In a mental-health-preservation move, I am simplifying my baby storytimes by eliminating themes. Usually something emerges more than once and becomes a mini theme, but rather than stress about finding at least three books that will work for my storytime crowd and a nursery rhyme that suits, I’ll be presenting a few fun board books, a picture book as an example or aside, a nursery rhyme, an ASL sign, and a few movements each week. No theme! The only theme is fun! The only theme is me not pulling my hair out! This is one of my very favorite themes.
Opening song (based on the baby storytime goodbye song from my library spiritual home, Verona Public Library): Tickle the clouds
and tickle your nose
reach up high
and tickle your toes
clap three times (1-2-3!)
and find your elbows
storytime’s starting! Say “Hello!”
Book 1: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
The moms liked this one. Half of them didn’t know the additional verses in this book (crocodile, lion), so it was fun to hear their delight over those. Grown ups and babies rocked back and forth for this one, it was groovy. 🙂
Sign: Please Have I talked about how much I love ASL University? I love ASL University almost as much as I love grilled cheese sandwiches. In another simplify, simplify move, I’m pulling a sign each week from ASLU’s First 100 Signs page. That should almost get me through two years. Math!
Book: Sam Loves Kisses (Yves Got)
Sam Loves Kisses. Miss Alex loves this book.
Nursery Rhyme!: Patty Cake I was taught “patty cake,” but I’ve been told it’s actually pat-a-cake, which makes more sense when encouraging parents, so I wrote pat-a-cake. Everyone said pattycake. But that means everyone was playing along! Winnnnn.
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man
Make me a cake as fast as you can
Roll it, and pat it, and mark it with a “B”
And put it in the oven for baby and me!
Picture Book/Aside: The Skin You Live In
We had some squirmers today and an older sister who wasn’t so into sitting down and letting me talk or hold the story books, so it was a bit of kismet that I wanted to talk to the parents today about the power they have as readers to their children. More or less: You don’t have to read the whole book! Do babies remember every story they are read? NO. Is it good for them to be read to often? YES. Parents, you can read whatever you want, and if what you want to read is picture books and baby doesn’t enjoy that for more than a minute or two, it is a-okay to skip ahead however many pages. I like The Skin You Live In because each page has a rhyme that is independent of the one on preceding pages (they’re all related, but you don’t need to start any page with what came before in mind). The illustrations are vivid and the words are fun to say. Reading should be fun. Don’t punish yourself by trying to get through a whole book. Make up your own story if you want, or read the first and last page. While baby is a baby you’ve got a lot of wiggle room when it comes to reading. 🙂
Book: Splish Splash, Baby Bundt
This book just makes me wharrrrglllbeep with happy. It’s really cute. The moms liked it.
Picture book/aside: Alphabet Trucks Discussed a different kind of picture book: alphabet books! It’s good for baby to touch and trace the letters, it’s good for you to read different words, etc.
Book: When You’re Not Looking! by Lynne Chapman
Introduced this one as a longer board book. If baby is snuggly or okay to sit for more than a minute at a time, some board books are longer than you might expect. This one has animals, silly rhymes, and a refrain that’s fun to go over each time.
Ending song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
After storytime finished, a mom pulled me aside and said “Thank you. Really, thank you. This is helpful time for us and we learn a lot” and I went into my office and closed the door and had a happy little fist pump/celebration dance session.