Bouw mij - Emoties

Maddox Invades Jayden's Space

Learning about and respecting other people's personal space.

0-30 min
Peuterspeelzaal-Groep 1


Tell the children that you will read a story about a problem that Jayden and Maddox were having.

Show the children the illustration for this lesson.


Read the following story aloud:

Jayden and Maddox were tired of the gym. There had been ice on the playground for three days now, and they were so sick of being stuck inside. Plus, Maddox and Jayden often lost playtime in the gym. It was almost as if the gym turned Maddox into a personal space invader! Things always started out OK, but soon went downhill, ending with Mrs. Muffin asking them to both sit out and take a breather.

For example, one time the two were playing basketball and Maddox tackled Jayden to the floor to get the ball. Well Jayden wasn’t going to let Maddox sit on him, so he wrestled back!

Then there was the time they were playing superheroes. Jayden had held out both of his hands, pretending to blast Maddox with his firepower. Rather than holding up a super shield, Maddox had grabbed hold of Jayden’s wrists (which you really couldn’t even do or you would be burned by the fire power), and whipped Jayden around until he fell onto the mats below. That made Jayden really mad and he wished Maddox would just keep his hands off of him; those were the rules.

But it even happened when they weren’t playing. When the class lined up to head back to the classroom, Maddox blew his hot, stinky breath into Jayden’s ear. Maddox cracked up about that, but Jayden did not and neither did Mrs. Muffin. To make things worse, when Jayden told him to quit it, Maddox just smiled his typical goofy smile, and winking, he stuck out his tongue and put his face up really close to Jayden’s face!

Explain that personal space is the space around your body. Tell the children that some people need more personal space than others do. Explain that Maddox was invading Jayden’s personal space, and that Jayden did not feel comfortable.

Consider asking questions like:

  • What is a personal space invader?
  • What are some examples of ways Jayden felt his space was invaded?
  • Why did Jayden dislike the “space invasions”?


Ask the children to work with a building buddy to build two characters which will be used for a game in the Contemplate phase.


Describe the definition of personal space again. Be sure the children understand that a personal space invasion can be different in different situations and among various people.
Tell the children to take turns with their building buddies.
Explain that first, they will put the two characters next to each other.
Tell them that one of the building buddies will pretend that one character they built is himself or herself, and that the other character will be a different person in each of the pretend scenes that you will read to them.
Next, tell the children to move their characters together if they feel OK with the other character being in their personal space, and to move their character away from the other character if they feel a space invasion.

Read the following prompts to the children and give them time to react:
Your mom wants to hug you after you have had a bad dream
A stranger wants to hug you
A friend tries to hug you when you get to school
A classmate starts to wrestle with you
A classmate says he/she wants to marry you and hold hands
The doctor has to look inside your throat
You have to sit next to a stranger on a bus, plane, or train


Ask the children to work with their building buddies to build Mrs. Muffin and to role-play teaching the children in her classroom how to work through space invasions.

Consider asking questions like:

  • How would you teach your students about personal space invasions?
  • Can you tell about your own space invasions or times you have invaded others’ personal space?

Did you notice?

Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing socially and emotionally.

  • Children are able to understand other people’s feelings.
  • Children are able to understand how their actions affect others.

Ondersteuning voor de leraar

Children will :
Begin to understand that people have personal space.
Learn to respect other people’s preferences for personal space.

Children are able to understand other people’s feelings.
Children are able to understand how their actions affect others.

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