Kevin Henkes’s first book, All Alone
, is a perfect example of the power of few well-chosen words. Each page turn contains less than two sentences and an illustration, yet his picture book resonates with readers of all ages. For me, growing up as an only child, I relate well with the creativity, imagination and reflection alone time promotes. As an extravert and now mother of three, I relate because I look and plan for alone time to continue these important aspects of life, and then I love to be with my family and friends.
Our children relate too, but may need a little help seeing it. Our nine-year-old asked me when we would stop having room time (as we do most afternoons for a bit in the summer). My answer is we will always need some “room time”. Since the summer is here and we are together so much, we need time all alone to use our senses to explore. That’s when my kids transform their rooms into forts, make crafts out of scrap material and duct tape, and play, read, journal, clean out their turtle bowl, and more. We all need time alone:
Introducing Our Featured Friend: All Alone
By Kevin Henkes
“When I am alone,
I hear and see more.
I hear the trees breathe in the wind. . .
When it’s just me,
I ask myself questions I can’t answer.
I think of favorite things I’ve done. . .
Sometimes I like to live alone,
all by myself,
for just a little while.”
By giving many examples of what children can explore, imagine, and think about when they are alone, Henkes in essence helps kids embrace alone time rather than fear it. He ends well with the book’s character thinking about his friends and showing that “alone time” is good just for a little while. This books helps the introvert by building confidence that solitude is good for a bit but then it’s time to be with friends, and encourages the extravert to pull away for a while and enjoy some peace.
Inviting You To Become FRIENDS with All Alone:
Independent Activities for Kids for Those “All Alone” Times:
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
Feel- Journal: How do you feel when you are alone for a short time?
Relate– Create: Let’s relate to the book’s character by thinking about the favorite things you’ve done so far this summer. You can draw pictures, make Lego structures, list, write a story, or build with play-doh five of your favorite things.
Imagine- Question: Imagine all the possible questions you can think of that you cannot answer! Now dream up some fascinating answers. Before you know it, you’ll have story ideas!
Explore- Design: Give your children random materials (toilet paper rolls, worn out or stained clothes for material, scissors, tape, pipe cleaners, paper clips, lids, boxes, and random pieces of stuff) and let them explore what they can make out of these items!
Navigate– Nature Walk: Navigate your way around a trail and use your senses to enjoy the walk fully: see, hear, smell, taste, touch.
Develop- Date: Develop a list of “date ideas” to do when you get to be all alone with a grandparent, parent or mentor. For date ideas and another great picture book, check out https://kidsbookfriends.com/2014/04/29/april-showers/
Share- Socialize: Share special times with friends enjoying simple summer pleasures together: swimming, star-gazing, bike riding, eating ice cream, laughing . . .
Matthew 14: 13 & 22-23
*Please share in the comment section what you kids like to do during their “All Alone” time!
Here are some of our favorite “Alone Time” creations:
Victoria’s creations from scrap material and old clothes.
Christian’s crafts- pop up soccer cards
Andrew’s ambitious spirit (and a reminder I need to keep a close eye on him or else his eyes will be IN the ice cream)!
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