Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Grandparent / Grandchild Storytime

A Grand Family Storytime

Over the years I've noticed that many extended families come into the library the day after a major holiday, and often they ask me, "do you have a storytime today?" Um, well, no, we don't. 

This year I decided to offer storytime on December 26, for visiting grandparents and grandchildren. I'm calling it a Grand Family Storytime.

The books I chose to read: 

In the Rain with Baby Duck / Amy Hest
   The Grandfather in this story is wise and compassionate and understanding, and Baby Duck is fussy and funny. Kids can pat their knees with their hands to make the rain sound effects. Baby Duck's song can be sung with great heaving sobs and sniffs.

Full, Full, Full of Love / Trish Cooke
   This is a very sweet story of a Sunday afternoon with Grandma. Illustrator Paul Howard does a beautiful job with the artwork, the pictures are warm and inviting. I want to have Sunday dinner with this family too! Each page spread ends with some sound effects or actions which you could act out with the children. Example "splash, splish, wiggle, wiggle"  - clap twice and wiggle.

Whose Mouse Are You / Robert Kraus
    I love this story. Mouse is all alone - his family members are scattered, and some are in grave danger. Mouse has to save his family and bring them all together again. The pictures and text are simple, touching, and sometimes amusing. The mouse family does not mention grandparents, but I couldn't resist including this book because it is all about family love and belonging. I think I will have the kids and adults help me out with adding another verse about grandmother and grandfather and make up a "page" of pictures using a felt board.

Sleepytime Rhyme / Remy Charlip
   This is my go-to book for Valentine's Day, storytimes about family, babies, love, sleep/bedtime, and bodies. Remy Charlip's free form art features a baby and a woman, she could be a grandmother, and his text uses the word "grand" twice, so it's just perfect for my Grand Family Storytime.  If you wanted to integrate some actions into the story, ask  the families to snuggle up and have adults gently touch their children: " I love your hands, your teeth, your nose, your ankles, feet, and all ten toes." This is the last book in the storytime, a nice ending with a cuddle and lots of smiles. 

Songs and Stretches

If you search through books or online for action rhymes about grandparents you are sure to find the one that begins: Here are Grandma's glasses. Cool, right? Plus the second verse is about Grandpa. Unfortunately, the ending is really lame, with Grandma putting her hands in her lap, and Grandpa folding his arms. Boring Grandma and Grandpa. I tweaked both rhymes. Here is my version, which I hope you will use, because it is so much cuddlier! 

Grandma's Glasses / Grandpa's Glasses

Here are Grandma's glasses (circle fingers around eyes)
Here is Grandma's cap (cover head with hands)
And here's the way she wraps her arms
around me in her lap!  (hug self)

Here are Grandpa's glasses
Here is Grandpa's hat
And here's the way he folds his arms
around me just like that!

Here's a variation of "Johnny Pounds With One Hammer"  that you can use for any member of the family, and you can change the tools too. This is one of those cumulative rhymes - each verse adds another action using another body part - the actions here are simple compared to My Aunt Came Back, but still tons of funs for kids and grown ups alike. For a good example of how to do the hammer rhyme, check out this you tube video posted by the King County Library System.

Grandpa Pounds with One Hammer

Grandpa pounds with one hammer
one hammer, one hammer,
Grandpa pounds with one hammer
Then he pounds with two. 

2 hammers - 3 hammers - 4 hammers - 5 hammers - then he goes to sleep!

Grandma's Little Baby / Grandpa's Little Baby

My mother used to sing me Short'nin Bread when I was really little, and when I had children of my own, I continued the tradition. They loved clapping along with the tune. 
I was really pleased to find a new version about Papa's Little Baby. 
For this storytime of course, I used Grandma and Grandpa.

Grandma's little baby loves
Short'nin', short'nin',
Grandma's little baby loves
Short'nin' bread,
Grandma's little baby loves
Short'nin', short'nin',
Grandma's little baby loves
Short'nin' bread.

 Put on the skillet,
Slip on the lid,
Grandma's gonna make
A little short'nin' bread.
That ain't all
She's gonna do,
Grandma's gonna make
A little coffee, too. 
(repeat verse 1)

For Grandpa's version, get up and dance!
Grandpa's little baby loves
dancing, dancing,
Grandpa's little baby loves to 
dance round.
Grandpa's little baby loves
dancing, dancing,
Grandpa's little baby loves
to boogie on down. 

Lean to the left
Lean to the right
Hug that child 
nice and tight
Lean to the left 
Lean to the right
Hug that child 
nice and tight!  (repeat verse1)

The last song we sing is Skidamarink (aka Skinnamarink).  If you're not familiar with the tune or actions, watch this.


Skidamarink a dink a dink
Skidamarink a doo
I love you!
Skidamarink a dink a dink
Skidamarink a doo
I love you!
I love you in the morning
and in the afternoon
I love you in the evening
and underneath the moon.
Skidamarink a dink a dink
Skidarmarink a doo
I love you!
(You can add a few little personal flourishes at the end, like Sharon, Lois & Bram did in the video!Very cute to end with a Boop Boop a Doop) 

Make and Take or Snack Time
I often have a craft for kids to do after storytime, but for this one, I think we might have a snack of short'nin' bread!
More Good Books about Grandparents
Please add your favorite rhymes, books, or links in the comments. 

Vera's Baby Sister  / Vera Rosenberry  - Vera is jealous of her new baby sister, so Grandfather dreams up a plan to keep Vera busy and happy, constructing her own green bean teepee. After reading this story I was inspired to build my own green bean teepee, but the bunnies ate all the little seedlings. Next year my teepee will have a fence. : /

Grandmother and I,   and  Grandfather and I, both by Helen E. Buckley - Both books are told from the point of view of a grandchild, about why Grandmothers and Grandfathers are so important. 

Our Granny / Margaret Wild - I love that the author's name is wild, because this book is wildly hilarious. It's about all the different kinds of grannies, fancy grannies, comfy grannies, swimming grannies, working grannies and more, all delightfully illustrated. This book makes me smile. 

So Much / Trish Cooke  - another book about family love - this one is about how each person in the family has a unique way of showing love to the baby. Lots of fun action in this story.

"More More More," said the Baby : three love stories / Vera B. Williams - three little stories about a daddy, a grandma, and a mommy and the babies they each love. Lively illustrations match the lively text, a fun book to read. 

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