This was my second “getting to know you” storytime of the season.
Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
Story: Families, Families, Families by Suzanne Lang. This was again not a super-participatory first book, but the kids made a lot of comments. They were more interested in the plants-as-pets and really-long-whale-grandpa than the families with 2 moms or dads, families with parents who are not married, etc. None of the adults commented on that either; I am still not sure I won’t hear about it later, but we ended up focusing on family as people who love you, which was a good lead-in to the song.
Song: “Thank You for All that You Do” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3). We sang this without the CD, allowing the kids to suggest family members. We ended up doing mom, dad, sister, brother, dog, and cat. I also taught the sign langue for the family member, plus “love,” “happy,” and “thank you,” and we signed along, which helped it be a little bit more active.
Story: Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea. I think this is one of those books that kids and adults read totally differently, with the kids taking it at face value and the adults recognizing that daddy is very cleverly playing the kid. None of the adults commented on the humor this time, but I know they’ve noticed it other times. The kids liked saying, “Oh, Daddy!” in full on exasperated tones, so I changed the words to the book a little bit so the kid says the same thing every time.
Song: The kids were pretty lethargic, so we pepped up with blowing bubbles and running around to the Kidz Bop version of “We Are Family.” I think everyone had a good time.
Book: The Doorbell Rang. One stinker gave away the ending, but it was still super fun. I asked the kids to make a “ding dong” sound when the doorbell rang, which was fun and kept them waiting for that part. I again changed the words a bit to highlight the repetition. They don’t exactly get the division aspect of the whole thing, but they get that more kids = fewer cookies, which is really good enough.
Ending Song: “See You Later”
Craft: Family Trees. I thought this was a bit of a throwaway and was going to end up with just a lot of fall trees, but in the end the kids were very thoughtful in their creations, and they were all able to talk to me about which leaf represented which member of their family. It was really sweet, and a nice reminder not to underestimate the kiddos. (In fairness, last year’s group was quite a bit younger, on average, and I’m not sure this would have worked as well with them.)
Other possible titles:
Chloe, Instead by Micah Player
The Family Book by Todd Parr
Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do or Don’t Wake Up Mama! by Eileen Christelow
How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan
Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
Mooshka: A Quilt Story by Julie Paschkis
My Wild Family by Laurent Moreau
No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah OHora
On My Way to Bed by Sarah Maizes
One Family by George Shannon
One Special Day by Lola M. Schaefer
Ten Tiny Toes by Todd Tarpley
This is Our House by Hyewon Yum
Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson
Other possible songs:
“5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”
“There Were 5 in the Bed”
“Here Comes the Mama Duck”