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:

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.

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.  

Similar puppets to the Adventure Puppets: 

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: 

Musical Instruments:  (I pulled out only the stuff that was appropriate for babies) 

More musical instruments:


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: 

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.