Storytime Thoughts from Ms. Sydney
I am grateful for October.
On chilly October mornings, I look forward to seeing my little Storytime friends arrive at the library in all varieties of adorable cold weather gear.
I like to stand at the door to welcome everyone in, giving each child a chance to show off their hat with the big pompom or animal ears, and share their excitement about how their favorite movie character is on their jacket.
They feel proud in their cozy accessories—as soon as one friend how they are wearing super cool boots, everyone around them must chime in to show off their gear, as well.
Their confidence is contagious.
As Storytime starts, you will probably see me maximize on the cold weather excitement.
It’s an opportunity for me to follow the children’s lead about a topic they are excited about, building background knowledge around real-world experiences.
I’ll ask what they noticed about how the air felt outside this morning. I’ll ask about the seasons and the cold and how we keep our bodies warm when the weather changes outside.
“What do we wear on our head that covers our ears and keeps our head warm? Yes, a hat! Thank you, hat, for protecting my head. I am so lucky to have a warm hat!”
“What do we put on our feet if it’s cold or snowy outside? Yes, boots! Thank you, boots, for keeping my feet warm and dry!”
And as Storytime continues, we’ll say thank you to the bubble machine for helping us have fun and thank you to the puppet for sharing a silly rhyme with us. I guide us to say “thank you” a lot because I like to model showing gratitude to things and people that are important.
Not only do we practice saying the words, but we also talk about why we feel grateful for something, or why it means something to us.
At around age three, children start to think about the perspective of others and can understand more abstract, symbolic concepts like being thankful or grateful.
We can help grow their gratitude pointing out opportunities for practice.
We can go one step beyond saying “thank you” and explore the reasons why we are thankful, saying them out loud.
We can model taking a pause in the present moment to consider the things or people around us and the impact they have.
We can practice paying appreciation to the things that make us happy.
Like Storytime, and bubbles, and hats, and October.
And of course, all of the families who collaborate, create, and celebrate this wonderful community with us.
Discover more fun ways to practice gratitude and join us at Growing Gratitude Storytime
Snuggle up with someone you love and share one of these great stories about feeling grateful.
Sydney Stensland is the Early Childhood Librarian at Mount Prospect Library. She has worked as an early childhood teacher, curriculum writer, and toy designer. As a passionate advocate for play, curiosity, and the power of a picture book, she has presented workshops for parents and educators of young children ways to create whole-child opportunities for literacy, language, and social-emotional success.