Monday, February 13, 2017

Read & Play Baby: Valentine's Day!

This storytime is aimed at 0-24 months. At the beginning of each storytime I usually introduce some of our puppets. This gets children out of their shell a little. It also helps to calm any fears they may have about coming to storytime! I make sure every child gets the chance to pet the puppets if they'd like :) 

Here is the Folkmanis puppet I introduced at this storytime:

Duckie 
There is a duck in the book Love You Always by Roger Priddy and this puppet would also fit well with the book I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy.





1. Opening Song: Open Shut Them

Open, shut them,
Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap

Creepy crawly, creepy crawly,
Right up to your chin, chin, chin
Open up your little mouth
But do not let them in, in in

We recite this fingerplay every week. Repetition is important for babies! 

2. Book:  Love is a Truck by Amy Novesky

I am so obsessed with this book! Plus - it's about trucks and what child under the age of 2 doesn't LOVE trucks? This book is the perfect length for baby storytime, the graphics are adorable, it reads well, and it features children of color which is a huge plus. I have been making a real effort to include books featuring diverse characters and sometimes it can be difficult to find baby books with characters that aren't animals or white people. So Yay for this book! So glad to have discovered it. 




3. Baby Bounce: “A Smooth Road" 

A smooth road—A smooth road—A smooth road—A smooth road

A bumpy road—A bumpy road—A bumpy road—A bumpy road

A rough road—A rough road—A rough road—A rough road

A hole!

I sang this one twice and used a puppet in my lap to demostrate how to do the bounce. Watch Jbrary perform this bounce so see how it's done: 



4) Book: Love You Always by Roger Priddy

If you buy board books for your library, you've probably heard of Roger Priddy. There aren't always professional reviews of his books but many are still very worth purchasing for any board book collection! This book in particular features a series of short four-line poems about love and friendship.  There is also a series of tactile heart cut outs on every page with a glitter heart in the center. These features make this a magical and captivating book for babies while helping the reader get into the Valentine’s Day spirit. Love You Always is the perfect baby storytime book for the holiday! 



5) Wiggleworms Loves You - Bumpin Up & Down 

This is a great song and I play this at MANY of my Read & Play Baby storytimes. This song gives the kids a chance to move around. Some of the older babies (toddlers, 18 months and up, especially) really need this because they're having difficulty sitting still for even a moment (which is also totally normal at this age -- why do you think they call them the terrible twos? LOL). 

I also love the Raffi version, below:




6) Shake Your Shakers


Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake your shakers!

Other Verses:
Shake your shakers high, high, high,
Shake your shakers  low, low, low,
Shake your shakers  fast, fast, fast,
Shake your shakers  slow, slow, slow


This is my regular egg shaker song that I sing at every storytime!  It does require patience but it's helpful for babies and young children to practice the act of picking up a shaker before the song and putting it into the basket when we're all done. Some kids have a really hard time letting go of the shaker after the song is over so this is important to practice!

7) Two Little Lovebirds with bird finger puppets


Two lit­tle love­birds sit­ting on a hill
One named Jack, one named Jill
Fly away Jack, fly away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill.
*kiss* muah!

Two little lovebirds sitting on a cloud
One named Soft, one named Loud
Fly away Soft
Fly away Loud
Come back Soft, come back Loud 
*kiss* muah!


This is a variation of a classic nursery rhyme, "Two Little Blackbirds." If you don't have any bird finger puppets, you could easily make some! This awesome video brought to you by Plano Public Library shows us how to make bird finger puppets while also explaining the benefit of reading these classic rhymes to children!





8) Book: Where is Baby’s Valentine? by Karen Katz

I absolutely love these lift the flap books by Karen Katz! There is a "peek-a-boo" factor to this book that children get a big kick out of it. It also mentions a lot of things we associate with valentine's day (chocolates, flowers, valentines, etc!). Very cute and also the perfect length for little ones. 




9) Baby Bounce: Tiny Little Babies

Tune: Shortenin’ Bread



Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, yeah
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ so
Bounce to the left, bounce to the right
Now hug that baby nice and tight!

I've sung this one at storytime before and it's absolutely adorable. I almost always sing this one twice in a row too. 

Early Literacy Tip:



Additional Valentine's Day books:  

I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy

What I Love About You by Susan Farrington


Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli

Kisses and Cuddles by Aly Fronis 




After storytime, I bring out the toys and let children play for about 20-30 minutes. I hope you enjoyed this special Valentine's Day themed storytime for babies and toddlers, 0-24 months!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sensory Playtime for Babies 0-2



I had a word document that I put together prior to my Sensory Playtime program and I just updated it to add some tips and links on where to buy some of the things I used.

