Before we tell you about our last HappyDoll session, just a little and IMPORTANT reminder:
HappyDoll's Pre-Holiday Event HAPPY SCRIBBLE is TOMORROW (Saturday) from 12-2:3opm!
PLACE: Scribble Press Upper West Side
217 West 84th Street (btwn Broadway & Amsterdam)
COME ALL and SPREAD THE WORD!
The HappyDoll Team with the kids at ABC!
They say ABC is as easy as 1, 2, 3...but Association to Benefit Children does SO MUCH MORE than one, two or three...!
This association provides services including childhood education to toddlers through preschoolers, housing assistance, and many other integrated services for disadvantaged families in New York.
Last week, we had our first HappyDoll session with the preschool children at their after-school program. It was Friday and the kids were super excited to spend their afternoon exploring their creativity through HappyDolls. Erin, our HappyDoll intern, Jae, and our friend Kazuko joined us like our last HappyDoll session !
After we introduced ourselves, Erin had everyone in a circle and "imagined" what their HappyDoll would look like. The kids were so eager to start decorating and design their HappyDolls!
Some kids knew EXACTLY what their HappyDolls were going to look like, while others took their time, carefully examining the color markers and pondering how it would come out on the white muslin.
When the kids had finsished designing their HappyDoll, we "introduced" ourselves using HappyDolls made by other children from our previous session. Then, we went around the tables to meet the other Happydolls made by the kids and played with them!
The Bon Voyage Ceremony was the highlight of the session: We had our Samurai and Penguine introduce the HappyDoll suitcase and counted to three together.
The kids gasped as new HappyDolls they had never seen before tumbled out from the suitcase. "These are HappyDolls that have come to stay with you," we explained.
Now it was time to "meet" the new HappyDolls and say good bye to their ABC HappyDolls they had created. One at a time, the HappyDolls would step out of the suitcase to greet the child's HappyDoll. "Hi, I'm BumbleBee. What's your name?" Then, the ABC kids would introduce their HappyDolls "Hi, I'm Bella..."
Then, the ABC HappyDolls would jump into the suitcase on the count of three and the new HappyDolls would jump into the child's arms. It was so much fun!!
Jae shared a wonderful story about a girl named Marari, who made Bella, the fashionista HappyDoll. She wrote, " I hope you like my doll" but became very attchaed to her new HappyDoll as the session neared the end. She didn't stand up to send her doll away during the bon voyage ceremony, but after we closed the suitcase, she came up to Jae to ask if she could keep the doll. Jae explained that of course she could and also explained why other kids we sending it away-- to make the person who receives the dolls just as happy as they were. She thought and thought and thought about it and finally made up her mind at the very end of the session. She asked us to open the suitcase up again and "hop, hop, hop" she placed the HappyDoll inside. 'I'm very happy' she said and gave us a beautiful smile.
Nelia's HappyDoll was so colorful and beautiful. She used the colored paper to make a suitcase for her doll and wrote a message and its name in a secret code that even she can't read! When she got a new doll in return, she made another suitcase for it! How thoughtful...
"You better take good care of my HappyDoll!" says Neila.
One boy named Leo began to feel emotional as we said good bye to our HappyDolls, and began to cry.
We asked his HappyDoll to help us cheer him up: "Why are you crying?" asked his blue power ranger. "I miss my daddy," he said as big tears poured down his cheek. "Don't worry," replied the blue power ranger. " I'm not going anywhere! I'll be with you all the time. I'll be there when you wake up in the morning, and I'll still be there when you go to bed. You can keep me forever."
We wanted Leo to keep his HappyDoll because that's what HappyDolls are for--to be with children who need them.
Thank you so much to ABC, for having us over and meeting your lovely children. GREAT NEWS: We've already been invited to return and have another session with them in DECEMBER. We'll see you then!