Category: Siblings Storytime

Siblings: Bears

For more information on how I plan and prepare my siblings storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

siblings-bears

Corduroy’s Day by Don Freeman (Board Book)*
Bears in the Bath by Shirley Parenteau
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.*

Early Literacy Tip
Singing familiar songs with new vocabulary is a great way to teach your children new words.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: The Wiggles Hot Potatoes*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”*

Bounce: “A Smooth Road”*
A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road (bounce baby gently)
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road (bounce baby faster)
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road (bounce baby faster)
A hole! (drop baby gently between your knees)
Credit: Co-worker

Lift: “Elevator Song”*
Oh the city is great and the city is grand
There’s a whole lot of people
on a little piece of land
And we live way up on the 57th floor
and this is what we do when we open the door.
We take the elevator up and the elevator down,
take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.
Credit: Jbrary

Partnering: “Peek-a-Boo”*
Toddlers were once again given scarves and asked to face babies. Toddlers pulled down the scarves to play peek-a-boo with their siblings. We did this several times since the toddlers wanted to play peek-a-boo with everyone — caregivers and me included!
Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo
I see you! I see you!
I see your button nose, and your tiny toes
Peek-a-boo! I see you!
Credit: Guerrilla Storytime at ALA Midwinter!

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

My largest group yet: seventeen kids (eight families) and I am SO SO SO happy! The biggest success today was definitely Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? because everyone read it along with me — including some of my toddlers. The toddlers really loved when I revealed a teddy bear hidden in our flannelboard “The Shape Game”. I don’t normally do the “The Shape Game” when I do toddler storytime, but I might consider it after their reactions in the siblings program!

Siblings: Songs

For more information on how I plan and prepare my siblings storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

siblings-songs

Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz (Board Book)*
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera*

Early Literacy Tip
When you enjoy a book, let your children know that you like it and why. Sharing your enjoyment gives them a positive attitude towards books. This positive attitude will influence them when they get to school and learn to read.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Mr. Jon & Friends*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”*

Bounce: “Icka Bicka Soda Cracker”*
Bounce: “Icka Bicka Soda Cracker”
Icka bicka soda cracker, icka bicka boo
Icka bicka soda cracker, up goes you! (lift baby)
Icka bicka soda cracker, icka bicka boo
Icka bicka soda cracker, I love you! (hugs and kisses)
Credit: Co-worker

Lift: “Tick Tock”
Lift: “Tick Tock”
Start by swaying baby from side to side
Tick tock, tick tock
I’m a little cuckoo clock
Tick tock, tick tock
Now I’m chiming one o’clock lift once
More verses: Two o’clock, three o’clock
Credit: My co-worker

Partnering: “Round & Round the Garden”*
Round and round the garden like a teddy bear (swirl finger around palm)
One step, two step (walk fingers up child’s arm)
Tickle under there! (tickle child’s underarm)
Credit: Co-worker

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

Success! I’m still adding families. Today’s class had fourteen kids (seven families) which is about the average for a toddler class attendance during the winter. Caregivers had a great time singing with me today and our most successful board was Babies on the Bus in shared board book form. I had one set of siblings where the toddler “read” the book to the baby during this shared reading and it melted my heart!

Siblings: Farm

For more information on how I plan and prepare my siblings storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

siblings-farm

Cow Moo Me by Losardo (Board Book)*
Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield & Ant Parker
Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee*

Early Literacy Tip
Children love being able to identify animals and imitate the sounds they make. Identifying animals, matching each sound with an animal picture, and imitating animals sounds build children’s knowledge of the world around them.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Rocketship Run*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”*

Bounce: “This is the Way the Ladies Ride”*
This is the way the ladies ride
Prim, prim, prim, prim
This is the way the gentleman ride,
Trim, trim, trim, trim
This is the way the farmer rides
Trot, trot, trot, trot
And this is the way the hunter rides
Gallop, gallop, gallop!
Credit: King County Library System

Lift: “Zoom Zoom Zoom”
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship,
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!
Credit: Jbrary

Partnering: “Cheek Chin”*
Today, we encouraged the toddlers to gently touch baby’s cheek, chin, nose, and toes. When caregivers/parents lifted up baby, toddlers were asked to jump in the air!
Cheek chin cheek chin cheek chin, nose (touch baby’s nose)
Cheek chin cheek chin cheek chin, toes (touch baby’s toes)
Cheek chin cheek chin, up baby goes! (lift baby)
Credit: Read Sing Play

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

We’re gaining numbers slowly! Today, I had twelve kids (six families) in storytime today. I loved watching reactions to “This is the Way the Ladies Ride” on both babies and toddler faces today. I used it right before reading Clip-Clop and many caregivers/parents continued to bounce as we read. The toddlers are continuing working on being gentle with the babies and I love seeing the relationships between the siblings.

