One of our favorite outings before the Shelter in Place was Story & Song Time at a local children’s store. It was a great way for me to meet new moms, get out of the house, and to socialize the kids. The songs, dances, games, and stories were always able to keep them engaged and eager to make friends. So when the SIP started, we were so sad we weren’t able to keep going to Story & Song Time and decided to recreate it at home! The Jbrary website is a great resource if you’re looking for some more inspiration for your Story & Song Time. So if you’re looking for a fun way to entertain the kids with nowhere to go here’s our breakdown:
We start out our Story & Song Time with the “Hello Friends”. I love this because when we were in the actual classes, the kids were able to recognize their friends and I was able to remember names! This song is sung with sign language which is something that I think is really helpful to teach young kids, especially those who aren’t quite talking yet. We usually sing two versus of this and say hello to Mommy, Daddy, Oliver, Emmie, Lucy, and Ethel. The past few weeks Oliver’s added in his grandparents and some of his friends he hasn’t been able to see (this poor kid really misses all his friends!!). Here’s the “Hello/Goodbye Friends” song!
We recently purchased a fun set of instruments that the kids are loving! You can find it on Amazon here. We pull those out and the kids have so much fun dancing and playing music to all the songs we sing. Oliver’s favorite nursery rhyme is “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” so we have to incorporate that into Story Time as well! We sing the song as we always do but we also include a little hand motion to add a little something extra. We open and close our fists as if they are “twinkling stars”. Clever, I know. We add in “Hokey Pokey”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes”, and pretty much any of Raffi’s songs! I knew I needed to find scarves for the kids to play and dance around with and it’s ended up being Oliver’s favorite part. These ones from Amazon are great (and cheap). Our scarf songs start out with “Wheels on the Bus”, “Popcorn”, “One Bright Scarf”, and finish up with “Shake My Sillies” before they get their chairs and sit down for the stories.
Both kids have these chairs from Pottery Barn so we push them together and thats where they sit to listen to stories. Most of the time I have each of them pick out their favorite book and we read those (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read Little Blue Truck!). However, lately I’ve been picking the books before we start. I feel that it is important for me to teach my kids about diversity in a way in which they are able to understand. With that being said, we’ve added some new books to our little home library that I really encourage all parents to incorporate into their home libraries as well! We are huge fans of Sesame Street and I have always appreciated how they address all different topics in ways that kids can understand. “We’re Different, We’re the Same” is a great book that celebrates diversity using the Sesame Street monsters and all sorts of people. It is a great visual representation to help kids understand and appreciate our differences. Another great book we’ve been reading is “All Are Welcome”. This book is incredible. It really showcases every walk of life. It depicts all different family structures, different economical backgrounds, different cultures, different people, all within the walls of a preschool/Kindergarten classroom which makes it relatable for this age group. Both of these books are a great starting point for explaining and celebrating diversity and inclusion.
After we wrap up our stories, we sing our “Clean Up Song” as we clean up the room after all the fun we’ve had! Oliver’s self-appointed “jobs” are to pick up all the scarves/instruments and put them back in their bag and then supervise Emmie’s “job” (or lack thereof). This really helps to calm them down before Emmie’s nap or before I have to head to the kitchen to make lunch.
I hope that this little Story Time Breakdown helps fill up some time and entertain all of these stir-crazy kids during these strange times!
Hang in there Mamas, cheers!