Friday, July 15, 2011

Baby Lap Time, 7/15

This was another amazing baby story time. The format I've been using lately, and the fact that I have been incorporating more rhymes has made a huge difference to the quality of this program, and to the way people react to it. Also, as I mentioned in my post about today's Tales for Twos and Threes program, I had early literacy training this week, which gave me some really good tips about the skills we're actually supporting by  doing story times for very small kids. I'll mention them in my blurbs about the books below.

Opening Song: Clap Along With Me

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big (twice)

Rhyme: Two Little Blackbirds

Book: Hop! by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Holly Meade (2005)
One of the things Saroj Ghoting demonstrated during the training I took this week was ways to add to books to make them more interactive. Her example was with One Duck Stuck (also coincidentally by Phyllis Root), where a duck appears on each page, but never quacks. She added a hand motion and a "quack quack" to the end of every page. So today I adapted that strategy for this book - I asked every grown-up and big kid in the audience to hold up two fingers and say "Hop! Hop!" at the end of every page. It worked so well. Everyone participated, and for  the most part, all eyes were on me. 

Rhyme: Hop Your Bunny 

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Head and Shoulders

Book: Dress Up Peekaboo! by Charlie Gardner, Dave King, and Rachael Parfitt (2007)
This is going to sound strange, but I have a problem with my left hand, so lift-the-flap books can be hard for me to manage when I have to hold the book upright to face an audience. This one, with its huge flaps that merely elongate the existing page, is perfect  for me and wound up being perfect for this age group, too. I had the grown-ups join me on the refrain of Peekaboo! (again, focusing on the interaction mentioned above, which helps with print motivation) and we made the sounds of the animals that were mentioned. This book also introduces great vocabulary, such as sheriff, tutu, and cape.

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider (a cappella)

Song: You Are My Sunshine (a cappella; with sunshine puppet; sung twice)
This sun puppet is becoming quite popular. A little girl came up to give it a hug after the session!

Rhyme with Puppets: I Went to Visit the Farm One Day
This was maybe the most fun I've had doing any rhyme ever.

Song: The Wheels on the Bus
So much for my vow to wean people off of this song. I needed it today.

Song: ABCD Medley

Song: Chickadee 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Tales for Twos and Threes, 7/15

I finally had some early literacy training this week (with Saroj Ghoting), mainly on the six skills kids need to get ready to learn to read (letter knowledge, print awareness, print motivation, vocabulary,  phonological awareness, and narrative skills). I knew, vaguely, that reading to babies and toddlers was important, and that it was good to repeat things, and to expose them to rhyme, and to new words, but I didn't really know why, so I often felt like I was muddling through things. But having that sense of direction made a world of difference in the way I approached today's books. I'll make some notes about that when I mention the books below.

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Can You Cuddle Like a Koala? by Jim Butler (2003)
This is a great action book, which wound up being perfect for this age group. Each page shows an animal doing an action that the kids could then mimic. We cuddled like koalas, swung like monkeys, and crept like mice. We also made some noises for animals whose sounds we could identify (mainly the frogs.) This was a good book to use for print motivation. I made the story interactive and fun, and as a result, reading the book wasn't something I had to get done, as it often has been at some of our busy story times, but a fun experience. I even ended by telling the kids how much fun I had, and I wasn't even faking it.

Song: Cuddly Koalas

Book: I am a Backhoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines (2010)
This story shows a little boy acting like different construction machines and vehicles. One very savvy little girl in the audience guessed the name of every machine without hesitation- and she was about 95% correct. She was a bit older than the other kids, maybe around four years old, so it's possible I was wrong when I thought this book would be too immature for fours and fives. I think the main early literacy skill touched on here was the vocabulary of all the different machines. (The same little girl who knew her backhoes and dump trucks snuggled up next to me at the end of story time, and said, in a very serious, quiet voice, "I like it when you read.")

Song: Shake My Sillies Out 

Song: Head and Shoulders

Flannel Board Rhyme: Five Pretty Sandcastles

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It (a cappella)

Song: One Little Finger

I found this song on a CD I downloaded, but now I can't find it, so I don't know who the singer was. In any case, here are the words and actions. And here is a tune similar to the one I use, that I found on YouTube. When I find my actual tune, I'll add it to my Wiki and link to it from my song index page here on the blog.

One little finger, one little finger, one little finger (hold up one finger)
clap, clap clap  (clap hands)
Point to the ceiling (point up with one finger)
Point to the floor (point down with one finger)
And put it in your lap.

Two little fingers, two little fingers, two little fingers (hold up two fingers)
clap, clap, clap (clap hands)
Point to the ceiling (point up with two fingers)
Point to the floor (point down with two fingers)
And put them in your lap.

(Repeat with three, four, and five fingers.)

Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends)

Song: ABCD Medley

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: Chickadee

Song: Skinnamarink

Flannel Friday: Knock, Knock!

I was shelving the 811s when the library was slow on the Saturday before the Fourth of July, and I came across Good For You! Toddler Rhymes for Toddler Times, a collection of poems for toddlers by Stephanie Calmenson. In that collection, there were two wonderful rhymes I immediately knew I wanted to adapt for the flannel board.

I'll post about the first one today, and, if I figure out how to adapt it, the second one next week.

This one is called Knock, Knock!

It begins like this:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Grandma Jennie.

This verse repeats four more times, and remains the same except for the relative who comes through the door.  Grandpa Joe, Aunt Melissa, Uncle Moe, and Cousin Artie each join the group, and then the last verse goes like this:

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Pizza! Party!

This has so many possibilities, but my tentative plan for using this rhyme at Baby/Toddler Story Time is this:
  • Put a door on the flannel board. Make a knocking sound, and prompt parents and kids to say "Who's there?"
  • Bring out Grandma Jennie. (I'm using the family clip art from until I get around to either making or buying a set I like better.)
  • Repeat until all the relatives are on the flannel board, then put up a picture of a pizza.
  • Say goodbye to each relative one by one.
I am getting a little tired of the five little something-or-others routine,so this will make a nice new addition. I'm trying not to introduce a lot of new stuff again until the Fall, so I sort of have a backlog come September, but we'll see how it goes. If I get sick of sandcastles, popsicles, and farm animals, I might have to introduce this one a bit early!

This week's host for Flannel Friday is Andrea. Upcoming hosts and previous links can be found at Anne's blog, So Tomorrow.
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