10 Beautiful Ways to Help Children Through Tough Transitions

10 Beautiful Ways to Help Children Through Tough Transitions 0

Big emotions for children are hard to deal with, especially when it comes to big changes in their lives. That transition from what they're used to into something new and unknown creates anxiety and stress, which can be amplified depending on how big that change is. In these moments, they need that extra care and support to help them understand what is occurring in their lives.


Ten Beautiful Things is a perfectly balanced book encompassing dark emotions and a simple yet effective way in handling it as Molly Beth Griffin takes readers on a journey of beauty in a time of darkness. Paired with Maribel Lechuga’s charming illustrations, readers are able to feel Lily’s emotions as they rise and fall throughout the car ride to her new home with Gram. The discovery of ten things that are beautiful helps Lily work through her emotions and adjust to her new life. By the end of the story, Lily is able to come to the realization that she has a place to belong alongside someone she loves.

Griffin’s narrative is both plainspoken and pitch-perfect. From close-ups of characters to rural landscapes with shifting light, colors, and weather, Lechuga’s handsome digital pictures illustrate the story expressively. An emotionally resonant picture book.Booklist, starred review

Tips to help you and your child deal with stress from transitions:

  • Give them time and space. If you’re able to prepare for the big change coming, be sure to give them time to process.
  • Listen to your child. Help them label their emotions and work through them. Let them ask questions and answer them as simply as you can in a positive way.
  • Read to your child. Find picture books related to the change and spend time with your child reading.
  • Play with your child. Give kids a way to distract themselves and relieve their stress. Playing is good for both adults and kids to do together.
  • Maintain your routines. Feeling stable is important during hard transitions. Try to keep to your routine as much as possible, like regular meal times and bedtimes.
  • Take care of yourself. Be a positive role model by doing what you need to manage your own stress. Be sure to eat healthily, exercise, relax, or talk to someone as needed.
  • Create visual aids. Do calendars or countdowns. Create a map. Visual aids help children understand when the transition is happening and how it’s happening.
  • Keep positive. By focusing on the positives about the transition, it helps reassure your child and gives them a chance to see the change as a new experience.
  • Do mindfulness and relaxation exercises. If the transition is hard, it’s important to find ways to handle that stress, whether through breathing exercises or guided imagery.
  • Finally, try finding ten beautiful things. This mindfulness exercise is time spent together and the exploration of all the good around you.

If you have a copy of Ten Beautiful Things or plan on getting one, check out the activity guide to help children explore emotions and changes in their lives. There's also a deep dive into the book with Molly Beth Griffin in this video.

Lily breathed in the mud smell
and focused on just that.
It poured itself into some of the empty spaces in her.

—Ten Beautiful Things by Molly Beth Griffin, illustrated by Maribel Lechuga

About the Book:

ISBN: 9781580899369 
Price: $17.99 USD
Ages: 5-8
Page Count: 32
11 x 8.5

About the Creators:

Molly Beth Griffin is a graduate of Hamline University's MFA program in writing for children and young adults and a writing teacher at the Loft Literary Center in the Twin Cities. She is the author of Loon Baby and Silhouette of a Sparrow.

Maribel Lechuga is the illustrator of Seaside Stroll. She has always felt an attraction to drawing and art, and she was fascinated by cartoons of the 1990s. She studied art at the prestigious Escuela de Arte 10 (Artediez) in Madrid. www.maribellechuga.com

6 Mindfulness Exercises to Explore Ways Nothing Can Be Something

6 Mindfulness Exercises to Explore Ways Nothing Can Be Something 0

The growing soft-life culture not only benefits adults, but can also help children in their mental well-being. Everyone can utilize a simple way of living as they find peace in their day-to-day busy lives. Little self-care moments carved out of the day can help you and your child’s mental and emotional health.

One way to approach the idea of soft life is through nothingness.


Elizabeth Rusch challenges not only young readers, but also adults to explore the beauty of nothingness in their everyday lives in her picture book, All About Nothing, the first book in the All About Noticing series. Utilizing Elizabeth Goss’s bold cut-paper illustrations, the flowing text encourages readers to look at the world around them in a completely different way—in this case, to take note of where nothingness exists and what that means to the reader.

A striking call for young children and aspiring artists alike, the story sets out to prove that “nothing” matters, after all.The Horn Book

Yes, nothingness is used in art, in music, and it’s even what outer space is. There is the obvious physical aspect to what nothingness is, such as having a missing tooth. But Rusch also reminds us of the emotional side of it too. How it’s a “welcome break in a busy day” or “You can have too little of nothing. Or too much. Or just the right amount.” By understanding what nothingness is, adults and children can better find balance in their lives.

