First Day Of School Activity: The Kissing Hand School Tour

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First Day Of School Activity: The Kissing Hand School Tour
This activity turns a school tour into an exciting event that is sure to be remembered by your students forever. On the morning of the first day of school give all the people in your school building who you plan to introduce to your class a small red heart sticker to wear on the back of their hands, explain the activity, distribute the notes below and place raccoon paw prints leading from the Principal’s office back to your classroom. You will need a little help from some colleagues to put out the paw prints, the note and the treats while you’re in the Principal’s office.
Begin by reading aloud the story The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. In the story, Chester Raccoon doesn't want to go to school. His mother explains that we all must do things we don't want to do and tells him about the Kissing Hand. She places a kiss in the palm of his hand and explains that whenever he is lonely he should press the palm to his cheek. Chester also gives one to his mother.
Have this note fall out of the story as you turn the last page.

Dear Girls and Boys,

You’ve just read my story The Kissing Hand. Now I think we can have some fun. Read the clues that I leave for you. Try and follow each one. Now let’s play a game and look for me. Here is the first clue to start! Go visit Mrs. ____________ in the library and look on her hand for a heart.


Chester The Raccoon

Line your class up and head to the library and introduce the librarian. As you do the introductions your students will quickly spot the heart on his/her hand. Ask the librarian if she has seen a raccoon named Chester and she will say that she has not but she heard a noise earlier and found a note on her desk.

Dear Girls and Boys,

I put a heart on (Librarians Name) hand. But there’s someone else to see. Go to the gym and look for a heart and maybe you’ll even find me!


Chester The Raccoon

Hand this note out to all the people in the building your children will be meeting and as you are completing the tour keep the kids excited by talking about how you keep missing Chester. Save the Principal of the school for the last stop on the tour.

Dear Girls and Boys,

I gave (Principal’s Name) a heart for her hand. Then I left on my own little feet. Follow my paw prints through the hall. They’ll lead you to a treat.


Chester The Raccoon

Follow the paw prints back to the classroom. At the door of the classroom a bag of Heart Candies (Check Bulk Barn) and this note is waiting for the students.

Dear Girls and Boys,

You had a good time looking for me, but back to the book I went. Read my story again on another day and enjoy the treats that I sent.


Chester The Raccoon

Follow Up Activity:

After the children enjoy their treats use a paint brush to paint each child’s hand and make a hand print on a small square of heavy paper. Once the paint is dry (blow drying may be necessary for ½ day programs) place a small red heart sticker on the palm of the print and cut the prints into puzzles and place into individual Ziploc bags. Include the following poem inside the Ziploc bag with the puzzle.

I made a puzzle just for you,

At school on my very first day.

It’s made with love and my handprint,

In a very special way.

Now you can sit down on the floor,

With your favourite Kindergarten kid.

We’ll put it together while I tell you about,

All the fun things we did!

Staple the Ziploc bag to the following letter (you may be able to find Raccoon Paper for the letter or you can use the internet to locate images to make your own).

It’s my very first day of school and the Kissing Hand is what we read.

It’s about a raccoon that 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.

Hands On Learning Activities Related To The Kissing Hand
The students will love to hear The Kissing Hand over and over during the first few days of school. Here are some hands on activities to place at your centres.
Math Centre

Cut out 10 hands on heavy paper. Print one number on each hand 1-10. Children use heart shaped erasers or other heart shaped items to count out the number represented on each hand. Check Dollar Stores around Valentines Day for heart shaped items for counting, sorting and patterning.

Collect all different sized hearts and children put in order from smallest to biggest.
ABC Centre

Cut out 26 large hearts and 26 small hearts out of heavy paper. Print the Upper Case Letters of the alphabet on the large hearts and the lowercase letters on the smaller hearts. Children match the uppercase letters to the lowercase letters on a pocket chart. At this time of the year, depending on the make up of the class, you might have the students just matching letters that are the same.

Science Centre

Collect a bucket of plastic animals. Children can sort the animals into 2 categories, those animals that sleep at night and those animals that sleep during the day like Chester the Raccoon.

Playdough Centre

Put heart shaped cutters and hand shaped cutters out for the children to explore and create their own Kissing Hand.

Put out different sized heart shaped cutters and children make playdough hearts and put in order from biggest to smallest.
Listening Centre

Purchase or record yourself reading The Kissing Hand or the sequel Pocket Full Of Kisses.

Retelling Centre

In the summer section of Dollarama you can purchase a few different kinds of plastic raccoons. Place the raccoons and the book at the retelling centre for the students to make the story themselves.

Writing Centre

Supply name cards and encourage the students to use alphabet stamps to stamp their names on heart shaped paper or heart note pads. You might consider putting Chester’s name on a card and the children can draw a picture of Chester and stamp his name underneath.

Class Book

Each child traces his or her hand and glues it on to a page that the teacher has created. The page reads: (Mommy/Daddy/Grandma) brought child’s name to school today and he/she felt excited/scared/happy/sad. Or: Name started JK/SK today.

Predictable Chart

Put each child’s handprint on a sentence strip or chart paper strip and create a predictable chart that reads: This is name’s hand. Have each child print their name as best as he/she can and then practice touch reading the chart as a class. This can be turned into a class book as well.

Finger Poem: Raccoon, Raccoon (By: Pam Miller)
Raccoon, raccoon, (make a mask around your eyes with your fingers)
Up in a tree, (both arms raised)

Raccoon, Raccoon,

You can't see me. (Cover eyes)
Raccoon, raccoon,

I can see you (one hand on your eyes, one pointing out to imaginary raccoon)

Eating fish and corn and birds’ eggs too. (imitate eating motions)
Raccoon, raccoon,

Hunting at night, (hands shade eyes as if squinting in the dark)

Raccoon, raccoon,

Sleeps in daylight. (the usual sleeping motion we all do)

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