Watch the video together and notice how each Sesame Street friend has a comfort item. Stuffed animals and blankets can build a sense of security for children and help them feel soothed during tough or unstable times. Pieces of cloth, clothing from a loved one, pet rocks (or simply “favorite things” like a photo of a loved one) can also be comfort items.
In troubling times, it can help children to sleep with, hug, hold, rub, “take care of,” or talk to these items (sometimes even as a stand-in for a “real” friend). Comfort items provide a sense of consistency from place to place; they become part of a child’s daily life even when there’s chaos all around.
Talk together about children’s comfort items. How long have they had it? What do they love about it? Does it have a name? If not, you might help children think of one. Mention to children that they can talk to their comfort item when they are scared, mad, or sad—or anytime!
If children don’t already have a comfort item, try to help them pick one, or consider giving them a piece of your clothing that smells like you (to help them feel safe and show you care when you’re apart).