CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Guidestone is using a pair of friendly puppets, Wally and Molly, to make a potentially scary situation, not so for little ones.
Therapists at the non-profit, which deals--in part in the mental health of children, developed this programming recently and it has been well-received by parents.
Early Childhood Mental Health consultant, Melinda Falconi, said the content is a result of a need for preventative service.
“To teach children emotional language, interpersonal problem-solving skills, anger management, all of those kinds of things, to prevent them from having any sort behavioral issues down the road,” Falconi said.
In the videos posted and shared by Ohio Guidestone, the puppets explain to kids how best to wash their hands and why it’s important.
Through Wally, therapists and teachers talk about the separation anxiety that might come up upon returning to the classroom, due to so much together time, and about how they’re feeling about people they may know who are getting sick, or helping those who are.
Falconi said kids connect with the puppets right away.
“The biggest need right now is to provide children and their parents with tools to help them manage all the anxiety that’s floating around all of us,” she said, adding children quickly absorb what the puppets are sharing. “We teach them and then practice, practice, practice. And then in a classroom situation or at home, given them opportunities, cue them to use those tools when it’s an appropriate time.”