I came up with this branch Family Storytime after I accidentally discovered Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? while weeding our picture book collection. The book instantly charmed me and I couldn’t wait to see how children would respond to the logical assumptions the book makes. Do stools become chairs? Do cars become trucks? Do watches become clocks? Read on and see what we discovered.
Opening: “Hello Friends” (with ASL)
Song: “Let’s Go Riding on an Elevator” (with scarves)
Before singing this a third time, I asked the kids if we should go higher than the 5th floor. One child suggested the 10th floor, which made us reach as high as we could. I felt sorry for all the grown-ups who were hoisting their little ones up, but it was so much fun!
Rhyme: “Open, Shut Them”
Book: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea, illus. Tom Slaughter
Puppet/Rhyme: “Little Mousie Brown” (with puppet)
Participants were really into Little Mousie Brown today. We actually got through it three times! One little friend was particularly upset when she had to go back into her little house.
Puppet/Rhyme 2: “Boing! Boing! Squeak!” (with puppet)
Surprise! Little Mousie Brown had someone else in her house today: an even bigger mouse puppet! Some children speculated it was her dad or mom―which was actually pretty smart considering the previous rhyme. I didn’t actually think ahead of time about who this mouse was, but I loved introducing this fun new rhyme. We’ve had some babies lately, and I wanted to provide more opportunities for adaptations. The bigger kids bounced puppets while grown-ups bounced the littler and/or lighter kids.
I tried to skip “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” this go-round but most kids weren’t having it! We got through this song once before doing “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” two times.
Song: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”
Book: Marta Big & Small by Jen Arena, illus. Angela Dominguez
Goodbye: “Goodbye Friends” (with ASL)
How It Went: The first book was a bit long for the group, so I’m glad I read it first. But I think we had fun being silly and learning things (like, did you know that a baby snake is an snakelet!?). The book also worked well because I let different kids lift the flaps on each page. We had a small enough group (12 children, 8 adults) that I was able to pull this off with minimal meltdowns.
The second book worked well, once we got into it. The kids were still a little riled up from “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,” so I hid behind the book like Marta hides behind the plants to grab their attention. During shared reading, I asked if Marta was big/small, fast/slow and we would identify the animals and make their sounds. We repeated things in Spanish (the book is bilingual) and it was so delightful to hear children trying on new words.
I had to give out feedback forms after storytime, which gave me a lot of anxiety. I made the mistake of handing out these evaluations before I gave the kids their customary stamp (rookie mistake!). Chaos ensued. But one of my coworkers stepped in to help and it all worked out okay. In fact, all the participants wrote that the program was “fun.” Yay! I’d definitely do this storytime again―though I might skip “The Farmer Plants the Seeds.”