Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baby Story Time - We're Going to the Zoo!

No summer is complete without a trip to the zoo, so today in Baby Story Time, we did just that.  Well, sort of. :)

Books we read:

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

Because this book is nearly wordless, I've never been sure how well it would work in a story time,  but my two year-old got it for his birthday and absolutely adores it, so I thought we'd give it a try.  (I often choose books and rhymes based on whether or not he likes them!) It went over great! Lots of laughs from the parents and the babies were very attentive.  And OMG, check out this adorable felt set that I wish I had seen before just now!

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

I love this book! I've read it to babies, toddlers, preschoolers, AND Kindergartners, and they all love it!  We read the pop-up version, but it is also available as a board book with flaps instead of pop-ups. What kids love about this book is trying to guess what kind of animal will be in the next box, especially as they get smaller and smaller.

Going to the Zoo by Tom Paxton

This book also happens to be a classic children's song, so you can sing it!  It's really long so we only did a few verses, but it was nice to be able to introduce it to a lot of the young parents who didn't know it.  I also set out Paxton's music cd by the same title with my display books so they could try singing it at home.  I like to end with a singable book if I can because music always gets the babies' attentions!
After our opening songs, our Wake-Up Rhyme was "One I Love You," a super cute lap bounce.  I have searched high and low for where I found this rhyme, and I cannot find it!  Where the heck did I learn this thing?  Can anyone cite this for me?
One I Love You
One I love you, two I love you,
     (bounce baby gently)
Three I love you so!
     (one big bounce!)
Four I love you, five I love you,
     (bounce baby gently)
Rock you to and fro!
     (rock baby side to side)
Six I love you, seven I love you,
     (bounce baby gently)
Eight you love me too!
     (one big bounce)
Nine I love you, ten I love you,
     (bounce baby gently, slowing down)
My bouncing buckaroo!
     (big, fast bounces!)
After Good Night, Gorilla, it was time to sing!  We sang "Alice the Camel," a very silly song my mom used to sing to us as kids. Mel's Desk uses this song for her "Zoo" themed story time, too.  Thanks, Mel, for reminding me about this silly song!  We turned it into a lap bounce!
Alice the Camel
Alice the Camel has 2 humps,
     (one big bounce)
Alice the Camel has 2 humps,
     (one big bounce)
Alice the Camel has 2 humps,
     (one big bounce)
So go, Alice, go!
     (quick little bounces!)
Alice the Camel has 1 hump...
So go, Alice, go!
Alice the Camel has no humps...
'Cause Alice is a horse!
Next we did a quick nursery rhyme - "Hey, Diddle Diddle" - which I like to sing.  With it I used this nice little storytelling kit from Lakeshore Learning - the pieces are a sturdy cardboard with Velcro on the back.
Hey, Diddle Diddle
Hey, diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon!
The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the dish ran away with the spoon!
The babies enjoyed Dear Zoo, and then we did the classic children's rhyme, "Five Little Monkeys (Swinging from the Tree)."  Five monkeys is a bit much for the babies, so I changed it to three monkeys instead.  I believe Miss Kristie used the same rhyme in Toddler Story Time this week!  Our flannel set for this rhyme is also from Lakeshore Learning, and you can use the monkeys on a flannel board or on a little storytelling glove. (P.S. I did tell the parents that if this was too violent for them, they can say "Scared that monkey" instead of "Snapped that monkey" - it's nice to offer adaptations when you can!)
Three Little Monkeys (Swinging from the Tree)
Three little monkeys swinging from the tree,
     (hold up three fingers)
Teasing Mr. Crocodile, “Can’t catch me!”
     (wag index finger)
Along came Mr. Crocodile, quiet as can be,
     (slowly swim one hand over)
And SNAPPED that monkey right out of that tree!
     (clap hands together on "snapped")
Two little monkeys…
One little monkey…
No little monkeys swinging from the tree,
I'd better watch out or he might catch me!

Next it was Rhythm Time so we got out our shakers! The babies shook it up while I sang the song "Going to Kentucky," which I adapted so that we were going "to the zoo" instead of "to the fair."  This song was so fun we sang it twice!
Going to Kentucky
(adapted from 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children by Abigail Flesch Connors*)
Oh, we're going to Kentucky, we're going to the zoo,
To see the baby animals and watch what they can do
Oh shake it, shake it, shake it,
Shake it if you can.
Shake it like a milkshake,
And do the best you can!
Oh, wobble to the bottom, wobble to the top,
And turn around and turn around until it's time stop!
*This book is amazing!

After that we just shook our shakers as we found our various body parts - toes, tummy, etc.  And then we shook them as we sang the ABC song!  I've never bothered with the ABCs with babies before, but since rhythm helps children to break down sounds (think 'phonological awareness') I thought this would be a good activity for parents to practice with their little ones.
After reading/singing Going to the Zoo, we finished up with our closing songs and rhyme, and it was time to play!
How it went:
My group just keeps growing - 18 babies today.  They were amazingly well behaved for such a big group, so we were able to squeeze in a lot of stuff in just 25 minutes!  I'm starting to see new members joining us, and then returning the following week with their friends, which is just such a nice compliment!  I've got a pretty wide range of ages right now, and one problem we had was that when we "snapped" our crocodile hands, it startled a few of the younger babies.  I felt really bad!  I'll start working on a quieter adaptation for that rhyme for next time!

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