On Mother’s Lap, by Ann Herbert Scott

            There’s no place as comforting as Mother’s lap.  In this story a little boy brings his favorite things to his Mother’s lap where there always seems to be enough room.  But what will happen when the baby wakes up, will he still have a lap to sit on?


  •             Parachute or large sheet
  •             My Family graphing directions
  •             Pictures of children on Mother’s lap


  • Rocking chair ( a chair with curved pieces of wood attached to the bottom to make the chair go back and forth)
  • Reindeer (a kind of animal, like a big deer)
  • Whisper (to say something very, very softly)
  • Jealous (Unhappy because another person gets something you want)

Before Reading the Story

            Ask the children if they know what it means to be jealous?  Have they ever been jealous of another person? (I wanted the baby doll but Kerry got it but then she let me have a turn next, I wanted the red one but Roger said no). 

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Ask the children who likes to sit on their Mother’s lap? Ask them how it makes them feel (happy, special, good warm, soft).  Tell the children that children all over the world like to sit on Mother’s lap.

Language Development/Speaking & Understanding; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other vaired purposes.

Reading the Story

            As you read, rock gently back and forth.  Read in a soft soothing voice.  When you get to the page where Michael says, “There isn’t room”, stop and ask the children if they can tell how Michael is feeling (jealous), why (he thinks that Mother will put him down now)?  Ask the children what they think will happen.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

After Reading the Story

            Ask the children who remembers what jealous means?  Ask the children why they think that Michael did not want his baby sister to come and sit with his Mother and him?  (There would not be enough room for them both).  Look at the picture of Michael and the baby on Mother’s lap and ask how Michael is feeling now (happy).  Tell the children when they share something it helps jealous feelings go away.  Point out recent examples of sharing you have seen in your room. (Yesterday I saw Kerry share the bicycle with Roger, that was being a good friend, Today Roger was looking at the book Kerry wanted so he said they could look at it together, that was sharing).

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflict with peers.


            Use a balance scale.  Put one heavy object on the left side and ask the children to see how many lighter objects it takes to balance the scale out.  (large rubber animal and 1 inch cubes, rock and shells)

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.

Music and Movement

            Play the following; If You Have

If you have a big brother, stand up.

If you have a big brother, stand up

Big brothers its true, are older then you.

(Now do big sisters)

If you have a little brother, stand up.

If you have a little brother, stand up.

Little brothers its true, are younger then you.

(Now do little sisters)

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress un understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions. AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops ability to identify personal characteristics, including gender and family composition.


Put play people into the center today and encourage the children to build homes for the families.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.


            Bring in old supply catalogs and let the children cut out all the toys they would like for the playground or classroom.  Have them glue them to a poster board that is labeled “Class Wish List”.  Note after you finish the class collage that there was room on the paper for everybody’s cuttings.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Sand and Water

Add water and toy boats to the water table today. Remind the children that the little boy in the story brought a toy boat to his mother’s lap.

Library and Writing

            Use the rocking chair picture to have the children illustrate what they would take to their Mother’s lap, write their dictation underneath.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Dramatic Play;

            Ask the children what kinds of things they like to do with their Mother.  Help direct the play to act out several of these scenarios.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences. AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; progresses in understanding similarities and respecting differences among people such as genders, race, special needs, culture, language, and family structures.

Math and Manipulatives

            Use unifix cubes or small pieces of paper to make a family graph. Have the children illustrate all the members that they call family.  Put out the people illustrations to show what color cubes to take for each family member.  The children collect the appropriate colored cubes to represent their family.  Who has the biggest family, who has the most sisters?

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops ability to identify personal characteristics, including gender and family composition. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantities.

Outdoor Play

            Bring out a parachute or large sheet for parachute play today.  When the children come over to play, tell them there is always room for one more.  Let the children help maneuver their bodies to all fit around the parachute.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly directive or submissive.


            Dismiss the children in a whisper voice. 


About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.