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Handling Death and Dying

Handling the issue of death and dying may be difficult for children.

Children at preschool age typically have a a perspective on death that includes:

  • Death is not final. It is temporary and reversible
  • Equated with sleep or going on vacation
  • More interested in what it means right now rather than how it happened

Our Bird Funeral

At the farm, we found a dead bird. We took this opportunity to talk about death and have little bird funeral. The children collected flower petals and sprinkled them in the grave. They sang songs and marked the grave.

Recommended Reading

Here are a list of books to help you and your child talk about death and dying:

  • Tough Boris by Mem Fox
  • Wilfred Gordon MacDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
  • Sophie by Mem Fox
  • You Hold Me, I’ll Hold You by Jo Carson
  • The Very Best of Friends by Margaret Wild
  • Remember Me by M. Wild
  • Old Pig by M. Wild
  • Go Tell Aunt Rhody by Aliki
  • Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton
  • Nana Upstairs, Nan Downstairs
  • Yonder by Tony Hojnston
  • Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray
  • Miss Birdie – Choose a Shovel by Leslie Conner
  • Goodbye Mouse by Robie H. Harris
  • Who Killed Cock Robin by Etienne Delessert
  • Lighthouse by Robert Munsch
  • The Three Questions by Jon Muth
  • Dr. White by Jane Goodall
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