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Transition book and DVD(9 Posts)
Hopeful that we are going to be matched with siblings aged 4 and 2. Any tips for transition books/DVD? Thank you!
Hi! Congratulations - these are similar ages to our two and we just handed over our books and DVD last week.
We got each of them a soft toy and slept with it for a while to transfer smell - SWs recommended this. We then took loads of pics with these toys around the house (especially the older DC's toy) and included them in the DVD to show the kids the toys helping us get ready for their arrival. We then sent the toys along with the books, so the kids could see they'd been in our house and were now with them.
For the youngest we got a Lamaze butterfly where you can insert photos under the wings and record your voice which then plays when you lift the wings up. We also provided some A4 size laminated photos of our faces for the youngest to hold/play with/drool over. Apparently they often use them as place mats at meal times!
For the older one we made an intro book (also did one for the youngest even though it wouldn't really get used!) with lots of pics of us and their toy doing things around the house (making dinner, playing, sleeping in DCs beds etc) and then wrote short descriptions underneath. We also took pics of us doing things we knew the DCs enjoyed, eg. playing football, watching Disney. For our video we did a similar thing -played with their toys in various rooms in the house and just explained what we were doing.
Don't think there's a right or wrong so don't worry, but hope this helps!
That is SO helpful! Thank you. Have you met your children yet? Good luck!
ac73 congrats, sounds fab.
These are the things we did for our child. He was three almost four. If he were younger we would probably not have done all this. Maybe we went over the top!
We have a birth daughter, who was 9 at the time and wanted to involved her as much as we could.
We prepared a photo book using a Tomy electronic butterfly book, which records your voice introducing the people in the family, we used photos of the three of us together, our cat, other stuff and the child's room. We had taken photos of a small bunny in the room and so the bunny appeared in the photos and was given to our son.
The Tomy book itself is quite young, really for babies or toddlers but worked for us. It also depends how good reading skills are. Some children would really struggled to read a lot so hearing the words saying ‘Hello, I’m your new mummy” would be better than trying to read those words written down. We added stickers of things we knew DS liked.
We gave the photo album to the social worker to give to DS before we met him along with three other items:
DVD about us (about 12 minutes) and DD got to film some of it. It was all stuff like feeding the ducks in our village, going to the local park and eating sausages in our house (because we knew he liked sausages).
Scrapbook, only part-way filled. We used stickers of things he liked and also included general photos of animals at the farm park as we know he liked to go to that sort of place. The idea of the scrapbook was less to tell him about us and more to tell him we knew about him! I also planned to add to it once he was here with us, e.g. add photos of my sister/family etc. That hasn’t really happened!
Blanket specially made with his name and date of birth on, I washed it and then slept in the bed with it for about a week. This is a technique for babies really, to get them used to your smell. You would need to think about whether something like this would be a good idea or not. You could do it with a soft toy instead of a blanket, if you wished to.
For a cuddly toy, probably be best off picking something they are already into or familiar with, not just a generic teddy.
For the actual introductions we took cuddly toys:
One we gave him the day we met (as we were leaving, and asked him to look after until we saw him the next day).
One DD brought him the day she met him and handed it to him as soon as she arrived.
One special toy to give in the car to help with the transition when he left the foster carer (not really sure how well that worked out!).
All these were toys we knew he would like.
Once home DD gave DS a special book.
Hope this helps.
PS ac73 I wonder if it is worth getting advice whether the things need to be the same, different or similar for both children.
Sometimes we think a four and two year old are so far apart, they will really like things different, but there is 6 years between my dd and my ds and they sometimes like the same things!
If you can get the items in different colours styles and make a note of who had what - I've lost count of mine and my sisters arguments about who had the orange giraffe etc!
But do get advice from foster carer, it may be a talking book is too young for your 4 year old and they may well know.
All the best, exciting!
PS in case you are ocnfused my comment about younger and older is because you said...
"For the youngest we got a Lamaze butterfly where you can insert photos under the wings and record your voice which then plays when you lift the wings up." and "For the older one we made an intro book (also did one for the youngest even though it wouldn't really get used!)"
So younger will get two books, older one will only get one. I just know from my very jealous and competitive children that not getting the same can cause arguments.
You could make both for both kids, give them the one that is age appropriate but have the other ready, make it clear they both get both (in different colours or styles (we added stickers so it was individual) if possible.
Just an idea.
Oh and we also found some brightly coloured foam photo frames in the shape of jigsaw pieces and put ours and kids pictures in them for older one. So they both had a book (with much more in for older one) and both had something to play with that had our pics on (butterfly for younger, photo jigsaw pieces for older). And then the DVD and soft toys too. Might have been a bit OTT but our SW basically said the more the better!
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