Family Story Time – May 16, 2015

Remember what I was saying about variety being the norm for a children’s librarian?

I arrived for my on-call shift at the children’s department of the central branch to discover that I was scheduled to deliver the morning’s family story time. Surprise! Thankfully I am a bit of an old hat at last minute story times by now.

One of the nicest things about doing on-call story times is that you can cheat. You can bust out your favourite songs and story books, the really popular ones that everyone loves and that you’ve already done to death with your own group. Today’s family story time was a bit of a greatest hits edition, but no Pete the Cat, as I couldn’t find a copy in the story time closet…

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: I went Walking / Sue Williams

walking

Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • Roly poly

Book 2: Old MacDonald Had a Farm / Jane Cabrera

macdonald

Action Songs

  • Bend and stretch
  • Zoom zoom zoom
  • The wheels on the bus
  • Toast in the toaster
  • The elevator song

Cool Down Songs

  • The itsy bitsy spider
  • Open shut them

Goodbye Song: Goodbye Friends!

I had some very enthusiastic caregivers in today’s small story time group who were happy to belt out all of the songs, which took some of the pressure off my voice, which was still a little strained after the program-heavy day before.

Baby Story Time – April 10, 2015

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Touching Rhymes/Tickles

  • Slowly, slowly, very slowly
  • Round and round the garden goes the teddy bear
  • Slice slice the bread looks nice
  • Eyes nose cheeky cheeky chin
  • Roly poly

Book 1: Bear Seas Colors / Karma Wilson

bear

Songs/Bounces

  • Oh I wish I were a little bar of soap!
  • Bumping up and down in my little red wagon
  • The waves on the sea (to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus)
  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus

Book Two: Pete the Cat Old MacDonald Had a Farm

macdonald

Movement Songs

  • What shall we do with lazy Katie?
  • Zoom zoom
  • The elevator song

Soothing Songs

  • Orca whale

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends!

I ended up just shortening and simplifying the same books I used in my family time, which is a technique I like to share with parents.  Lots of picture books can be adapted for different ages, just by skipping pages or only reading part of the text. I just loved the illustrations in Bear Sees Colours so much, and I simply omitted much of the text to create a shorter, simpler introduction to colours. I also find this version of Old MacDonald to be a little long, so I just pick and choose which animals I feel like doing. Get the most out of every picture book!

I had a record four dads at baby time today! One new dad was so relieved when he came in to see the three other dads there (two of them bring their babies by themselves – brave daddies!), and another couple of mums commented on how they were going to try and encourage their partners to come. A new participant even mentioned that he wasn’t sure if dads were allowed to come to baby time! That’s one of the reasons we steer clear of “Mum and Me” or any labels like that – we welcome daddies and grandparents and nannies and all grownups who are taking part in the raising of a baby!

Family Story Time – April 10, 2015

It’s Friday, and you know what that means – story time! I’ve been playing around with my story time structure just a little bit, moving things around and slotting some new material in. I’m certainly not brave enough yet to bust out the felt stories with my antsy toddlers, but I am feeling the puppets. A gorgeous duck puppet came out to play today, and he was a big hit!

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: Bear Sees Colors / Karma Wilson

bear

Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • Orca whale
  • Wiggle your fingers
  • Open-shut them
  • Roly poly

Book 2: Pete the Cat Old MacDonald Had a Farm

macdonald

Action Songs

  • Bend and stretch
  • Zoom zoom
  • Here we go a marching
  • Head and shoulders
  • The elevator song

Soothing songs:

  • Five little ducks (with puppet)
  • When ducks wake up in the morning

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Baby Story Time – January 16, 2015

Lots of new faces at baby time today – a few of my babies from last year have aged out of the program, and we had a lot of new mums with little ones. We had 60 people (we count adults and babies, so it was roughly 30 adults and 30 babies), which was about as big as we would want to go in that space – babies need lots of room because they all come with little blankets and mats for tummy time!

I’m still surprised at how much I look forward to doing baby times now. When I first started, back in September, I was so terrified. I didn’t know how to relate to the parents and grandparents – I was so used to interacting with toddlers and preschoolers that I felt awkward interacting with adults! I remember one of the mum’s telling my manager to “tell that girl (me) not to be so nervous – we won’t bite!” Now that I’ve got a structure and routine that I’m comfortable with, and a good core repertoire of songs and rhymes at my disposal, I feel a lot more confident, which in turns makes my delivery more natural.

I also had a baby chewing on my shoes….nothing like baby slobber on my toes! Yet another reason why I only buy cheap shoes that I won’t mourn when they inevitably get tossed. 🙂

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Touching Rhymes/Tickles

  • Wake up feet
  • Eyes nose cheeky cheeky chin
  • Orca whale
  • Roly poly

Book 1: Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails / Nancy Tafuri

Spots, Feathers & Curly Tails

Songs/Bounces

  • You be the lemon
  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus
  • I want someone to buy me a pony
  • A smooth road
  • The grand old duke of york

Book Two: Pete the Cat Old MacDonald Had a Farm / James Dean

macdonald

Movement Songs

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

Soothing Songs

  • Rain is falling down

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends!