For the third post in our baby storytime series, I’m sharing my favourite lap bounces. Make sure to check out the rest of the posts in the series!
- Welcoming Activities at Babytime
- Favourite Fingerplays and Tickles
- Focus on Newborns
- Favourite Dancing Songs
- Favourite Books for Baby Storytime
- Using Scarves and Egg Shakers with Babies
- Using a Parachute with Babies
- Putting it All Together: A Baby Storytime Program
I do a few lap bounces every baby time. Usually in the middle, after we’ve sung our hello song and done a few fingerplays and tickles. Here are some of the early literacy tips I give for lap bounces:
- If your baby is up for it, try turning them so they face you as they bounce. This allows them to watch your mouth as you sing so they can see how you form the sounds and words that make up your language.
- Bounces are a great way for children to feel the beat with their entire body in addition to hearing the rhymes. A steady beat is reminiscent of their mother’s heartbeat, a sound that provided them comfort in the womb.
- Walking, running, and dancing all require the body’s ability to keep a steady beat. So by doing lap bounces with your baby you are getting them ready for this later developmental stage.
- Lap bounces allow us to be close to our babies by holding them on our laps and giving them hugs and cuddles. This is a great chance to build a positive, loving relationship with your baby which is the foundation for learning.
And here are some of my favourites!
This one is so simple – perfect for when you have a group of new babytimers. When my niece was 2-years-old she always used to say, “bumpy road!” whenever we went over a part of the road that jostled her in her stroller. Proof that this one works!
To the tune of “Shortnin’ Bread” this one is catchy. I sing it three times through – pants, shirt, and hat. I always encourage caregivers to sing this one daily to establish a getting dressed routine. The best is when I hear them singing it on their own when they are packing up baby to leave the library.
This one is so fun! The caregivers love it and sometimes we do it multiple times throughout the babytime. A lot of people in Vancouver take transit, so I encourage them to sing it while riding the bus.
A classic! There’s a second verse I started doing where you tip babies to the side and sing, “One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken, one wheel’s off and the axle’s broken, one wheel’s off and the axle’s broken, won’t you be my darling?” We also have a winter version of this song and a space version too!
It’s fun to take an old classic and adapt it for babies. Most of the caregivers know the words and tune to this one – we just made it more fun!
If I’ve got a group of particularly active or rambunctious babies, I always do The Grand Old Duke of York. Sometimes bouncing just isn’t enough and the babies want to be lifted. For younger babies, I recommend just moving their arms or legs up and down.
This one also combines bouncing and lifting, but it is less well known than the Grand Old Duke. I still think it’s lots of fun and a great one to introduce to babytime groups who are ready for some new material.
What are your favourite lap bounces for baby storytime? Let us know in the comments!