Sensory Playtime is a program for babies that consists of several stations that caregivers and their babies interact with based on the 5 senses. Each station has board books that parents can check out to read during the program or at home with their baby. 

1) Touch and Feel
This station involves a fabric board made using a large sheet of cardboard, duct tape, and various tactile fabrics.  *** For the program on 1/30/2017, The tactile fabrics used for the touch and feel boards were various ribbons and fabrics found on clearance at Joanne fabrics. We had things like faux fur, satin, felt, velcro, pom poms, large buttons, foam shapes, bubble wrap, etc. I just duct taped the fabric down onto a piece of cardboard and used a glue gun to glue the pom poms, foam shapes, and buttons on.  

This station will also include sensory bags made using hairgel (the really cheap dollar store hairgel works well or the cheap LA Looks gel from Target), large plastic bags, craft materials to put inside the bag, and duct tape to seal the bags shut. *** For the sensory bags, I used a random combination of vegetable oil, hair gel, paint, food coloring, tapioca starch (corn starch works though – I just happen to have a corn allergy so I avoid it), glitter, etc. I then added foam shapes (cut out using our die cut machine), I also added some various pieces like letters, buttons, large googly eyes, and pom poms.  Some of the bags had different consistencies and so it’s largely an experiment. 

We will also have various sensory balls that children can play with and put through large cardboard tubes. *** The large cardboard tubes were sent to us from when we purchased some large posters. You can get them from any shipping company. There are various sized sensory balls online on Lakeshore Learning. See links below. 

http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C928%2C624&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1485967438271  

http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C898%2C317&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1485967454557

We have a large number of bunny puppets so this station also allows parents to have fun with our soft bunny puppets! We will also provide a large number of board books with bunnies.  Bunny puppets are mostly from Folkmanis purchased on Amazon and the Adventure Puppets are from Lakeshore Learning.  
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=folkmanis+puppets  

Similar puppets to the Adventure Puppets: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C894%2C312&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1485969449805 

Of course, we’ll also have tactile touch-and-feel books for parents to read to their children as well.











2) Face Time
This station allows babies to take delight in seeing images of other babies. We will have a giant poster with pictures of babies from all around the world!  We will also allow babies to interact with hand held mirrors.* Babies love looking at pictures of other babies and mirrors are extra fun as well. We will also include a vast array of books that have images of other babies in them.  *** We already owned these small red mirrors and I’m not sure where we got them but they are made specifically for babies, ages 3 months+







3) Cloud Dough
Just two ingredients: organic baby rice cereal and coconut oil. You can add a scent to this too if you want, as long as it’s safe for babies. In this station, we will have books about food, taste, and smell. ***For the cloud dough on this day, we added pumpkin pie spice and then a small amount of Plum Organics Orange Food puree to get a slight orange color for the cloud dough. I did not measure any of this out, just eyeballed it to get it to the consistency and scent that I wanted. This food puree has peach, pumpkin, carrots, and cinnamon. This allowed me to not use any artificial food coloring.  Here is an image of the food puree I used. 





A child playing with the cloud dough. He REALLY loved this stuff, haha. 



4) Music Station
At this station babies will be surrounded by all of the musical instruments we have! Bells, egg shakers, rainmakers, noise sticks, and Little Tikes pianos, to name a few. Books on music, dancing, and soft vs loud will be available in this station.

Animal shakers:
https://www.amazon.com/LP-RhythMix-Animal-Shaker-Set/dp/B000OVABBS 

Musical Instruments:
http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C895%2C982&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1485967823563  (I pulled out only the stuff that was appropriate for babies) 

More musical instruments: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C930%2C553&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1485967879019

Rainshakers: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C925%2C514&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1485967922199 







5) High Contrast! 
We will have a station of black and white board books on display as well as blown up images of black and white artwork. Research shows newborn babies love high-contrast images so this station is sure to amuse the youngest babies in attendance! ***I also used our smart board to project a high contrast video that used sound effects.  Here is an example of a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuUYHR74xv0 




6) Bubble Fun
Towards the end of the program, we will put on the bubble machine and let it run for several minutes! Babies love bubbles. 

