Well, it’s official. The tides have changed and what was once a toddler storytime (officially for 2 and unders) is now a baby storytime. 12 of the 14 kids were under the age of 1. I have been struggling with the gradual change in audience over the past couple of weeks. The difference between a 1 1/2 or 2 year old and a 5 month old is significant, as you know, and I would never know what the age range would be when I walked in the door. (We don’t have sessions or registration.)
As I was doing some research online about my predicament, I came back to a place I love- Mel’s Desk. In one of her posts she talks about a similar audience that is rich and varied and how she plans for the varied ages. She plans for the babies and the toddlers jump right in. I decided to do the same. What a fun, happy storytime we all had!
I spent a lot of time talking to parents during this storytime, not in large chunks, but in asides. I slipped in little tidbits of information here and there, without losing the interest of the kiddos. Toddlers are not as tolerant of these asides!
I talked about the importance of repetition and why we sing the same welcoming song, for example. I talked about introducing the idea of family traditions (holiday and otherwise) and being thankful. I also emphasized the signs we would use in the welcome song and throughout the Bear Says Thanks book we would read during the storytime.
Welcome: The More We Get (Read) Together
The more we get together
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be!
For your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends,
The more we get together the happier we’ll be.
The more we read together, together, together
The more we read together
the happier we’ll be.
We’ll read big books and small books
and short books and tall books
The more we read together the happier we’ll be.
Fingerplay: Two Little Ravens Sitting on a Hill
Two little ravens 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 ravens sitting on a cloud
One named Soft, one named Loud
Fly away Soft
Fly away Loud
Come back Soft, come back Loud! (*kiss* muah!)
Two little ravens sitting on the ice
One was mean, one was nice
Fly away mean
Fly away ice
Come back mean, come back nice! (*kiss* muah!)
Credit: Adapted from the traditional and the Jbrarian variations. Inserting the name of a local bird makes this song more relevant to our kiddos and will help them connect the song with the real bird they see regularly.
Book: Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2012)
Action Song: If You’re Thankful and You Know It
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands (clap baby’s hands together or clap your hands to theirs)
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re thankful and you know it, then your face will surely show it,
If you’re thankful and you know it, clap your hands.
… bounce about (bounce baby from side to side on knees)
… wave your hands (bounce baby up and down holding their hands above their head).
Credit: Adapted from the traditional version and a version found in the book Happy Baby edited by Fiona Watt (Usborne, 2007)
Action Song: Giddyup
Giddyup, giddyup ride to town, (bounce baby on your lap)
Giddyup, giddyup, up and down.
Giddyup fast, (bounce quickly)
Giddyup slow, (bounce slowly)
Giddyup, giddyup, WHOA! (dip baby backwards)
1 little 2 little 3 little bubbles
4 little, 5 little, 6 little bubbles
7 littl,e 8 little, 9 little bubbles
10 little bubbles go pop, pop, pop.
Action Song: Ring Around the Rosie
Ring around the rosie,
Pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!
The cows are in the meadow
We all jump up!
We sing and move with this song at the end of storytime these days. We sing the song twice and I let families know they can crouch down on the floor for the second verse or stand with their baby and stomp their feet on the floor.
At the end of storytime, I introduced families to Jason Boog’s book Born Reading (Touchstone Books, 2014), a wonderful, thoughtful book about inspiring readers from the day they are born. I like to share it with families in part because it is written by a parent in an easy to digest format (think 5 min chunks before an exhausted parent dozes off at night), and because it introduces the concept of joint media engagement, intentional use of digital media and the idea of a digital media plan to new families.