Developed by:Wee Society LLC
Everybody is special and the WeeYou-Things app wants to celebrate it! This app takes an important concept (acceptance) and makes it accessible to preschoolers. Kai has an extra eye? Wow, he must have great vision! Oh, here’s Pierre, running with his hands in the air. I guess his arms don’t get easily tired! All of the Wee You-Things are unique, which makes them that much more awesome.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities.
- I Like Myself!Since this app celebrates, well, you, I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont is a great book to read with your child. I Like Myself! talks about liking who you are, no matter what. Use the book as a springboard for your child to talk about what s/he likes about him/herself and what makes him/her special.
- Swirls and Loops, Oh My!Fingerprints are the body’s way of honoring uniqueness. Have your child roll each finger onto an inkpad and make fingerprints on a blank piece of paper. Then grab a magnifying glass and inspect each fingerprint. Ask your child to tell you what s/he sees. Swirls? Loops? Are there any similarities? Differences? Explain to your child that no two fingerprints are alike, which makes us all special beings!
- Hello! Bonjour!Another way to promote tolerance is to become familiar with different languages. It’s fun to teach your child to say “hello” in different languages. Here is a list to get you started:
- French: Bonjour (bon-joor)
- Hebrew: Shalom (shah-lome)
- Italian: Buongiorno (bwohn-jor-noh)
- Mandarin Chinese: Ni Hao (nee-how)
- Russian: Privet (pre-vyet)
- Spanish: Hola (oh-la)
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities.
- Custom Character:Let your child make his/her own custom character to add to the app. Take a picture, use a photo from your library, or pick a “pretend you” and see this character in the actual story!
- Get Interactive:Part of the beauty of 3-5-year-olds is their natural curiosity. Tap into this inquiry by encouraging your child to explore the interactive elements within the app. Tilt, tap, and swipe each character to elicit a response. As a water lover, I enjoyed tilting the iPad to watch Potter (who lives in the water) take a dive!
- Embrace Questions:Your child may have lots of questions while reading this app. Embrace this. Let your child know that it is okay to notice differences and that asking questions is a great way to deepen an understanding of others. In order to appreciate diversity and promote acceptance, preschoolers need to ask questions. Your child may ask why “Niels has orange wheels” or “Brad’s got two dads.” You may also want to check out the app’s parent tip page, which helps adults discuss the idea of differences with their children and start conversations to encourage empathy. To find the parent tip page, tap on the heart at the top of the screen, click on “How It Works”, and swipe to the final page.
Extend the app experience with these real life activities:
- All About Me Collage:Sometimes the best way to begin appreciating differences in others is to start with one’s self! Have your child create an All About Me collage depicting his/her favorite things. Ask your child, “What makes you you? What do you like to do? What are some of your favorite things? What makes you special?” Note your child’s responses. Have your child browse through a kids’ magazine and cut out pictures that represent him/her. Write your child’s name in the middle of a piece of construction paper and let your child glue the cutouts around it. After your child is finished, have him/her explain the collage to a friend or family member. I’m sure your child will be proud to celebrate who s/he is!
- Apple vs. Apple:Place two kinds of apples in front of your child. Ask him/her to describe the apples: What is the same about them? What is different? Write down your child’s observations. Then cut both apples in half, letting your child explore the insides. Ask the same questions again: What is the same about them? What is different? Explain to your child that even if people are different on the outside (skin color, height, etc.), they are still the same on the inside (valuable human beings).
- Dr. Seuss: I See What You Did There!Oh, Dr. Seuss! You genius, you! Dr. Seuss’s book, The Sneetches, tells a memorable story about differences and equality. Read this book with your child and connect the ideas seen in the text with those in the app. Ask your child thought provoking questions such as, “How did the Sneetches change from the beginning of the story to the end?” “What lesson do you think Dr. Seuss was trying to teach readers about how to treat one another?” “What do you think the Wee You-Things would say about this book?”