It was fun with opposites at storytime last night! I had an interesting crowd, I think the cold and snow kept a lot of families home, so at 7 pm I was walking the floor gathering up any kids I could find. I started with four kiddos and it grew as storytime progressed. There was a bit of improvising since the four children had never been to my storytime before, they weren’t getting into my traditional opening song. I switched it up and asked if anyone knew “Open Shut Them” to which one little boy exclaimed, “I know that from school!” I had 2 kindergartners and their older siblings, who were a little skeptical, so I started out with a book on my display table “Black? White! Day? Night!” in hopes of engaging the older two. I decided to save “Big Bug” for another day with a younger crowd.
Black? White! Day? Night! by Laura Seeger
I gave a little intro about opposites, the opposite of OPEN is . . . “Shut!” and prefaced our book as a challenge. “We are going to try to guess the opposite, let’s see if we can stump your big brother!” The older brothers responded well to the challenge and everyone had fun with the book.
Polar Opposites by Erik Brooks
This book fit so well with my theme and our weather, but it got a lack luster response from the kids. Meh. Not a bad story, but not as exciting as the other books.
By this point my storytime crowd had filled out and included caregivers as well as children, I took a moment to talk about why opposites are fun for kids and important for development:
Categorizing things is fun for young children and helps build important connection in their brains.
Help your child group things together by size, or color. Talk about how things are similar and different.
You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang
This is a new book I’ve been wanting to read and inspired the theme. Everyone got a kick out of it. They really responded to my BIG DEEP VOICE and itsy bitsy squeeky voice and had fun shouting BIG! SMALL!
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
I love sharing new books, but I couldn’t do “You Are (Not) Small” without also sharing the classic tale of relative size. I always add to the text with this story, asking the kids who’s bigger and ad-libbing for the giant squid, He takes on a very SNL Franz and Hanz personality, “Ha! Puny little crab. You think your pincer can hurt me?”
And of course we sang some great songs that incorporated opposites in between our books.
This is Big – attributed by many to the great Mel of Mel’s Desk. Always a crowd pelaser.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider – Followed by The Great Big Hairy Spider (essentially the same song but with big gross motor skills for the spider and a bigger voice)
Once There Was Snowman: This is my second time using this great song form Jbrary. The kids really like melting.
Wiggle Them! Oh those crazy “left, right” songs. My sleep deprived brain fumbled the reversal. Will my poor kiddos ever learn right from left? ;P
And them we danced to the Bean Bag Song by Hap Palmer from Rhythms on Parade. Not really opposites, but it’s my favorite.