Baby Story Time – March 20, 2015

A funny little baby time today – at 11:10, five minutes before we were due to start, there were only two babies and their mothers waiting in the program room! I was getting a little nervous – we typically have a pretty good group, but a combination of terrible weather and older siblings home from school had kept our programs a little smaller all week. I needn’t have worried – the babies and their caregivers kept trickling in over the next 30 minutes (one family came in without about 5 minutes left in the program!), and although we certainly weren’t at capacity, we still had a comfortable group. That’s the thing about babies – they don’t always understand schedules! I like to make sure that my patrons know that they are always welcome to come and go as they need to during baby time – I’d rather they benefit from 15 minutes of baby time and get a chance to meet other parents after the program, then not come at all!

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Touching Rhymes/Tickles

  • Eyes, nose, cheeky cheeky chin
  • Baby put your pants on
  • Slice, slice, the bread looks nice

Book 1: Do cows meow? / Salina Yoon

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Songs/Bounces

  • Oh I wish I were a little bar of soap!
  • I’m toast in the toaster
  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus
  • Gregory Griggs

Book Two: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse / Eric Carle

blue

Movement Songs

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

Soothing Songs

  • Orca whale
  • Rain is falling down

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends!

Do Cows Meow is a really fun book because it has flaps – those gaping animal mouths really caught the attention of more than a few babies! It was also a perfect day for Rain is falling down….it was pouring, just pouring, and I was actually surprised that so many families braved it out through the deluge!

Family Story Time – March 20, 2015

We’re in the second week of spring break, and the composition of my family story time was considerably different this morning! Typically it’s predominantly toddlers with a few preschoolers, but because of the school closures we had a number of older brothers and sisters in the crowd today, with quite a few elementary school aged kids. It certainly made for a different dynamic, but they seemed to enjoy the stories all the same.

I love Little Owl Lost, and I will take any opportunity I can find to bust out this simple but hilarious story. The kids find squirrel just about the funniest thing ever, and delight in pointing out his very silly mistakes.Like another of my all-time favourites, Bark George, Little Owl Lost lends itself to a bit of comedic over-acting in the delivery – I like to do a few dramatic double-takes when each candidate for the mummy owl is revealed, and make poor little owl more and more exasperated as the story progresses, and the kids just eat it up. Lots and lots of fun.

Funnily enough, some kids just adored The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, while others just could not wrap their minds around it. A few of the more literal-minded children in the audience wore confused expressions throughout this story – in their mind, cows are not supposed to be yellow, nor foxes purple! We talked about imagination and make believe and being creative, but these little pragmatists simply would not budge!

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: Little Owl Lost / Chris Haughton

owl

Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • The itsy bitsy spider
  • Wiggle your fingers
  • Open-shut them
  • Roly poly

Book 2: The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse / Eric Carle

blue

Action Songs

  • Bend and stretch
  • Zoom zoom
  • Head and shoulders
  • Tick tock tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock
  • The elevator song
  • Orca whale

Puppet:

  • Little worm in an apple, sitting so still!

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

I’ve been trying to add in a few calming songs or rhymes at the end of our program, right before the goodbye song. I think of it as a way of wrapping the story time up and creating a sense of closure, rather than abruptly coming to a close right after the exuberant action song section. Today I had the children sit after the elevator song, and we sang the orca whale song, which includes some gentle hand actions. We wrapped everything up with a visit from the little worm in the apple, and used the following rhyme:

Little worm, in an apple, sitting so still!

Will he come out? Yes, he will!

He looks to the left, he looks to the right,

He looks straight ahead, then pops! out of sight.

We have several of these puppets, with little creatures that can pop out and greet the children – a worm in an apple, a chick in an egg and a turtle in a shell. The children delight in seeing the little creature POP in and out of its home, and we say the rhyme several times. It’s a nice way to round out the program, and an easy way for me to come to grips with my nervousness around using puppets!

Family Story Time – October 24, 2014

My family time is a really mixed all-ages group, with everyone from babies to preschoolers! Our groups aren’t as large as some (we typically get between 60-80 people), but our meeting room isn’t huge, so it does make for a very cozy setting sometimes!

I’ve been doing this story time since the beginning of September, and I’m starting to get to know the families in my area. The families are starting to get to know me, too – it’s so sweet when the little ones start shouting my name as soon as they see me. 🙂

So, here’s what I did in today’s family story time (more or less…) I like to have an outline for my story times, but like I’ve said before, I don’t believe in forcing yourself to follow an outline if it’s just not working. Because I can never be quite sure who will be attending each story time, I have to be flexible enough to change up my plans if they’re just not going to work! If you’re unfamiliar with any of the songs I’ve chosen, I’d recommend checking out www.jbrary.com, an amazing resource for anyone who works (or lives!) with children.

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Book 1: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse / Eric Carle

blue horse

Hand Rhymes

  • I Wake Up My Hands With a Shake, Shake, Shake
  • Wiggle Your Fingers
  • Roly Poly
  • Open Shut them

Book 2: I ‘Aint Gonna Paint No More / Karen Beaumont

Paint1

Action Songs

  • Bend & Stretch
  • Zoom Zoom
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Tick Tock (I’m a Little Cuckoo Clock)
  • The Elevator Song

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Lots of movement, lots of action, lots of laughter – an all-around fun story time!