My child is only three years old, but that doesn't mean that I'm not already worrying about the reality of bullying. The truth is, I hear about it from other young children whom I teach as a volunteer at our church, and I even see it with my own eyes among youngsters on the playground. Bullying comes in many forms- name calling, physical contact- like pushing, or hitting, etc. Bullying isn't limited to boys, or even older children. They majority of the bullying I have seen among kids has come from girls bullying boys- physically, and what I have heard from other children has been rumor spreading, name calling, and just plain picking on others for being different.
As a parent, this makes me so sad. It makes me want to shield my child from all of the potential hurts and heartaches he may experience in just a year or two when he enters school, and beyond. I can't be overbearing, and I promised my husband I wouldn't be, which is why I am so happy to have found a fantastic tool to teach young kids about seeing the good in everyone, embracing our differences and what to do if they're faced with a bully of their own.
Huggable Melodies was founded by two moms, who are also educators. They wanted to be able to communicate an important life lesson to kids of all ages- how to handle bullies. These wonderful ladies decided to create a story, based on the lovable character Poindexter, who is a cute green frog with red knees, blue feet, and a diddly on his cheek. Rather than just writing a story, the ladies behind Huggable Melodies created an interactive story with twenty-six pages of Broadway level tunes, animation, and of course- the story of Picked on Poindexter.
B, listening to the story being read, with Grandma...
We were able to preview the story of Picked on Poindexter, by downloading the interactive story through the iTunes App Store, so we could read along, sing and play on our iPad. Once we purchased the story, it popped right up on our screen, and B was able to use the green arrows to advance the pages of the story.
Grandma and B, touching the lighted button on the screen to play one of the adorable songs with the story.
The story of Picked on Poindexter is one that children of all ages, even as young as my three-year-old can enjoy and learn from. Poindexter sets out on his first day at a new school, feeling anxious, because he is a bit different, with his red knees, blue feet, and a diddly on his cheek. Poindexter's mother assures him that our differences are what make us each so wonderfully unique, and reminds him that if he encounters any problems, he should let a teacher know, and ask for help.
Poindexter makes some new friends, but does encounter a bully. Poindexter is picked on by a bully, and his new friends are too afraid to tell the teacher. When the tables are turned, and the bully is picked on by someone he thought was his own friend, Poindexter and his friends do the right thing, and tell their teacher. The bully learns that everyone has a choice to make- to be nice, or to be mean. When he realizes that Poindexter and his friends helped him, he decides that he too, wants to be nice, and be a good friend to others. He apologizes for being mean to Poindexter, and decides he wants to be friends.
We had a great time interacting with the story. Touching different pictures on the story pages make sounds, and movements. Every few pages, there is also a new song to listen to. Our favorite song was 'Diff'rent,' because it reminded us that being different is okay- something that even adults struggle with every now and then. The songs that go along with the story make it truly unique- just like the character of Poindexter. The original songs were written by the amazing ladies behind Huggable Melodies, and it makes a huge difference in how the child is engaged through the duration of the story being read.
B, sharing his snack with our plush pal Poindexter and some of his other toys...
Lovable, huggable Poindexter...
Having the plush Poindexter toy to go along with the story, made it more realistic for B. He saw the correlation between the character on the screen and his new huggable friend. When we finished reading the story, we talked about ways we can be kind to others, talked about keeping our hands to ourselves, and asking for help if someone is being mean or unkind. It's never to early to teach children that it's okay to ask a trusted adult for help.
B didn't want Poindexter to be sad, so he gave his new pal a big hug, and then invited him back to his room to play, after we read the story together. We have since re-read the story and listened to the songs a ton of times! B loves to listen to 'Bad Way' and 'Diff'rent' over and over again. He is constantly telling me that he wants to be a nice boy, and for that, I am glad. Right now, he loves being kind to others- always the first to extend his hand, ask another crying child if they're okay, and he loves to hug his friends when they say goodbye. I hope my sweet little boy stays this sweet and kind his entire life! I'm so glad that we were able to experience this special Huggable Melodies story together, and learn a very important lesson. Kudos to the gals at Huggable Melodies on a job well done!
Want It? Buy It!
Head on over to Huggable Melodies to check out all of the amazing Huggable Melodies stories, and plush friends. You can find the link to purchase Picked on Poindexter (the story app) for iPad or Kindle on the Huggable Melodies site, as well as listen to a few original song samples! The adorable 13" Poindexter plush pal can be ordered directly through their site. You can also connect with Huggable Melodies on Facebook and Twitter.
Special thanks to Huggable Melodies for allowing us to cuddle with the adorable plush Poindexter and experience Poindexter's story.