Friday, February 21, 2020

Cuddle Babies - Lapsit Storytime

I had the opportunity to do a baby lapsit storytime for the first time yesterday, and I loved it! My boss had to be in training all day, and though another coworker could have covered it, she graciously let me have the opportunity since I've never done one before, while another coworker agreed to cover my night shift so I could work the morning and not have to do a split.

This storytime is called "Cuddle Babies" in our system, and is a lapsit program for babies birth to 18 months. It is mostly songs and rhymes that are a combination of gentle tickles, bounces, and body-awareness, with one story and playtime at the end. My boss uses the same songs and rhymes each week for a month, then changes them, so all the songs/rhymes I used had already been chosen by her, but I selected the book and music for playtime.

I gave everyone a sheet with the words to all the songs/rhymes, then welcomed everyone and introduced myself, then we said hello to each other by singing the "Hello" song. Next, I passed out scarves to everyone and we did a tickle, which works on body awareness and proprioception:

Baby's Game

Touch your ears, and pat your nose.
Now tickle baby's little toes!
Hide your eyes,
Where are you?
Baby's playing peek-a-boo!

I mentioned how they might notice the younger babies are genuinely surprised to see you reappear after hiding your face because they haven't yet developed the concept that things exist even when you don't see them, and that they might notice when babies are little, they can take toys away and the baby won't care, but as they get older and develop object permanence, they will fuss when you take something away.

Next was a chant accompanied by gently bouncing baby in rhythm, rocking side to side, and a couple of cuddles:

I Love You

One, I love you; two, I love you, three, I love you so!
Four, I love you; five I love you, rock you to and fro.
Six, I love you; seven, I love you, eight, you love me, too.
Nine, I love you; ten, I love you, bouncing buckaroo!

The following chant could be a gentle bounce, or clapping hands together or on knees, with movements lifting baby up and down, and side to side, with a big hug at the end.

Gregory Griggs

Gregory Griggs, Gregory Griggs, 
Had 27 different wigs!
He wore them up, (lift baby up)
He wore them down, (bring baby down)
To please the people of the town.

He wore them east, (lean baby to the right)
He wore them west. (lean baby to the left)
Can you guess the one he liked the best?
THIS ONE! (put scarf on baby's head & hug)

The next one was a nice soft lullaby with some gentle movements.

The Moon
(to the tune of "Hush Little Baby")

I see the moon, and the moon sees me,
Down through the leaves of the old oak tree.
Please let the light that shines on me,
Shine on the ones I love.

Over the mountain, over the sea.
Back where my heart is longing to be.
Please let the light that shines on me,
Shine on the ones I love.

And finally another body awareness song that ends with them quiet and ready for a story:

I Can...
(to the tune of "The Wheels On The Bus")

I can make my hands go clap, clap, clap;
Clap, clap, clap;
Clap, clap, clap.
I can make my hands go clap, clap, clap;
They're a part of me!

I can make my feet go stomp...
I can make my mouth go "Sh"....

We segued to the story with a quick lead-in song:

If You're Ready for a Story...

If you're ready for a story, find a seat.
If you're ready for a story, find a seat.
Check your hands,and then your feet.
If you're ready find a seat.
If you're ready for a story, find a seat!

I looked through several books from some of my go-to authors for babies and toddlers, like Karen Katz, Mary Murphy, Nancy Tafuri, Bill Martin, Jr., and finally settled on Hello Baby! by Mem Fox  and Steve Jenkins. 

This book proved to be perfect with its simple papercraft illustrations that showed each animal on a plain white background and it's very short, simple text. We named each animal and after reading the text, I prompted the audience to either make the animal's sound, or imitate its movement. Making animal sounds is a great way for babies to play with the different sounds of language and figure out how they go together.

After that, it was time for the bubble song and popping bubbles!

Ten Little Bubbles

One little, two little, three little bubbles;
Four little, five little, six little bubbles.
Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles,
Ten little bubbles go POP!

Pop, pop, pop, go all the bubbles.
Pop, pop, pop, go all the bubbles.
Pop, pop, pop, go all the bubbles.
Ten little bubbles go POP!

I turned on a Raffi CD and blew bubbles in all directions for a minute or two, then put out various balls and sensory toys for the kids to play with.

How It Went

It went really well, and I loved it! While I'm sure I wasn't quite as good as Miss Katie, I think everyone enjoyed it. I was a little distracted by being slightly worried about how my voice would hold out as I was getting over a cold, so I did forget to go over expectations at the beginning, and I had meant to tell everyone to give themselves a pat on the back for managing to get up and get everybody ready, out of the house, and somewhere on time.

It was SO much different from the weekend family storytime! Besides that it was all babies, people started filling in and sitting down on their own when it was about time to start, and were all sitting there ready to go. I didn't have to twist any arms or beg anyone to come, and they all stayed until the end, no mass exodus halfway through. Such a difference when you have a regular crowd that knows the routine and comes to the library specifically for storytime. I would do this one every week if I could!

I'm a little more comfortable dropping in the little literacy and developmental tips with parent of kids this young, and it was great to get a chance to do an actual baby lapsit program. [I've done one that was advertised as a "Baby Jam" for the same age range (0-18 months), but it ended up being more of a toddler storytime, with most of the kids being closer to 24 months and very mobile, and the parents really didn't interact with their child during the songs and rhymes as intended, and just let them mill about.]

Two little girls were so cute towards the end, they just decided that it was over and time to start picking up toys without any prompting. 

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