Another Baby Storytime – Rhythm Sticks

It’s about time I include another baby storytime on this blog.  So here it is…

Welcome:  Hello everyone!  I’m so happy to see you all today.  (model the sign for “happy“)  We’ll do every rhyme twice and clap for ourselves and each other a lot!

Sign Language:  Word of the day is “bath“.  You can do this sign before, during, and after bath time.

Rhymes:  The following few rhymes I do every week at baby storytime because repetition is good!

1.
Everybody wave hello, wave hello, wave hello.
Everybody wave hello, let’s have some fun.
Everybody wave hello, wave hello, wave hello.
Everybody wave hello, now our song is done. (model sign for “done“.  This is a useful sign for babies because you can use it at the end of meals, playtime, bath time,…)

2.
Old Mother Goose when she wanted to wander    (tap thighs to rhythm)
Would fly through the air on her very fine gander  (lift child into the air)

3.
Two little dickey birds sitting on a cloud  (hold both pointer fingers up in front of you)
One named “Soft”                                 (wiggle right pointer while you whisper)
The other named “Loud.”                      (wiggle left pointer while you “shout”)
Fly away Soft!                                       (move right pointer behind back and whisper)
Fly away Loud!                                      (move left pointer behind back and “shout”)
Come back Soft!                                   (bring right point to front and whisper)
Come back Loud!                                  (bring left point to front and “shout”)

“That last rhyme was about a bird.  Can you say ‘bird‘ in sign language?”

Book:  What Does Baby Say? by Begin Smart

This book is great because you can do a number of corresponding signs as you read.  I model the sign language words for:  more, drink, cat, mommy, eat.

Rhymes:  The following rhymes change from week-to-week.

4.
Here we go up, up, up.                        (lift child up)
Here we go down, down, down.          (bring child back to lap)
Here we go backwards and forward.  (hold child close and lean back)
Here we go round and round.              (hold child close and move in a circle)

5.
Pizza, pickle, pumpernickel,     (trace a circle on child’s tummy)
My little honey’s going to get a tickle!  (tickle child)
One for your nose,         (point to corresponding body parts)
One for your toes,
And one for your belly
Where the hot dog goes!

6.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Felt Board:  Humpty Dumpty

I placed the felt pieces on the board as I recited the rhyme.  We did this felt board twice.humpty1

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the kings horses and all the kings men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again

humpty2humpty3

I found the pattern for this felt board at KizClub

Rhymes:

7.
Tick tock, tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock    (hold child close and rock side to side)
Tick tock, tick tock, Now I’m striking one o’clock
Cuckoo!            (lift child into the air)

Tick tock, tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock
Tick tock, tick tock, Now I’m striking two o’clock
Cuckoo!   Cuckoo!      (lift child into the air twice)

Tick tock, tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock
Tick tock, tick tock, Now I’m striking three o’clock
Cuckoo!   Cuckoo!   Cuckoo!    (lift child into the air three times)

(the tick tock rhyme is a favorite with my current group)

8.
This is my right hand,
I’ll raise it up high.            (right hand up)
This is my left hand,
I’ll touch the sky.              (left hand up)
Right hand,                      (show right palm)
Left hand                         (show left palm)
Roll them around            (roll hands)
Right hand,                     (show palm)
Left hand                        (show palm)
Pound, pound, pound!   (pound fists together)

This is my right foot,     (hold up child’s right foot)
I tap it on the ground.    (tap the ground)
This is my left foot,       (hold up child’s left foot)
I kick it all around.         (kick it around)
Right foot,                     (hold right foot)
Left foot,                        (hold left foot)
Give ‘em both a kick.    (kick feet)
Left foot,                        (hold left foot)
Right foot,                      (hold right foot)
Click, click, click!           (click heels together)

9.
We’re flying to the moon.      (bounce child on yoru lap)
We’re flying to the moon.
Oh, what an adventure! We’re flying to the moon.
10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – BLAST OFF!  (lift child into the air)

Activity:  Rhythm Sticks

rhythm sticks

Next I pass out two rhythm sticks to each child/caregiver.  If the kids are older they can hold the sticks themselves.  The caregiver can hold the sticks hand over hand for the really little babies.

I told the parents that I expect the children to explore making sounds with the sticks, that’s the whole point after all!  As long as no one is hurting themselves or others with the sticks we’re all good!

Here are the rhymes we did with the sticks:

10.
This is the way we tap our sticks, tap our sticks,
tap our sticks.
This is the way we tap our sticks so early in the
morning!

