Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Baby Story Time - Birds!

Greetings from Baby Story Time! Last week our theme was "Birds," which included ducks, hens, owls and more!

Books we read:

Duckie's Rainbow by Frances Barry

I LOVE this book for babies and toddlers!  It's so bright and colorful.  By the end of the book, the borders of the pages have formed a rainbow, so you can have everyone say the names of the colors aloud.  Someone in our department made a simple rainbow felt set to go with this book, but I didn't use it today.

1, 2, Buckle My Shoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines

What does this nursery rhyme have to do with birds, you ask?  Why, a big, fat hen, of course!  Hines' version is so visually interesting, made with fabric and buttons instead of illustrations, and is a really nice, simple counting book.

In My Nest by Sara Gillingham

This series of board books all have a little finger puppet in the middle, which you can wiggle as you read.  These are nice books to end a baby story time with because they are very short and sweet.


After our "hello" song and name song, we always start with a "Wake-up Rhyme," which may or may not have anything to do with the theme, but gets the babies bouncing and awake!  Today we did a familiar one, "Way up high in the apple tree."  I guess I was thinking birds live in trees, right?

Apple Tree (adapted from Linda Ernst's book, Baby Rhyming Time)
Way up high in the apple tree,              
     (raise baby's arms over head)
Two little apples did I see.                    
     (hold up two fingers)
So I shook that tree as hard as I could,  
     (jiggle baby!)
And d-o-w-n came the apples,              
     (lower baby between your legs to the ground)
Mmm! They were good!                       
     (rub baby's tummy and hug)

After reading Duckie's Rainbow, we did a fun guessing game that I totally stole from Mel's Desk.  With a few simple felt eggs, we "guessed" which egg the baby duckling was in, saying, "Baby duckling, are you in the --- egg?"  I borrowed a little felt duck from a different felt set, but made my own eggs.  This was fun and easy, and a nice little break from your typical fingerplays or rhymes.

Next we sang a fun song called "Mama Duck" from the Peter Allard's cd Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3.  Rather than play the cd, I often just sing songs myself.  That way if the song is too fast or too long, I can control the pace and the length.  Anyway, we bounced (on parents' laps) every time we said "quack."

Mama Duck
Here comes the Mama duck - quack!
Here comes the Mama duck - quack!
Here comes the Mama duck and one little duckling - quack!

Here comes the Mama duck - quack quack!
Here comes the Mama duck - quack quack!
Here comes the Mama duck and two little ducklings - quack quack!

Keep going up to five - five fast bounces is really fun to do and gets a lot of giggles from the babies!

After reading 1, 2, Buckle My Shoe, we said the nursery rhyme again, acting out the actions.  On "nine, ten, a big, fat hen," I got out our beautiful hen puppet!  Ok, maybe it's a rooster.  Either way, we clucked around the circle so each baby could touch it.  This is one of my favorite puppets to use because it always gets lots of "oohs" and "aahs."

Next we did a quick counting rhyme, which I also borrowed from Mel's Desk.  I liked that this was repetitive, so I didn't have to try to remember a different rhyme for each verse!  I used a felt set of owls that I made several years ago.

Five Little Owls
Five little owls sitting in a tree,
One flew away! How many do you see?
One, two, three, four.

Four little owls sitting in a tree...

If I do several rhymes in a row, then I throw in a song to get everyone's attention back on track.  This time we sang "Open, Shut Them," a classic story time song!

Open, Shut Them
Open, shut them, open, shut them,                        
     (open and shut baby's arms)
Give them both a clap, clap, clap.                          
     (clap hands)
Open, shut them, open, shut them,                         
     (open and shut baby's arms)
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.                                
     (pat your lap)
Walk them, walk them, walk them, walk them      
     (walk your fingers up baby's arm)
Right up to your chinny, chin, chin.                       
     (tap baby's chin)
Circle around your little mouth, but...                    
     (circle your finger around baby's mouth)
Do not let them in!                                                  

After our last book, In My Nest, we passed out shakers and shook to "Shake My Sillies Out" from Raffi's cd More Singable Songs.  I really like this version because it is quick - only about one minute long.  After that, we shook our shakers to our various body parts - heads, toes, tummies, etc.

We usually end with "If You're Happy and You Know It," but in honor of our "birds" theme, I played "Kookaburra" on my guitar.  I even added a verse about Kookaburra visiting story time!  After that I sang my "goodbye" song, we did our "thank you" rhyme, and it was time to play!

How it went:

This was a little bit of an ambitious story time, but it went really well!  I had about 15 babies with their parents, and several new faces this week.  While two or three activities between every book might seem like a lot, each book was short, as was each activity, so we really kept the ball rolling and kept the babies' attention.  I have found that quick transitions are super important because babies get restless! See you next week!

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