Skills Building: I'm Stretched! (3-5)

I'm Stretched Book

Written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Stephanie Dehennin

Pre- Reading Questions 

  1. Looking at the cover of this book, what do you think the book is about?
  2. What makes you feel overwhelmed? 
  3. Have you ever had a day where it felt like nothing went right? How do those types of days make you feel?
  4. Some stress is good and some stress is bad. What type of stress do you think might be good?

Post- Reading Questions

  1. Why did the character feel so stretched? 
  2. Have you ever felt stretched like the character? 
  3. What are some of the strategies that the mom in the book taught her daughter? Have you used any of them?
  4. Which of the strategies would work best for you? Will it work every time?
  5. What is one new strategy you learned from this book?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Mindfulness Spinners (3-5)


In the book I’m Stretched, the main character starts to feel stressed from all of the demands in life. In this activity, students will create mindfulness spinners they can use every day to focus, breathe deeply, and calm themselves when they are feeling overwhelmed or stretched.

Download the Template


Duration: 40 minutes

  • 5 minutes: Explain Activity and Pass Out Supplies 
  • 10 minutes: Decorate Spinners
  • 10 minutes: Assemble Spinners
  • 5 minutes: Clean Up 
  • 10 minutes: Share and Reflect


  1. Before the activity, print out one spinner template for each student on regular computer paper.  Next, cut a 24in piece of yarn for each student. 
  2. Gather students together and discuss different ways that we can calm ourselves when we are feeling wiggly or stressed. Explain the activity. 
  3. Pass out supplies and give each student a mindfulness spinner template. 
  4. Have students use multiple colors to create patterns in bother circles. The more colorful the design, the better the final product. 
  5. Once both circles are colored completely, use scissors to cut out both large circles. 
  6. Glue both circles together, back to back. 
  7. Next, get a sharp pencil. One circle will have two black dots in the middle. Use the pencil to punch two small holes. Make sure that the holes do not touch. Staff may need to assist students with special needs or coordination difficulties. 
  8. Thread yarn through both holes and tie ends of yarn together.
  9. Make sure that the spinner is in the middle of the yarn with equal amounts on either side.
  10. Clean up supplies and gather with spinners.
  11. Teach students to use spinners.
  12. Make sure that the spinner is in the middle of the yarn.
  13. Holding the ends of the yarn on either side of the spinner, rotate yarn in a circular motion and then pull tight, causing the spinner to spin. See this video for a demonstration: 
  14. Give students time to practice using their spinner.
  15. Have students share their designs with others and reflect.

Reflection Questions

  1. How do you feel when you watch your spinner go? 

  2. When could you use your spinner to calm your body and mind? 

  3. Why do you think the mindfulness spinner helps you calm down? 

  4. Who can you teach about calming down? 

  5. What did you enjoy most about this activity? How did this activity make you feel?