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Kids grief: Thing at 52 book activities to help kids understand loss

We have another book and set of activity sheets for you for the fabulous Shelf Care Club. This time we have the book Thing at 52 which is a charming tale that helps kids grief. It looks at understanding loneliness, friendship, and loss. All the pages are beautifully illustrated with gentle and engaging images that young and old will love. Make sure you are signed up, so you get this fantastic eBook for free – it is aimed at 4-7 year olds:

This activity pack has been thoughtfully put together to help with discussions on emotions and experiences that can be difficult for younger children to articulate.

As always there are a few different ideas and activities within the pack for you. In total, it has 13 pages, including the cover sheet and the copyright notice. We have broken it down into themes and sections for you to help make it a little easier to follow:

Colouring pages and drawing a “Thing”

We have encouraged the kids to color illustrations from the book and draw their version of a “Thing.” This helps to promote creativity and self-expression, allowing your kids to explore their feelings and thoughts in a non-verbal manner.

This is a creative activity page titled "DRAW A THING," inviting individuals to design their own "Thing" to share a cup of gravy with.

The illustrations’ gentle designs for the coloring encourage children to focus on the process rather than perfection, mirroring the book’s themes of acceptance and the beauty in imperfection of the thing and his friends.

In this activity, invite your kids to draw their own version of a thing.

It can be inviting or scary, happy or sad – whatever they feel after reading the book.

In addition, you can encourage your children while they are colouring not to worry to much to sticking to the usual “rules” as well – the illustrations allow for a lot of fabulous self- expression!

Grief and loss, and remembering a friend

These two activities invite your kids to think about some of their own losses and the importance of memories in coping with grief. Through drawing and discussion prompts, you can help your kids to express their feelings about separation or the loss of someone, or even, something special.

These two activities address complex emotions like grief and loss, emphasising resilience and the wonderful power of remembrance and sharing memories together.

Loneliness and writing stories

Continuing the themes from the previous activity sheets, children are prompted to write down ways to cope with loneliness and to pen stories about losing someone or something they love. This fosters emotional literacy and empathy, providing a safe space for children to explore their feelings.

The key focus here is understanding and expressing feelings of loneliness and loss, with the continuing underlying message about the value of emotional expression and the strength found in sharing and storytelling with our friends and family.

Celebrating Memories and Parties

It is important to reflect on our positive memories of friends and family too for kids grief: it helps them to process. For instance, we ask our kids to recount their favourite parties or gatherings, capturing the emotions during those times. This exercise helps balance the exploration of loss with the joy found in celebratory moments with family and friends.

This simple activity helps to show the joy in community, and the importance of cherishing happy moments, reinforcing the idea that it’s okay to feel happiness and sadness, and everything in between.

You can even feel these things all at once!

Overall, The Thing at 52 and its accompanying activity pack offer a rich resource for addressing themes of grief, loss, loneliness. The book also enable us to reflect on a celebration of life’s fun, party moments too.

Finally, through creative expression and thoughtful reflection, your kids can be helped to navigate, from a young age, some of the complex emotions we experience in life, fostering resilience alongside emotional intelligence.

We do hope you like this set of sheets – to download it just click on the button or the image below:

Don’t forget to sign up for the eBook to our Shelf Care Club as well!

Why not check out some of the previous Shelf Care Club activity books and packs for your school or home? Some of these are perfect for parents’ newsletters and homeschool ideas. We have been doing the club for a year. Another idea here would be to check out this time last year’s ideas for fun with the kids?

Feb - Apr 2023 Shelf Care Books

Here are the books we covered in Feb - Apr within the Shelf Care book club, in case you missed them all. Check them out on Amazon in our shop.

We really hope to see you on the site again – we are all about free resources, kids’ wellbeing, and fun!

Kind Regards,


Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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