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The Buddy Binder

My husband works crazy hours and is never home at a consistent time. This is challenging for my little ones. They don’t understand the concept of time yet and separation issues often come up.

Many parents and care givers are in similar situations. They work long hours, travel often for business or have a rotating schedule at work.

I have created a communication binder for my husband and four year old to stay connected with one another. This is a tool that is universal. It would be great with preschoolers, school aged and children with special needs.

Child life specialists can also utilize this in the hospital. Children who are separated from IMG_0423their siblings or parents during a hospitalization, can stay connected with them.

The binder is something special just between the two. It would work by having the parent write something and then the child responding to it or writing something new.

Ideas for the binder:

  • Write a joke or riddle
  • Hangman (give the option for 3-5 letters at a time)
  • Draw a picture
  • Outline of their hand
  • Scavenger hunt (hide something in the house and write down a clue to have them IMG_0424find it)
  • Tic Tac Toe
  • Create a picture together (parent draws a house, child adds the family)
  • Something new that they learned that day
  • Simple message

I think that this can go beyond the binder to different activities.

  • Puzzle (start a few pieces and let the other add to it)
  • leave a special treat (cookie, stickers)

You could always include a calendar too. It may be easier for a child to process the separation if there is a visual, concrete image.


This is a simple project to put together. It helps our family out and I hope that it can do the same for you.

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