*** Our bubble machine wasn’t working this day but this is another extra fun sensory experience for babies. 

So that's the program!! :D Hope you enjoyed this post. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Read & Play Baby Storytime : Bathtime


This storytime is aimed at 0-24 months. At the beginning of each storytime I usually introduce some of our puppets. This gets children out of their shell a little. It also helps to calm any fears they may have about coming to storytime! I make sure every child gets the chance to pet the puppets if they'd like :) 

Here is the Folkmanis puppet I introduced at this storytime:

Baby Duck


Elephant - Did not really use. Although I read a book featuring an elephant, I had a feeling the tusks might look a little scary to some of the young toddlers. They DID however, LOVE the duck!! 

1. Opening Song: Open Shut Them

Open, shut them,
Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap

Creepy crawly, creepy crawly,
Right up to your chin, chin, chin
Open up your little mouth
But do not let them in, in in

2. Book:  Small Elephants Bathtime by Tatyana Feeney




This book is SO cute and involves a baby elephant who doesn't want to take a bath because he hates getting in the water! The book then describes how the only way the baby can get into the tub is when he sees his giant daddy looking hysterical in the tub (he's just too small for the tub). Then, he suddenly wants to join in. I love to read books that include Dad as one of the main characters! :) The book is a little long for babies but good for young toddlers so I read this one first because it was slightly longer than most board books, but still quite short for a picture book). 

3. Baby Bounce: “Tiny Little Babies”
Tune: Shortenin’ Bread
"Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, yeah
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ so
Bounce to the left, bounce to the right
Now hug that baby nice and tight!"

I had the caregivers sing this bounce twice and it was a big hit! So adorable. 

3) Shake Your Shakers

4) Book: Llama Llama Nighty-Night


5) Song on CD: Row Row Row Your Boat


4. Song on CD: Coconut Soap by Frank Leto



5. Book in Unison: Where is Baby’s Belly Button



This book is so cute! There is a "peek-a-boo" lift the flap factor to this book that children get a big kick out of it. One of the moms even said she and her child had this book memorized. I am a huge fan of Karen Kat'z books! Bonus points for inclusivity within the illustrations of babies :) 


6. Shaker Song - Sung to the tune of “London Bridge”


"Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake your shakers!

Other Verses:
Shake your shakers high, high, high,
Shake your shakers  low, low, low,
Shake your shakers  fast, fast, fast,
Shake your shakers  slow, slow, slow"

I actually sing this song every week! It really is awesome to see the young toddlers getting acclimated to it. After the kids have gone to enough storytime sessions, it almost becomes second nature to them! :) 

7. Book: Llama Llama Nighty Night by Anna Dewdney


First, let me say it was a real huge loss to the children's literature world when Anna Dewdney passed away on September 3, 2016. Her Llama Llama books have found their place in the hearts of so many children worldwide. I will probably never stop sharing her books at Storytime. This board book version is adorable and goes through typical bedtime routines with cute illustrations. Another great factor is that it reads well and is the perfect length for baby storytime!


8. Final Song on CD: Row Row Row Your Boat by Wiggleworms

Here's a cute toddler dancing along to the song:




Another good book for bath time storytime:  Splash by Roberta Grobel Intrater 





After storytime, I bring out the toys and let children play for about 20-25 minutes. Hope you enjoyed this bath time themed storytime for babies and toddlers, 0-24 months!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gender Stereotypes & Picture Books: Why Should Librarians Care About This Issue?

   Children are bombarded with messages filled with gender stereotypes and biases and children regularly learn to adopt gender roles which are not always fair to both sexes. As children get older, they are exposed to many factors which influence their attitudes and behaviors regarding gender roles. These attitudes and behaviors are generally learned first in the home and are then reinforced by the child's peers, school experience, and essentially all forms of media including television and children’s literature. Although the strongest influence on gender role development seems to occur within the family setting, children’s literature is an often overlooked aspect of media that is inundated with gender stereotypes and biases. For children's librarians, being aware of gender stereotypes in children’s picture books is particularly critical because concepts of gender identity are often placed on children even before their birth. From the time children are babies, parents treat sons and daughters differently, dressing infants in gender specific colors, giving gender differentiated toys, and expecting different behavior from boys and girls (Thorne, 1993). Some parents may even have differential expectations of sons and daughters as early as 24 hours after birth (Rubin, Provenzano, & Luria, 1974).

