Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baby/Toddler Lap Time (Green Theme), 8/3/12

We're trying to really get our library patrons back on board with our guidelines and rules of behavior. Therefore, on Friday morning, every adult coming in to story time got a list of the rules on a colorful handout, as well as a kind, but firm spiel from me. Within 10 minutes of the start of my story time, though, they were right back to breaking all the rules. I don't know what else to do!

In any case, though the adults made it difficult for the kids to enjoy the books, here is my green-themed story time.

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake 

Book: Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (2012)
This was a better story time than I imagined. I just wish the adults could try to focus, even if the book isn't their favorite, because the kids enjoyed it.

Song: One Seed by the Laurie Berkner Band
Book: Stanley Mows the Lawn by Craig Frazier (2005)
I like the snake in this book. Again, the kids were interested,  but not the adults.

Flannel Board: The King of Green

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Song: One Little Monster 

Book: Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley  (1993)

Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby

Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle  (1969)
I had two more songs planned, but I just couldn't take the rudeness anymore, so we ended after this book.

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This


  1. We've had this problem a lot, too! What is going on, people?!!
    Here are some things we've done to curb the chatting, cell phone use, and plain non-participation that seem to have actually helped:
    -no chairs-everyone sits on the floor WITH their child
    -incorporate a "prop" song or two and give every adult a shaker or scarf as well as kids
    -state at the beginning of every storytime "please sing along with me, move your arms, and talk with your child about the books we are reading" and "this is a cell-free zone. Please silence your cell phones and please hold adult conversations until after storytime.

    If you have the budget maybe purchase a set of board books to pass out to parents and babies and share the book together? I've done this lots in the past and parents and the kids love it and they have to participate or their kid protests.

    Amazingly, I've only had one issue since we started doing this in June. all ST people say the same thing at every ST to be consistent. And we made a sign with NO CELL PHONES on it to help back us up.

    Not sure if any of this is helpful-it's a terrible issue to have! :(

    1. Thanks for the hints! We're starting to announce the rules at the beginning of every story time. It seemed to help today, but not last Friday. It all depends on the mood of the group.

      I think a big part of it is that the nannies (we hardly see any parents) think of story time as their coffee break. They want to hang out with the other nannies, and let us essentially babysit the kids by entertaining them. No matter what I say at the beginning, if they're bored with what I'm doing, they start talking.

      I like the idea of the shakers for every adult and child, but I hesitate when I think of handing those out to 100 people and then collecting them all again. I could definitely make enough homemade shakers, but I feel like it would take forever to pass them out. Something to think about, though. I think my biggest challenge is getting them to listen to even one book all the way through. The kids love the stories, but the adults don't allow them to enjoy them. They are perfectly cooperative for most songs and rhymes, but read a book and they decide it's not worth their attention.

      I do like the idea of having the adults share the books with the kids - some of our nannies don't read English, or even a language in which we have books, which might make it more difficult, but if I could get the funding, that's definitely something I'd like to try.

      Thanks again for commenting - it always helps to hear that others are in the same boat and to hear what works for them!

  2. That sounds so frustrating! I haven't had that problem in my story times, personally, since I usually have daycare classes or just a couple of parents. But I went to a training once where I heard of this idea: Give each grown-up something like a little animal or a picture, or a red piece of paper. Then, during story time, they have to listen for their "cue" to hold up their prop or have it do something particular.

    Haven't tried it, but maybe it would help focus them?


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