Baby storytime

From Joel Nichols at the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA):

“This program is modeled on programs developed by two of my Free Library colleagues, Rachel Fryd and Liz Heideman. Our program is for children birth to 18 months and their caregivers (and older siblings whenever necessary). I start every program talking about early literacy, and use the Every Child Ready to Read talking points (Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play) to illustrate early literacy strategies and connect them specifically to the books we are sharing.  The story program includes 3 or 4 simple picture books and 3 or 4 rhymes, fingerplays, songs, or bounces. We sing all the songs twice (or three times if something is especially popular). I always give parents/caregivers a copy of the rhymes to use and take home.  

After this 20-25 minute story and fingerplay program, there is a 25 minute play and socialize time for babies and their parents/caregivers. We pass out musical instruments and other baby and toddler toys and let them have at it on the floor.  Often parents and caregivers will socialize naturally, but if not, I ask them questions to get them talking about what developmental milestones their children are experiencing, challenges they are facing, what languages they speak at home, and so on. This way, parents make social contacts for later playdates, as well as find commonalities that we can reincorporate into future programs. (For example, after a few sessions of this kind of chat, I discovered that two of our families were created through adoption and they asked for an adoption story.)

We meet weekly, every Monday at 11 A.M., usually for a run of 5-6 weeks and then take a week or two off to regroup and advertise. This program requires no registration, and usually 80% or of the patrons attending are repeat customers.”

Sample program

Greeting/introduction to pre-literacy skills

Book

Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin, Jr.

Song

Five Little Peas

Five little peas in a pod pressed                          | Make a fist
One grew, two grew and so did all the rest        |Fingers come out one by one
They grew and they grew                                       |Fingers out wide
And they did not stop                                               |Raise hand high
Till of a sudden
The pod went pop!                                                   |Loud clap!

Book

Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres

Song

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo                   |Cover face with hands twice
I see you! I see you!                            |Point to children
I see your button nose.                      |Point to nose/grab nose
I see your tiny toes                              |Point to toes/grab toes
I see you! Peek-a-boo!                       |Cover face with hands twice

Story

Dinosaur Roar! by Paul Strickland

Song

Tick-tock

Tick-tock, tick-tock,                                    |Rock back and forth
I’m a little cuckoo-clock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Now it’s almost one o’clock!                  | sign language one
Cuckoo!                                                      |Peek-a-boo once   
Tick-tock, tick-tock,                                   |Rock back and forth
I’m a little cuckoo-clock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Now it’s almost two o’clock!                   | sign language two
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!                                      |Peek-a-boo twice   
Tick-tock, tick-tock,                                   |Rock back and forth
I’m a little cuckoo-clock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Now it’s almost three o’clock!                |sign language three
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!                      |Peek-a-boo three times