          It is impossible to walk through a Walmart, Target, or Sears and not see products designed to target specific genders. Consumer products inundate children with gender-typed messages on bed sheets, towels, bandages, clothes, school supplies, toys, and furniture (Freeman, 2007). Not only are these products marketed for specific genders, but they are merchandised in stores by gender, creating segregated pink and blue aisles for shopping. Books are also a major source of media filled with gender stereotypes and this can have a tremendous influence on young children. The main characters within children’s books provide role models and definitions of masculinity and femininity for children. Because children are active and critical readers, books and their illustrations become a cultural resource for children to learn about social norms (Jackson, 2007). In a study of Newberry and Caldecott award-winning books, male protagonists outnumbered female ones three to one, and 21 out of 25 books contained images of women wearing aprons (Narahara, 1998). Even in 2013, children’s books are stuck in the past says sociologist Amy Dewitt, one of the authors of the new study “Parental Role Portrayals in Twentieth Century Children's Picture Books: More Egalitarian or Ongoing Stereotyping?” DeWitt and her team surveyed 300 picture books from throughout the 20th century, finding that “mothers are much more likely to be portrayed nurturing and caring for children, and men are more likely to work outside of the home.” Surprisingly, the books published as late as 2000 displayed no statistically significant improvement in this area. DeWitt concluded that even in the modern era, “storybook characters often inhabit a bygone, male breadwinner-female homemaker era.”

          This is a very important issue to be aware of as a children’s librarian because we are the ones that are in charge of ordering books for the library where many young children come to read. We should strive to choose books that don’t push traditional gender roles onto children and look for books that show males being nurturing, show females in positions of power, show non-traditional families, and show males and females involved in equal and respectful partnerships. When it comes to presenting storytimes, we should make note of the gender roles portrayed in the children’s books because while we may not think about it, the books and illustrations will reinforce children’s perceptions of gender roles.




References:

·         Dewitt, A. L., Cready, C. M., & Seward, R. R. (2013). Parental Role Portrayals in Twentieth Century Children’s Picture Books: More Egalitarian or Ongoing Stereotyping?. Sex Roles, 69(1-2), 89-106.
 
·         Freeman, N. (2007). Preschoolers’ perceptions of gender-appropriate toys and their parents’ beliefs about genderized behaviors, Miscommunication, mixed messages, or hidden truths? Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(5), 357-366
 
·         Jackson, S. (2007). She might not have the right tools... and he does: Children’s sense-making of gender, work and abilities in early school readers. Gender and Education, 19(1), 61-77.
 
·         Narahara, M. (1998). Gender stereotypes in children’s picture books. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED419248Rubin, J., Provenzano, R., & Luria, Z. (1974). The eye of the beholder: Parents' views on sex of new- borns. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 44, 512-519
 

·         Thorne, B. (1993). Gender play: Girls and boys in school. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tales for Twos and Threes - Self Esteem

This storytime focuses on body positivity and self esteem. I did this storytime today and a parent came up to me, thanking me several times for leading a storytime on this timely topic. I think it is really important to teach young children that they are unique and beautiful, no matter what skin color they are. I may just be a children's librarian, but I can make a difference in the lives of children by sharing books on these very important topics. 

1)   Introduction – This is the Way Our Hands Say Hello (to tune of the Mulberry Bush)

This is the way our hands say hello,
With a clap, clap-clap, Clap, clap-clap
This the way our hands say hello,
With a clap, clap-clap, clap-clap

This is the way our knees say hello,
With a tap tap-tap,
Tap tap-tap
This is the way our knees say hello,
With a tap tap-tap, tap-tap

This is the way we wave hello,
Wave hello, wave hello
This is the way we wave hello,
So early in the morning

2)   Flannel Board: Build a Pig 
I chose this activity because it's fun and it leads into our next book, I Like Me by Nancy Carlson. I don't want to take credit for this one, I actually found this idea from another storytime blog, Reading Chick. You start with a body and ask the children what else the pig needs. Match the wrong body parts, ask them if that looks right, and watch the kids yell out "NO!" Kids find this really funny when you add silly parts like an elephant's trunk to the pig's head instead of a snout. Love this one!

3) Book: I Like Me by Nancy Carlson


This is such a cute book :) It's seriously perfect for young children, ages 2 and up. It's short enough and has adorable illustrations while teaching very important concepts like body positivity and self esteem. My favorite pages are when she says, "I like my curly tail, my round tummy, and my tiny little feet." 

4)   Song: Pancake Manor - Move Your Legs



Love this song too. The "freeze" part is great and stops toddlers in their tracks!