This is the way we rub our sticks, rub our sticks,
rub our sticks.
This is the way we rub our sticks so early in the
morning!

This is the way we tap the floor, tap the floor,
tap the floor.
This is the way we tap the floor so early in the
morning!

11.
Tap your sticks in the air with a 1-2-3
Tap your sticks on the floor with a 1-2-3
Tap your sticks in the air with a 1-2-3
Tap your sticks on the floor with a 1-2-3

Tap your sticks to the left with a 1-2-3
Tap your sticks to the right with a 1-2-3
Tap your sticks to the left with a 1-2-3
Tap your sticks to the right with a 1-2-3

(I got this rhyme from Hap Palmer’s Rhythms on Parade CD.  Check out this YouTube clip)

12.
There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was
his name-o!
B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O
and Bingo was his name-o!

(we tapped our sticks for the B-I-N-G-O part)

Early Literacy Tip:  When you sing or play music with your child, the rhythm allows them to hear syllables and break words into “chunks”.  This skill will help them later when learning to read.

I was really worried that using the rhythm sticks was going to be a huge disaster but it wasn’t!  The little ones had a blast.  A mom came in the next week and said her daughter was using crayons as rhythm sticks at home!  So cute.

Playtime:  I got out a bunch of toys and put on music and we all played.  “Play

Goodbye Song:

13.
Our hands say thank you with A clap, clap, clap
Our feet say thank you with a
Tap, tap, tap.
Clap, clap, clap!
Tap, tap, tap!
We roll our hands around, and say,
“Good-bye.”

Sign Language in Baby Storytime

Today was my first attempt at using sign language during baby storytime.  I teach the toddlers/preschoolers a new sign every week but for some reason I’ve always been hesitant to do it in baby storytime.  I guess it is because in toddler and preschool storytime I’m teaching the kids where as with baby storytime I’m really teaching the parents (adults can be intimidating sometimes!)

I’ve been redesigning my baby storytime and thought this was the perfect opportunity to push myself.  I did some research on baby sign language and learned a bunch of new signs.

There is so much amazing research out there on the benefits of teaching babies how to sign so I’m not going to delve into that here.  Check out the Baby Sign Language website for some amazing resources!

Baby Sign Language

I realized that if I wanted to incorporate sign language into my baby storytimes I really have to model to the parents how to use sign with their child.  I wanted it to be natural and easy so here’s what I did:

  • I learned a bunch of new signs and really practiced using them. (happy, mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, book, again, more, music, play, eat/food, all done, bird…)
  • At the beginning of storytime I told the parents that I would be doing some baby sign language and that they could join in as they start to learn the words.  I used this time to tell them a few of the benefits of using sign language with their babies (I plan on discussing the benefits very briefly at every storytime).
  • I signed words as I spoke throughout the entire storytime.  For example, when I said “I’m so happy you’re all here today” , I also signed the word “happy”.
  • Between nursery rhymes I would say something like “that was fun, let’s do that one again.”  And signed the word “again.”
  • When it was time to read a book, I said “Now let’s read a book” And I signed the word for “book.”
  • At playtime I signed the word for “play”, when I turned the music on I did the sign for “music”, when we were done with the toys I did the sign for “all done.”

You get the idea…

My goal was to repeat the signs often but still have everything sound and feel natural.  I didn’t want this to be a strict sign language lesson but rather an example of how parents can easily add sign language to their normal interactions.

I was nervous about this but it went really well.  The caregivers caught on and were joining in on a lot of the signs.  I can’t wait to see if they start to remember the signs on their own!  I wish I had tried this out earlier!

Baby Storytime! – Scarves

So I also do Baby Storytime at my library and thought I should post about it.  I’ve recently (within the past few weeks) decided to revamp  what I do.  I’ve been getting bored with it and wanted to make it a little more interactive.  My baby storytime isn’t very structured and I always save about 10 minutes at the end for playtime.

I give all the caregivers a print-out with the rhymes for the day on it.  So everyone can join in.

Opening Rhyme:

(to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

“Everybody wave hello, wave hello, wave hello.
Everybody wave hello, let’s have some fun.
Everybody wave hello, wave hello, wave hello.
Everybody wave hello, now our song is done.”

(I learned from Children’s Librarian Robin B. that you should do each rhyme twice and cheer and clap after each rhyme.  It makes it more fun and the babies like to clap for themselves.)

