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 – July 17, 2015

Hello Song: Hello, Friends!

Tickles/Songs:

  • Baby put your pants on
  • Two little eyes
  • Head and shoulders
  • Roly poly

Book 1: Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly/ Mo Willems

fly

Bounces:

  • A bouncing we will go
  • Giddyup horsey
  • You be the lemon
  • Trot trot to Boston

Book Two: If You See a Kitten/ John Butler

kitten

Movement Songs:

  • My bonny lies over the ocean
  • What shall we do with lazy Katie?
  • Zoom zoom
  • Elevator song

Soothing songs:

  • Mm-ahh went the little brown bear one day

Goodbye song: Goodbye friends!

I really like branching out and using picture books that aren’t necessarily targeted towards babies in my baby time. I think it’s helpful to model ways in which caregivers can adapt materials for their children when they’re at different ages. I know that several of the parents in my group have older children, so I like to showcase ways in which they can use the same books and songs with all of their children just by making a few adaptations. For example, the Cat the Cat books grow with children – they’re simple and repetitive enough for babies, with big bold text and colorful illustrations, and there are plenty of opportunities for fun animal noises, but they’re perfect for older children who are just learning to read.

Similarly, many of the songs we do in baby time are perfect for older children! While babies love being lifted in “zoom zoom” or “the elevator song”, older kids love jumping instead! Parents can continue using familiar material as their children grow, and can use the same material with several children, just by making a few simple changes. When you’re a busy caregiver, anything that can make life a little easier helps!

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?