5) Book: Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin


I seriously love this book. I've read this at three different storytimes already. The message is very powerful and it's presented in a way that is digestible for children. We all have skin! I also asked children a few questions throughout the book to get their attention. On the page that says "Whoops! When you fall, your skin will heal with a scab, a perfect seal." I asked children, "Who here has had a scab? Raise your hand if you've had a scab!" Many kids in the audience raised their hands. I also did this for the page that says "Sometimes skin has freckles" because I noticed some parents pointing out the freckles on their children's arms. It was cute to see the parents interacting with their children based on the text. :) Highly recommend this book for any storytime because of it's inclusive illustrations and celebration of diversity!  

6) Flannel Board: Five Ballet Dancers
Five Ballet Dancers
Five ballet dancers
Dancing on their toes.
They bend their knees and jump,
then off the stage one goes!
How many ballet dancers are left?

The clipart I used was purchased through the Etsy shop, MyClipArtStore


I asked children to follow the actions of the rhyme and some of them did. I'll admit, none of the children tried to dance on their toes (they have not yet fully developed their fine and gross motor skills to really attempt that yet). I did do my best to do it in front of them as I read the rhyme (which is kind of funny to think about because I do not have the best balance, LOL). Some children did bend their knees and jump. I actually think this would work really well with preschoolers because they would be more willing and able to do the actions. The kids liked counting with me though, as always! :) 

7) Book: Be Who You Are by Todd Parr

This is honestly my new favorite book this week. It is seriously adorable and spreads SUCH a good message, as do all Todd Parr books. The message at the end goes well with the theme of today's storytime:
"It doesn't matter what color you are, where you are from, or who's in your family. Everyone needs to be loved. Always love yourself and BE who are you ARE." -- Todd Parr
8) Affirmations: I Am by Cynthia Dawn
I am great!" (Arms wide) 
I  am smart!" (Finger to head)
I am strong! (Flex muscles) 
I am loved (Hug yourself)
Today is an awesome day! (Jump in the air, fist pump). 

Cynthia Dawn shared this in a post on Storytime Underground. It was very successful. I had the kids repeat the word and action after I said it once. The kids followed along so well and I might actually do this at every storytime because I loved it so much!! Thank you again Cynthia for sharing this, it was truly wonderful! 

9) Final Song: Laurie Berkner - My Energy (I used this song with shakers but it would work great with scarves too). 


 Lyrics: 

This is me, this is me
This is me and my energy
This is me, this is me
This is me and my energy
I'm gonna wiggle my legs
I'm gonna click my heels
I'm gonna stomp my feel
Because I have energy
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
I'm gonna wave my arms
I'm gonna shake my hips
I'm gonna jump to the sky
Because I have energy

This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 

I'm gonna clap my hands
I'm gonna shake my head
I'm gonna yell out loud
Because I have energy
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 
This is me, this is me 
This is me and my energy 

And it's the only thing that I can be
Yeah I'm the only thing that I can be
Me! Me! Energy! Me! Me! Energy!
Me! Me! Energy! Me! Me! Me!

10) Early Literacy Tip: 
Raise a Confident Child by Playing Together. You will learn a lot about your child—and yourself—during play. Playtime gives your child the message, “You are worth my time. You are a valuable person.” It is well known that children learn through play. It improves a child’s behavior by giving him feelings of importance and accomplishment. Instead of viewing playtime as a chore, use it to make an investment in your child’s behavior.

Tip brought to you by Dr. Sears, the author of The Baby Book.


11) Playtime & Actvity: If parents wanted to, they had the chance to trace their child's hand and then make fingerprints on their paper. It was really cute, even though it did leave children's fingertips a fun shade of blue lol. Make sure to use washable ink for this activity! 




Additional Fingerplays:

Nice Fingers (modified from the fingerplay, "Not So Crazy Fingers" in the book Artsy Toddler by Carol Garnett Hopkins. I chose to use the word nice instead since this storytime was focusing on positive traits and crazy can be taken as a bad thing)

I have nice ears (Point to ears)
And a nice nose (Rub nose)
Nice shoulders (Wiggle shoulders)
And nice toes (wiggle toes)
Nice hair (Pat hair)
And a nice chin (point to chin)
And my nice fingers sit quietly like so (Fold hands together into lap). 

All of Me by Jessica McDonald (found on Pinterest, Play Learn Love
My hands are for clapping
My arms can hug tight
My fingers can snap
Or can turn out the night
My legs are for jumping
My eyes help me see
This is my body
And I love all of me!