Opposites at Storytime

Ever since we learned the song This is Big, Big, Big from Mel I have been on an opposites kick. Factor in the hungry bunch of toddlers I program for on a weekly basis and let’s just say I’ve developed quite a list. Side note: those toddlers can turn on a dime if they don’t get their fill of the opposites. If you know of what I speak read on, in, down and up!

To get us started I’ve chosen two Hello and Goodbye song combos which feature our friends The Opposites.

Bread and Butter Storytime Welcome and Goodbye Chant

So many great things about this song: like the word marmalade. But also the fact that you can adapt it to opposites which might make an appearance in your program like “let’s say hello like cats if we can” and then “let’s say hello like dogs if we can.” And don’t tell anyone but I also use this with almost every school age crowd I encounter and then challenge them to say hello like Fly Guy or Thea Stilton.

Up, Down, Turn Around: Storytime Hello and Goodbye Song

This is such a lovely little song that requires lots of movement so toddlers (and kinesthetic learners!) can be matching actions to the opposites they are singing about.

Two Little Blackbirds

This rhyme wins for most adaptable, as you might be able to tell from the nine verses above. Despite the fact that I’ve made a baby cry with a particularly LOUD blackbird this is a great rhyme to talk about the shining role repetition plays in children’s early literacy development.

Roly Poly

This is an every-week-come-heck-or-high-water type song if only for the satisfaction on the little faces which illustrate my week when they get the hang of this one.

Open Shut Them

Open Shut Them is my public service announcement to toddlers about how difficult it is to sing when their hands (or other extremities) are in their mouths. I am not ashamed to admit I demonstrate this fact. I then follow up with “if your hands are feeling a little busy today, you can tuck ’em right under your bum but if they’re going to have a good storytime put them in your lap and let’s read our first story.” Opposites and life advice, we’re a one stop shop!

This is Big, Big, Big

This is the gem which inspired the post- such a simple yet pleasing song! This really helped me grasp the power of opposites, they function like rhymes by signaling what can be expected next and thus build confidence for young storytimers.

Rain is Falling Down

You can truly never start too young with those opposites and I love to sing this is one from Babytimes up to Preschool Storytime. While it is strictly speaking a weather song, the sun and rain opposites lend themselves to some lovely opposing hand actions and can be quite calming after all that quiet and LOUD business.

Grand Old Duke of York

This has come back into my repertoire lately as a great marching song or lap-bounce at Babytime and what better way to experience opposites than by being marched up into the air!

Cool Cat

The name of this song captures it perfectly as it allows you to sing about some, well more sophisticated opposites in a cool jazzy way. This would work well all the way up to school age kids especially if you’re learning names for the first time.

Winter Bonus Track: Once There was a Snowman

You can dust this one off come December and use it clear through til March! This is a great song to get the wiggles out for toddlers and could lead to some great discussions or stories for older kids.

Well there you have it folks, a whole bunch of opposite songs to add to or refresh your collection! Our Opposites Storytime playlist is awaiting your perusal and as per usual please let us know your favourite opposite songs to share.



4 thoughts on “Opposites at Storytime

  1. Hey Guys! It’s me again. I’m a private English teacher in Russia. I found your videos and they are wonderful. I did a few posts on your videos: http://laurapickens.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/faster-slower-louder-quieter/

    I’ve been experimenting with this chant with several different age groups over the last week. I’ve had great success from an 11 month old all the way up to a 9 year old. I’m always challenged to come up with new lesson ideas that help teach children a new language in a fun way. Nothing works quite like a song and dance, something that uses their bodies. Your videos are great! Keep up the good work!


    1. Hi Laura, thanks for stopping by again! We really appreciate you including us in your post – we agree that opposites are great for language learning and your blog’s got so many great ideas. Hope all is well with you and thank you again for your warm words 🙂

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