Friday, March 29, 2013

Crazy April, and a Storytime Plan

April 1st marks a very exciting time around these parts! This type of excitement calls for bullet points, don't you think?
  • First and foremost, it is the beginning of the next session of storytime, and I have been feverishly planning away for my upcoming Baby Rhyme Time and Preschool sessions on Monday. 
  • My crazy hoarding of cardboard boxes will finally come to an end, much to my very organized Boss Lady's happiness, I am sure. (Thanks for cleaning up my disaster zone Boss Lady, sorry it was in such a state :) )
  • Hooray!! We finally have another poor soul to torture with Pinterest speak and the constant loop of Disney music in our little department! Our new YS librarian starts April 4th!
  • This month marks the last few weeks of this overwhelming semester, most hurrah!
  • April 15th is me and my Hub's 10 year dating anniversary (3 years married :) ) and we are taking a much needed staycation <3
  • And oh yeah, I guess there's that little thing called my birthday this month too.
So you see, busy, busy-ness. Not to mention plans in the works for my always over ambitious desire to beautify or children's department with various messes crafty things.
So in honor of the first week of storytime, I decided to post my Baby Rhyme Time outline and let you see how my crazy mind works on these sorts of things. Honestly though, seeing other amazing librarian blogs has really helped me visualize ideas for programming and storytime and also really create something that I feel comfortable with and enjoy, so I hope that I can do the same for someone someday.
 So here' goes...

Welcome (introduce myself / what is BRT? / reminders and invitation to participate / introduce babies)
Welcome to baby-parent rhyme time! Rhyme time is all about modeling and encouraging early literacy learning through play. As parents you are your child’s first teacher and they learn best from watching you. So don’t be afraid to sing and play along with me today! Let’s start off by introducing our babies and saying how old they are, and giving them a big round of applause!

Introduce Babies and Age 
(obviously this part will depend on how big your group is, or you can just use nametags)

Opening Song – “My Hands say hello”, feet, eyes, etc.
Yay! Good job everyone! We are going to do some rhymes now and we will repeat each one twice, which will help your child to reinforce new vocabulary.
  • .Row Your Boat (Roll Hands)
  • .Wheels on the bus (Motion Rhyme)
  • .Where is Baby’s Bellybutton(Tickle Rhyme)
  • . Duke of York (Bouncing Rhyme)
  • .Giddyap, giddyap, ride to town, (bounce baby on knees, facing forward)
  • .Where is baby? (pass out scarves) 
 (I usually keep at least 3 or 4 of these rhymes the same every week - trust me they don't get bored, and it gets the parents to participate more if they have them memorized!)

Book“Twinkle Twinkle Panda Bear” finger puppet book

Special Sequence with – Signing Time–
(As you can see I change this mostly every week from one of these options)
(i.e. Drum, Tambourine, Bean Bags, Tactile Bag, Rolly Balls, Bubbles, Scarves, Shaky Eggs, Bells, etc)

Literacy Tip: Babies love to hear you sing, and by teaching baby sign language as well, it increases your child’s understanding of language and accelerates language development. It also helps baby to easily explain their wants and needs which decreases frustration and builds communication and fine motor skills.

  • .Eat & Drink Signing Song (from Time to Sign Vol.1 cd)
  • .Twinkle Little Star

Action Rhymes

  • .Slowly Slowly (gather in middle for a baby party, slowly back up, run in)
  • .Rub a Dub Dub (Dip babies, and lift while standing)
  • .Zoom, Zoom (Bounce and Lift)
(I learned early on not to do too many lifting rhymes - mama's arms get tired lifting those sweet chunky babes, but doing a few are just perfect )
Puppet Time!
  • . Puppet – Peacock
  • . Music: ST Mix – Track#8- “Little Bird”
(Babies go crazy for puppets. This is a MUST in my weekly rhyme times!)
Music with __Parachute___
(i.e. Shaky Eggs, Bells, Parachute, or no props)

 Shake chute for a bit to get babies comfortable with sitting on it
  • .Ring Around The Rosie – Have children sit in middle of chute while parents go in circle
(If parents or children aren't comfortable placing their child on the chute they can let them sit in their lap or hold baby while they help turn the chute. Always give them an out, so they don't feel pressured)

  • . Popcorn, popcorn,
    Sizzling in the pan.
    Shake it up, shake it up,
    Bam, bam, bam!

    Popcorn, popcorn,
    Now it’s getting hot,
    Shake it up, shake it up,
    Pop, pop, pop   

  • .Parachute – Itsy Bitsy Spider Rhyme
The Itsy Bitsy (side to side)
Spider (up and down)
Went up the water (side to side)
Spout. (up and down)
Down came the (side to side)
Rain...and (up and down)
...washed the spider (side to side)
out. (up and down)
Out came the (side to side)
sun...and (up and down)
...dried up all the (side to side) (up and down)
...the itsy bitsy (side to side)
spider (up and down)
went up the spout (side to side)
again. (up and down)

  • Colors Over You

Lullaby – “You Are My Sunshine” (snuggles are important no matter what age :)

Closing Song – “Goodbye, Goodbye”
(I do the same opening and closing song every week so they know what to expect and so they will sing it with me)

So as you can see, this outline is sort of a mish mash of ideas. I mostly kept the outline that my mentor, Miss Boss Lady, started me off with, and slowly added other ideas of my own. I always take this outline in the room with me, as well as all of my rhymes on laminated index cards to have right beside me (Another awesome boss Lady idea!). The signing time and the parachute are new to my rotation. I tried them on a hope and a prayer, while fighting off the urge to pee my pants out of nevousness (TMI, sorry, but I do that a lot...the TMI part, not the peeing in my pants- I'll leave that to my 2 year old...anywhoo...) Babies, and really kids of all ages, love the parachute. It's simple, parents have no choice but to get involved, and it's so much fun to see their faces when they see that thing fly! Did I mention, that I have the best job ever? Because I do!
I should also mention, that while hosting my Baby Rhyme Time, I model all the actions with the help of my trusty little doll, Ron Weasley Jr. Here let me introduce you.... He is quite handsome, is he not? 

He is very helpful, for the parents/caregivers so they can see exactly what I am talking about, and also so I don't feel like a weirdo playing itsy bitsy spider with my imaginary baby (not that any of you are weirdos if you do that! ) It's also a good way to model to parents that there are different ways to adapt the motions depending on their child's age or comfort level.
So anyway that's the gist of it. What are staples in your storytimes? Have you found things that work like magic or something that just didn't go right? Let me know. Part of the extra coolness in this job is learning from this amazing group of creative minds and always wanting to learn more! (Nerdy lecture over) Happy Easter my friends!

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