Baby Story Time – July 24, 2015

To be honest, I can’t exactly remember what we did this week….I normally plan my programs in advance, but the summer has just thrown me for a loop. So…I’m fairly sure we did something along these lines….

Hello Song: Hello, Friends!

Tickles/Songs:

  • Here are baby’s fingers
  • Slowly slowly
  • Head and shoulders
  • Roly poly
  • Come under my umbrella

Book 1: Cat the Cat, Who is That? / Mo Willems

whoisthat

Bounces:

  • A bouncing we will go
  • Gregory Giggs
  • London Bridge is falling down

Book Two: Farmyard Beat / Lindsey Craig

farmyard

Movement Songs:

  • Dancing with bears
  • Mamma’s little baby loves dancing
  • Zoom zoom
  • Elevator song

Soothing songs:

  • Rain is falling down

Goodbye song: Goodbye friends!

I like Farmyard Beat, but I definitely make a few changes when I use it in story times. Adapting picture books is something I talk about a lot in my programs. To make things a bit more consistent I replace all of the different noises in the story with animal sounds, and I shorten the story a bit by changing the ending.

I encourage caregivers to view picture books as interactive objects that can be adapted to meet different moods/needs. Most picture books can be made appropriate for any audience with a bit of creative interpretation. Caregivers can even forgo the printed text all together and make up their own stories using the pictures – this is a really fun activity to do with children, as kids can be insanely creatively!

Baby Story Time – March 27, 2015

I was delighted to see a couple of the mums I met at the drop-in program yesterday at our story time this morning. We even had a few enthusiastic dads attend today, which was lovely.

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Touching Rhymes/Tickles

  • The moon is round
  • Two little eyes
  • Everybody knows I love my toes
  • Roly poly

Book 1: Cat the Cat, Who is That? / Mo Willems

cat

Songs/Bounces

  • Oh I wish I were a little bar of soap!
  • Trot trot to Boston
  • Pudding on the plate
  • I’m toast in the toaster
  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus

Book Two: Jump! / Scott M. Fischer

jump

Movement Songs

  • Love somebody yes I do
  • Go in and out the window
  • Zoom zoom
  • The elevator song

Soothing Songs

  • You are my little panda bear
  • You are my sunshine

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends!

I decided that we should finish off with a song to honour the change in the weather today and celebrate the return of the sun!

Jump! is one of my favourite baby time books – I ask all the caregivers to lift baby every time we say jump!, and the babies just adore it.

I was also delighted when a patron came up to me after the program wanting to borrow more Mo Willems books – I love it when a patron connects with something I’ve shared and wants more!

Cat the Cat is where it’s at.

I’ve been running a weekly baby time since the beginning of September, and with only a couple of sessions left until the end of the season, I’ll admit I’m beginning to run out of steam. I’ve already read most of my favourite picture books, and finding engaging baby-appropriate books that aren’t completely boring (“What does the cow say? Mooooo” again and again and again….) can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. I try not to repeat books in a season (I’ll be perfectly happy to trot all my favourites back out when the new session starts in January), which means the hunt for new picture books is never ending.

In my quest to shake things up a little bit and try some new things with my group, I’ve been looking beyond the typical J+Babes books for some new picture books to share. I’d used the great Mo Willems’ Cat the Cat books in my Language Fun Story Time, and I just loved their simplicity, sweetness and silly sense of humour. Although meant primarily for emerging readers, I decided to give one of them a try with my baby time crowd, and see how it went.

The first book I tried was:

Cat the Cat Who is That?

cat

It was a hit. The caregivers just adored it. The short, simple text is perfect for sharing with wiggly babies, there is plenty of child-friendly repetition, and the storyline provides opportunities for the ubiquitous animal noises. The typical Mo Willems twist ending brought plenty of smiles and chuckles, and the message of inclusiveness is definitely parent-friendly.

I have since put holds on all the Cat the Cat books I could find in the system, and I can’t wait to bring them out in future story times. Baby time books that aren’t boring! What’s not to love?

Baby Story Time – November 14, 2014

After the madness that was FST, a smaller, quieter, gentler baby time was just what the doctor ordered.

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Touching Rhymes/Tickles

  • Wake up, feet
  • Say hello, can you touch your nose?
  • Eyes, nose, cheeky cheeky chin
  • Roly Poly

Book 1: Maisy at the farm / Lucy Cousins

maisy

Songs/Bounces

  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus
  • You be the ice cream
  • Bumping up and down in my little red wagon
  • The grand old duke of york

Book Two: Cat the Cat Who is That? / Mo Willems

cat

Movement Songs

  • Up, up, up in the sky like this
  • Love somebody, yes I do
  • Zoom, zoom, zoom
  • The elevator song

Soothing Songs

  • Rain is falling down

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends!

Mo Willems is picture book gold. This series is actually designed for emerging readers, but it works swimmingly at baby time. Very simple, repetitive text, bold illustrations with strong black outlines and simple colours, plenty of opportunities for animal noises, and a sweet twist ending make for a great story time book.

I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of baby time. When I first started doing regular baby times I never really felt like I was in my element – unlike at a regular story time I wasn’t interacting with children as much as I was with parents, and it was a bit difficult to adapt my style of delivery. I think including a soothing element at the end has really given my program a sense of structure – we don’t just do a bunch of exciting lifts and then leave – I now do fewer active lifting songs, and include one or two soothing songs to round out the program – today we did a couple verses of Rain is falling down, and repeated the song several times, because it’s just such a gentle, peaceful way to end the program. I’ve recently learned a few new soothing songs that I can’t wait to include in my program next week!