive words to describe himself. You can use the What We Are anthem song as inspiration.
#7 I Know You Can Do It
Let your child know that you believe in her. Knowing that she has your support will help her become more confident.
#8 Give It a Try
Encourage your child to give things a try, whether it's tasting a new food or saying hello to a new child in the neighborhood. Trying new things can be empowering—and he might love something he tries!
#9 What I'm Proud Of
Encourage your child to talk about something she's proud of accomplishing. Focusing on her strengths and achievements will help her face challenges with determination.
#10 Breathe, Think, Do
When your child runs into a problem, encourage him to "Breathe, Think, Do": Take a deep breath, think about what to do next, and give the solution a try.
#11 Keep Getting Stronger
Introduce your child to the word "persistent," explaining that it means not giving up, even when things don't go the way you want them to. Being persistent helps us solve problems…and helps make us stronger.
#12 I Can Choose
Help your child gain independence by offering choices during your daily routines. Does she want to wear the blue shirt or the red shirt today? Does she want to have an apple or celery at snack time?
#13 Feel It, Name It, Share It
Use the saying "Feel It, Name It, Share It" with your child to help him reflect on, recognize, and express his emotions.
#14 How Are You Feeling?
Check in with your child regularly about her feelings. It'll remind her that you're there for her and give her opportunities to practice expressing emotions.
#15 Express Yourself
Talking about your own emotions and coping with them in positive ways can help set a good example for your child.
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About This Project
Little Children, Big Challenges, Sesame Workshop’s resilience initiative, was created with major support provided by BAE Systems, Inc. and generous support provided by The Prudential Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the USO, and Military Child Education Coalition. This project aims to help children build self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and emotional tools they need to cope with adversity. Resilient children have the ability not only to overcome difficult situations (such as bullying, divorce, sibling rivalry, and relocation) but also to learn from and be strengthened by challenges throughout their lives.
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