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Panda in my seat!

Description: A toy panda (or any other type of animal), which represents the ill child, is taken into the classroom and acts in their stead. The panda has a backpack and serves as a visible reminder to the class of the absent child, and provides a way to share information.
Notes: The toy is taken into the classroom and acts to remind the pupils of their missing friend. The panda's backpack can be used to hold notes or photos from friends or work from the teachers. It can also hold things like a tablet computer or a memory stick, or a basic camera for the children to be able to record messages and take photos. The child's parents take the panda to and from school on a regular basis. The Panda kit should also include a leaflet to help the teachers explain to the other students the reason why their classmate is not in school. This works very well with younger children (aged 3 – 11), who maintain their presence in the classroom via the representative of the Panda. It works best if there is only one panda in a classroom as it may be confusing if there is more than one. It also requires the willingness of the school to be involved, and the parents to act as couriers for the panda. Take a look at our YouTube Channel (LeHo Ict) to see a short film about how this was used at the Children's Hospital School in Leicester ( It is based on “Monkey in my chair”, which is a USA-based organisation set up to help children specifically suffering from cancer to stay in touch with their classmates. Source for Panda Image:,panda
Link to additional info: Monkey in my Chair
Key Educational Factors:
  • creating relationship
  • internet
  • device
Educational Settings:
  • hospital school
  • home education
  • mainstream school
Target group:
  • teacher/assistant
  • learner nursery sch.
  • learner elem. sch.
  • learner sec. sch.
Located in: Tools