Siblings: Colors

For more information on how I plan and prepare my siblings storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

siblings-colors

Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert (Board Book)*
Meeow and the Big Table by Sebastien Braun
Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia*

Early Literacy Tip
It takes longer for children who are just learning to talk to respond to our questions. This happens because four different parts of the brain have to work together for your child to form a response to what you say. We need to be patient and wait anywhere from 5 to 12 seconds for children to respond. Adults only take 2 seconds! The extra time allows children the practice they need to respond more quickly over time.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Songs for Wiggleworms*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”*

Bounce: “A Smooth Road”
A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road (bounce baby gently)
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road (bounce baby faster)
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road (bounce baby faster)
A hole! (drop baby gently between your knees)
Credit: Co-worker

Lift: “Elevator Song”*
Oh the city is great and the city is grand
There’s a whole lot of people
on a little piece of land
And we live way up on the 57th floor
and this is what we do when we open the door.
We take the elevator up and the elevator down,
take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.
Credit: Jbrary

Partnering: “These Are the Colors”*
Toddlers were given scarves to gently wave over baby’s head. I suggested that babies lay down on their backs for this activity so that they could see the colors.
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Red as a flower, green as a tree
Yellow as the sun, blue as the sea
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Credit: Read Sing Play

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

I had a small and slow start to this program — only eight kids (four families) came to the first session. But I was so excited for this program. I think the toddler book Toot Toot Beep Beep was more successful today, although many of the toddlers loved sticking their arms and fingers through the cut-outs in Color Zoo. My first experiment with partnering was GREAT and I think really made the class special.

Siblings Storytime

siblingstorytime

This winter — after DOZENS of requests by parents — I was able to create a brand-new storytime designed for families with two children under the age of 36 months. Since both our baby storytime and toddler storytime class allow no siblings, parents have to either find another adult to watch the child not in storytime or miss out. While we do have a drop-in all ages storytime, it’s in our huge meeting room and typically has between 30 and 50 people present. It can be overwhelming for little ones!

So…what is a siblings storytime?

For me, it became a hybrid storytime between baby storytime and toddler storytime. It also became a chance for children to have equal amounts of attention. I do every rhyme three times — once as a demonstration and two more times so that baby and toddler can each have a chance on their adult’s lap. And it also gave me a chance to work on good sharing for my big siblings and to help create bonds between them and their new siblings.

So…why does it matter?

I think welcoming a new sibling is a transitional time in a young toddler’s life. If I can give them a bit of stability by continuing storytime, that’s great. If I can make the older sibling feel like a helper and a part of their new sibling’s life, I’ve succeeded. I also have a chance to do the same things that other storytimes accomplish: making peer friends, creating a community place to caregivers to meet, modeling behavior, teaching early literacy components.

So…what did it look like in the program?

Opening

Welcome & Guidelines
[Typical storytime talk.]Hi everyone! My name is Miss Katie and I’ll be leading siblings storytime. I’d like to go over some guidelines with you before we begin. Because I’m used to working with small people, I understand that accidents happen — I have tissue, wipes, and paper towels on both sides of the room in case of accidents. Bathrooms are located on either side of the storytime room, please feel free to use the bathrooms and supplies as needed.

We all want storytime to be a welcoming environment. If your child isn’t feeling up to storytime, please take them outside of the storytime room. You can always come back in after they’ve calmed down or you can always try storytime on another day. I’m okay with movement, but I would like to point out two areas that I need you to keep your child clear of: the area by the door and the area right in front of me. They don’t have to sit down, but they do have to leave these spaces. [New stuff for siblings storytime!] Our adult volunteer Miss K is here today to help us out if anyone needs a hand during the program.

You’ll hear and see me asking your children to interact during the storytime — we want this class to be a bonding activity for them. We’ll be practicing gentle touches and games with one another. If your children don’t want to interact with each other, that’s okay. We’ll keep trying, but let them make the decision to interact so it’s a positive experience.

Name Fingerplay
I learned this from the co-worker I took over for at baby time. I loved it so much that I brought it to toddler storytime and siblings storytime, too.

Everyone introduces themselves one at a time. Together, we hold up our hands and trace our fingers as the group says each child’s name five times. Parents can run their finger around each of their child’s finger or tap each finger or touch each finger — whatever the child is comfortable with. Before we say the child’s name for the fifth time, we say “OOPS!” and on the “OOPS!”, I flick my finger up before going back to trace the last finger. (At “OOPS”, some parents give their child a tickle.) So it sounds like this: parent/child says “Hi, my name is Barb and this is Katie” and the group says “Katie (thumb), Katie (pointer), Katie (middle), Katie (ring), OOPS!, Katie (pinky).”

This gives each child a chance to clap for themselves. It’s a great way for the whole group to learn names together and it doesn’t take too long with my classes.

You can watch me demo the fingerplay in this video:

Opening Song
I used “Hands Are Clapping” which is to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”:
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Clap your hands, my darling!
Toes are tapping, fingers are wiggling, eyes are hiding “peek-a-boo”

Program

So here’s where the hybrid starts coming. I start with our board book offering and then my second/third books are picture books.

I always have a lift, bounce, and partnering activity planned. For the lifts, I have caregivers lift up babies and encourage my toddlers to jump with me. The bounces everyone can do and my toddlers really seem to love that time on their adult’s lap. I do have a few that would rather jump along to the bounce and that’s fine too. (I also have several who like to take turns in my lap!) The partnering activity is a rhyme or song that gets the two children interacting. I’ll explain more about these in each week’s write-ups.

Closing

Rhyme
I used Melissa‘s “This Is Big, Big, Big” as the beginning of my closing routine. I literally use this rhyme in every storytime. It’s a great cue to everyone that we’re winding down.

Song
Our closing song is also from my co-worker’s plan: “With My Little Hands”
With my little hands I go clap, clap, clap
With my little feet I go tap, tap, tap
With my little arms I wave bye, bye, bye
With my little legs I kick high, high, high
With my little eyes I play peek-a-boo
With my little mouth I say “I love you”

Bubbles
My kids LOVE bubbles. They just do. And I’m happy to give them something to look forward to before we say goodbye.

And that’s my siblings class! I’ll talk specifically about which materials I used in each storytime’s post and what worked/didn’t work. Keep an eye out for those starting next week!