Handshakes and Hugs

Kindergarten Nana

Research shows that the one of the best ways to build connections between people is eye contact and touch.  I was always looking for good ways to foster relationships so I loved including special “handshakes” in our morning routines.  We sometimes called them handshakes, other times we referred to hugs.

I introduced these one at a time at the beginning of the year.  The children would be standing in a circle, I would demonstrate the handshake and do it with the child on my right, I always tried to remind the children to turn and look at their partner while they were shaking hands.  Then that child would turn and “pass the handshake” to the next child, and so on around the circle – back to me.  After the children knew a variety of hugs, the special helper would choose which handshake we would do each day.

For most of…

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