Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Story Time Starter: Welcoming New Siblings

Recently, I received a review copy of Rosemary Wells's brand-new Max & Ruby picture book, Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble. It immediately inspired me to think about the possibility of a story time about welcoming a new baby (or more!) into the family. I only have story time twice a month this fall with a couple of my mom friends, so it might be a while before I get to the babies theme, but I wanted to highlight this book leading up to its publication on October 1, so I decided to put together some story time ideas now that I'll be able to use later on. These suggestions are for a family story time, and the books are geared toward ages 2-5.

Miss Katie's Recommended Books 

  • Max & Ruby and Twin Trouble by Rosemary Wells
    Though this book is primarily about the surprise of welcoming twins into a family with older siblings, it also provides a really warm and positive outlook on the experience of welcoming a baby. Not only does it portray the reality of life with a baby - the crying, the feeding, the diapers, etc. - but it also shows how bigger kids can be just as nurturing to new babies as their parents are, thus highlighting the importance of big brothers and sisters, even for newborns. 
  • What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell
    In this sweet story, a group of animals tries to help a fussy baby calm down by offering her toys, food, and a bath. They finally get her to take a nap, only to fall asleep themselves, just before she wakes up again. Though this book isn't about siblings per se, it does use a fun approach to help young kids understand what little babies need and how they might behave.
  • One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters by Lola M. Schaefer
    This gentle reflection on the special role of older siblings is a great book for building up the confidence of big brothers and sisters and helping them to see the value in their own interactions with a new baby. The especially nice thing about this book is that it emphasizes the closeness of siblings rather than potential rivalry or jealousy.
  • We Just Had a Baby by Stephen Krensky
    In this well-written and appealingly illustrated picture book, a young boy describes in simple terms what life is like with a newborn in the house.  Told in a toddler-friendly way, this book uses gentle humor to highlight the joy of a new sibling without dwelling much at all on any potential negative feelings. 

Other Possible Books

  • Baby Dear by Esther Wilkin and Eloise Wilkin
  • Julius the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes 
  • Ready, Set . . . Baby! by Elizabeth Rusch
  • There's Going to be a Baby by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury

Songs & Rhymes

  • Rock-a-Bye Baby (Animals)
    This flannel board puts a twist on the traditional song by placing animals in the cradle one by one.
  • One Little Baby
    A fingerplay that counts babies and acts out their movements in different scenarios.
  • This Little Baby
    I wrote this original rhyme for use on the flannel board, but it can also be done as a simple action rhyme.
  • Here is a Ball for Baby
    This action rhyme has lots of different motions, so it's great for preschoolers. 
  • Head and Shoulders, Baby
    This song isn't about babies per se, but it still matches the theme pretty well and provides a great opportunity to get the wiggles out mid-story time.
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