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Loss of Toys Tough on Children

You may have to throw away teddy bears, rabbits and other toys with stuffing and baby toys if they were in floodwaters.

But that loss of a favorite toy won’t be easy on your child.

“First, you need to understand that your child’s emotions are real and deserve attention,” says [insert name and title] of [insert county name]. “So don’t just toss that teddy bear on the pile of wet carpet, furniture and bedding you’re discarding. Dispose of toys in ways that will help your child deal with his or her loss.”

Here are some suggestions to help children cope with their emotions:

  • Hold a brief funeral service. Let children prepare a special burial box or bag for their toy.
  • Buy, borrow or go to the library to check out children’s book about loss to read with children. Ask your local librarian for suggestions.
  • Use art materials, such as clay for punching and pinching, paper for cutting, shredding, fingerpaints for smearing, or puppets to give children a way to express their feelings and concerns.

“Letting children express their emotions through art gives them an outlet for pent-up tension and feelings that might be negative or unacceptable,” [insert last name] says. “Art that includes movement will be especially helpful for young children who might not be able to express their thoughts with words.”

For more information, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/flood or www.extension.org/Floods.

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