Lapsit Rhymes:

I do about about five lapsit rhymes where the caregiver holds the baby in their lap (I hold a teddy bear in mine!).  From week to week I do a lot of the same rhymes (repetition is good for babies) but I will throw in a new one once in awhile.  Here are the rhymes I did this week:

1.    Old Mother Goose (tap your legs along to the beat)
When she wanted to wander
Would fly through the air (lift the baby up into the air)
On her very fine gander

2.  Goosey, goosey gander, where do you wander?  (tap your legs along to the beat)
Upstairs, and downstairs  (lift the baby up and then down)
And in my lady’s chamber.  (tap along to the beat)

3.  Two little dickey birds sitting on a cloud  (hold up your pointer finger on each hand)
One named “Soft,”  (wiggle pointer finger on right hand and speak quietly)
The other named “Loud.”  (wiggle pointer finger on left hand and speak loudly)
Fly away Soft!  (move your right finger around your back and speak softly)
Fly away Loud!  (move your left finger around your back and speak loudly)
Come back Soft!  (bring your right finger back and speak softly)
Come back Loud!  (bring your left finger back and speak loudly)

4.  Here we go up, up, up.  (Lift baby up in the air)
Here we go down, down, down.  (Lift baby down to lap)
Here we go backwards and forward.  (Hold baby in lap, lean back and then forward)
Here we go round and round.  (Hold baby close and move in a circular motion)

5.   Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

Board Book:  Go Baby Go! by Marilyn Janovitz

Go Baby Go

Lapsit Rhymes

After the book we do a few more lapsit rhymes:

6.  Handy Spandy, sugar and candy, we all jump in
(bounce baby on your knee and lift to one side on “in”)
Handy Spandy, sugar and candy, we all jump out
(bounce baby on your knee and lift to other side on “out”)
Handy Spandy, sugar and candy, we all jump up
(bounce baby on knee and lift into air on “up”)
Handy Spandy, sugar and candy, we all sit down
(bounce baby on knee and place on lap on “up”)

7. Fingers like to wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle.
Fingers like to wiggle waggle, WAY UP HIGH!
Fingers like to wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle.
Fingers like to wiggle waggle, WAY DOWN LOW!
Fingers like to wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle.
Fingers like to wiggle waggle,  ON MY KNEES!

8.  Bend your body
Touch your toes.
Straighten up and
Touch your nose.
Wave your arms,
Now touch each knee.
Stamp your feet
And count to three
One – Two – Three!

Flannel Board:  Baa Baa Black Sheep

baa baa

Lately I’ve been trying to do a simple flannel board at each baby storytime (something I haven’t done in the past).  I like making nursery rhymes into flannel boards for the babies because they are so sing-songy that it really holds the babies’ attention.  Plus the caregivers already know the words so they can join in.  I usually do the flannel board/nursery rhyme twice.

Activity:  Scarves

I always do a simple activity towards the end of each baby storytime.  The activity always involves some type of manipulative (scarves, wrist bells, drumming, egg shakers, ribbon sticks).  I really want to find more manipulatives that work well in this setting so if you have suggestions please comment!

I give each caregiver a scarf and we do the following rhymes together (I use the teddy bear to demonstrate for the caregivers):

1. Wind, oh wind, oh wind I say.
What are you blowing away today?
Scarves, oh scarves, oh scarves, I say.
I am blowing the scarves away.
(fly scarves from side to side in front of child while saying the rhyme)

2. Peek-a-boo, I see you.
I see you hiding there.
Peek-a-boo, I see you.
I see you hiding there.
(play peek-a-boo by putting the scarf over the child’s head/face)

3.  This is the way we wash our face,
Wash our face, wash our face.
This is the way we wash our face so early in the morning.
(crumple the scarf up and use it to “wash” the baby’s face – repeat with other body parts; knees, tummies, toes…)

4. Have caregivers crumple the scarves into their hands.  Ask them to count to three with you.  On three, throw the scarves into the air and watch the rainbow of colors fall to the ground.

Now it’s play time!  I have a giant tote bag filled with toys that I bring out and spread out on the floor (the older babies usually help me with this part!).  We just sit and play and the caregivers have a chance to socialize too.

Goodbye Song:

Our hands say thank you with A clap, clap, clap;
Our feet say thank you with a
Tap, tap, tap.
Clap, clap, clap!
Tap, tap, tap!
We roll our hands around, and say,
“Good-bye.”