Not sure where to start with improving your mental and emotional well-being? Explore with your children what nothing has to offer through these simple mindfulness exercises:

  • Feeling overwhelmed? Try this. Close your eyes. Breathe. Do this for as long as needed. Meditate whenever you need to.
  • Find a quiet room or an empty park, and take time to just exist. Do nothing. Let children find peace on the swing set or the freedom of a slide. Sit at a table and enjoy the fresh air and the quietness around you.
  • Take long walks. Be present while you explore and notice what is there and what isn’t.
  • Declutter favorite areas or playrooms, create more space as needed for you or for your child.
  • If you need less space, visit family and/or friends.
  • Be bored. Let your child play in an unstructured way, led by themselves, with no schedule or plans. Same with you. Allow yourself to be bored and see what comes of it.

You don’t need to do anything extravagant to utilize what soft life has to offer. Small moments to reset yourself and to de-stress can go a long way. Taking the time to enjoy the nothingness of everyday life opens you up for more creativity and freedom. It helps shed your stress and reclaim time for yourself. Invest in yourself and your wellness because you are worth it.

Soft-life moments are a great benefit to children, giving them the space they need to relax and process their feelings. Rusch and Goss both suggest activities for kids to help them explore what nothingness has to offer them, both in art and mindfulness meditation. Check out their activity video here

If you have a copy of All About Nothing or plan on getting one, check out the discussion guide to work with children to explore what nothing is and what it can mean for them.

Nothingness in your day gives you time to relax, breathe, and dream. Imagine a day so busy with activities that your head spins. Now imagine a free afternoon, a quiet room, an empty park. Try adding some nothingness to your day by pausing for a moment, closing your eyes, and just breathing.All About Nothing by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Elizabeth Goss

About the Book:


ISBN: 978-1-62354-352-5
Price: $17.99 USD
Ages: 4-8
Page count: 32
9 x 9

More Books in the Series:
All About Color
All About Patterns (Spring 2025)

About the Creators

Elizabeth Rusch is the author of more than two dozen award-winning children’s books, including A Day with No Crayons, The Music of Life, Zee Grows a Tree, Volcano Rising, and Mario and the Hole in the Sky, winner of the AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books, the Green Earth Book Award, the Cook Prize, and the Golden Kite Award.

Elizabeth Goss is an illustrator, author, and papercutter. Her picture book My Way West: Real Kids Traveling the Oregon and California Trails won the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. A proud member of the Guild of American Papercutters, Elizabeth teaches art workshops across the Pacific Northwest and loves welcoming students of all ages into the world of papercutting.
Move Books is moving to Charlesbridge!

Move Books is moving to Charlesbridge! 0

Move Books is moving to Charlesbridge!
Launch Party for Hatching Chicks in Room 6: The Book has Hatched!

Launch Party for Hatching Chicks in Room 6: The Book has Hatched! 0

By Caroline Arnold

In May 2014, I was invited to do an author visit at Haynes Center for Enriched Studies elementary school in West Hills, California. After my presentation, Jennifer Best, a kindergarten teacher at Haynes, asked me if I had ever written a book about hatching chicks. Each spring, she told me, she brings eggs to her classroom and hatches chicks. But she said she couldn’t find any books that were written at the right level for her kindergarten students. I hadn’t written any books about chickens, although I had written a number of books about other kinds of birds and how they hatched their eggs. I liked the idea of a book about hatching chicks, and a year later I was in Mrs. Best’s classroom learning about eggs and chicks along with the children and documenting the process with photos. My new book, Hatching Chicks in Room 6 is the result of that project.

On January 19, 2017, I visited Haynes CES to present Hatching Chicks in Room 6 to the school, and to celebrate its publication with Mrs. Best, her students who are in the book, and their families.

The party was after school, but earlier in the day I gave two assemblies in the auditorium to all grades, where I presented the book and talked about the process of writing it.

Even for students who didn't have Mrs. Best for kindergarten (she is one of three kindergarten teachers in the school), there was school-wide excitement about the book. During the incubation and hatching process many students in other classes drop by Room 6 to see the eggs and chicks and check their progress. During the assembly I gave a book to Mrs. Meade, the principal, and to the librarian for the school library.

The party was held in Mrs. Best’s classroom and began with a presentation of an autographed book to each child. I also gave each child a postcard and a chick lollipop—they could choose a yellow, pink, or blue lollipop. To my surprise, the pink and blue chicks were just as popular as the yellow ones. (I ordered the lollipops online.)

After the presentation and photographs it was time to eat. I provided cupcakes decorated to look like chicks. (I bought the candy eyes and beaks at a local cake decorating shop.) We also had some healthier food—fruit, cheese, crackers and veggie sticks—and by the end of the party, all the food was completely gone. 

The children who are in the book are now in second grade. They were thrilled to get the books and so were their parents. Almost all the children who are in the book came to the party, even several who had moved to other schools. I want to thank Jennifer Best, her kindergarten students of 2014-15, their families, and everyone at Charlesbridge for helping to make this a great book!