Programs

Sunshine Squad: Skin Color Diversity

In a well-intentioned but highly damaging attempt to prevent racism, white adults often teach children that we are all equal and the same, no matter our skin color, discouraging any discussion about our physical differences. This can severely impact the self-esteem of children of color and can cause anxiety, shame, and disillusion for all children. Check out this quick 20-minute NPR podcast “Talking Race with Young Children” for some excellent tips.

Skin color diversity must be incorporated into our storytimes. Here’s your permission to verbally mention the color of children’s skin, eye color, hair color, or if they need assistance to help them move or communicate. And, now, a storytime specifically dedicated to this theme:

Hello Song: Heckety Peckety

No matter the size of the crowd, everyone’s name is beautiful so let’s put them in a song!

Heckety peckety bumblebee
Won’t you say your name for me? ______________
Let’s say it ______________
Let’s clap it ______________
On your lap ______________
With a whisper ______________
With a shout ______________

Early Literacy Song
Tune: Goodnight Ladies

Talk, sing, read, write, play x3
You can start today.

Talk, sing, read, write, play x3
You are on your way—to reading!

Welcome Book: The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

3 Ways to be be a part of Sunshine Squad (from Sunflower Storytime)

  1. Being kind to yourself
  2. Being kind to others
  3. Being kind to animals and nature

Affirmation Chant by Cynthia Dawn (featured on Miss Sarah’s Storytime)

I am great! (Arms wide)
I  am smart! (Finger to head)
I am strong! (Flex muscles)
I am loved! (Hug yourself)
Today is an awesome day! (Jump in the air, fist pump)

Action Rhyme: Everybody Knows I Love My Toes (tune available at Jbrary)

Everybody knows I love my toes.
Everybody knows I love my toes.
I love my shoulders, my knees, my elbows, and my nose.
But everybody knows I love my toes.

Everybody knows I love my skin.
Everybody knows I love my skin.
I love my head, my heart, hands, and my grin.
But everybody knows I love my skin.

Book: Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin

Scarves Song: “Celebrate Everybody” by Kendra K

Picture1

Settle Rhyme

Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

If you’re ready for a story clap your hands
If you’re ready for a story clap your hands
If you’re ready for a story, if you’re ready for a story
If you’re ready for a story clap your hands

If you’re ready for a story sit right down
If you’re ready for a story sit right down
If you’re ready for a story, if you’re ready for a story
If you’re ready for a story sit right down

Book: Shades of People by Shelley Rotner

Video Song: “Color of Me” by Sesame Street

Craft: Skin Tone Self-Portrait (similar to Cassie Stephens art class)

  • Paint: Brown, white, black, yellow, red
  • Paintbrush
  • Thick painting paper
  • Mirrors

Families were encouraged to blend the colors on their palette to match their own skin color. Occasionally they could brush it on the back of their hand to check. This craft could have benefited from step-by-step instructions to mix the paint (because the mixing part was lost on a lot of the families). Still, painting is always a hit.

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