It’s back to school season and I found the perfect book to read with our kids and get them excited about their first day meeting new teachers, playing with friends and learning while having fun! Its name is Back to School with Mac, and I’m sure you are going to love this story as much as we do because it’s not just a book, but more like a family tradition that reaffirms positive encouragement and friendship.
Kim DiLoreto contacted me a few months ago to share with me her book, Back to School with Mac. She originally wrote the story a few years back for her youngest daughter when she was in Kindergarten. She struggled with the end of summer/back to school transition. To help her see that this time of year could be a fun time and not an anxious time, she wrote her a story and accompanied it with a small apple plush toy. This became a tradition for them, and she saw that this tradition helped to turn tears into smiles. Since this worked so well for her daughter, she thought this tradition could help many more kids. She decided to self-publish the book and worked with a toy designer and manufacturer to create Mac, the apple plush.
Mac the magic apple shines at the end of summer. The book encourages families to pick a date when Mac’s magic will arrive. Mac can play with the kids all day long, go to the park with them, help them bake cookies and even ride a bike with them. It’s at night (with the help of us, the parents) when Mac’s magic come to life. He likes to leave treats or small back to school gifts to get the kids excited about that first day back to school.
Now, you might we wondered, what does this story have to have with a cardboard box DIY project?
Well, Jaxon started a bit of daycare not long ago, still not all day but it’s a step! The transition wasn’t easy, and although he is doing so much better, he sometimes expresses to me that he feels anxious, especially when there are too many kids in the daycare room. It breaks my heart to see him feel that way. But I also believe that these situations prepare us for preschool and kindergarten. I want to teach him how to deal with those feelings in a positive and encouraging way, and what better way than by giving him a new friend, Mac, with whom he can share those worries and insecurities and feel heard and understood.
I read the story to him as soon as the book arrived. Jaxon was listening carefully, but what caught his attention was hearing that Mac’s magic arrives at night. So he asked “cama, Mac?” which I translated as “Where is Mac’s bed?” And then, the idea of making a cardboard box bed for Mac arrived. It was a good one because this afternoon Jaxon put Mac in bed next to him and they both took an amazing nap.
Want to make one for your new Mac or any of your kid’s plush toys, check out this simple tutorial:
- Cardboard box
- Exacto knife
- Needle and thread
- Acrylic paint (optional)
- Download the printable: Cardboard plush toy bed printable | Live Colorful to recreate the bed’s structure, mark the shape on a cardboard box
- Cut the outlines of the bed and fold the inside lines
- Glue all the pieces together to close the bed’s structure
- Cut an extra rectangle to make the headboard of the bed
- Glue the headboard into the bed’s structure
- Cut a rectangle out of the white felt
- Fold and sew the rectangle to make a tiny pillow. You can fill it with small pieces of felt
- Cut two extra rectangles of felt to make some sheets and bedspreads
Is it easy for your kids to go back to school? Do you have any special activity, tradition or story that you share with your kids this season?