I’m Back at Babytime!

One of the best things happened last week. I GOT TO DO BABYTIME AGAIN. For two 30 minute sessions I was surrounded by the sweetest little cherubs and their masked caregivers while we sang, read, and danced together.

Some things have changed. We do registration now. Masks are mandated indoors province-wide. We try to give people more space to spread out if they wish (they didn’t). But the core of babytime – the positive social interactions through talking, singing, reading, and playing – are still there. And it just makes me feel good.

So here are some new songs and rhymes I’m trying out this season!

Bread on My Head

I learned this one from the song and rhyme videos my library creates called the Roots of Reading. I love the jaunty rhythm and cute rhymes. Maybe after a few weeks I’ll challenge the group to think of a new verse.

Hot Sauce Wiggle

A super fun new bounce! I do small lifts on the ketchup and a big lift on the mayo at the end. Caregivers can lift baby fully into the air, lift their arms only, or simply sing along. I always try to give different ways to access songs like this one.

Gilly Gilly Good Morning

Okay so yes technically this song has been on Jbrary for seven years but I haven’t sung it in ages. But my babytimers have never been to a storytime before I thought I could get them on board early. I’ve added the hand motions from this version.

Washing Machine Song

Babies are so curious about the world around them. I wanted to incorporate this one so we can talk about songs to use in daily routines. I sing it slower and use it as a dancing song. We all stand up and then end with a slow spin. You can add extra verses – bouncing, dancing, spinning!

Shake Shake the Mango Tree

The only prop I am allowed to use right now is shakers due cleaning protocols. I fell in love with this repeat-after-me chant from Sesame Street. Super easy for caregivers to learn because they just have to mimic you.

Pizza Baby

This one is a favourite of mine that I never put on Jbrary. It’s from Jane Cobb’s What’ll I Do With a Baby-0 book. Babies can be in laps or on their backs. Caregivers can gently rock baby back and forth or move their legs back and forth while we chant the chorus. Feel free to add lots of extra verses for the toppings!

My co-worker shared an adapted version called Sushi Baby that goes like this:

Sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby
Spread out the nori (rub baby’s belly)
Sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby
Sprinkle the rice (tickle baby’s belly)
Sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby
Add the filling (poke baby’s belly)
Sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby
Roll and cut the pieces (make chopping motion on baby’s belly)
Sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby, sushi baby
Eat the sushi! (kiss baby)

Two Little Goslings

I wanted a new lullaby to sing at the end of babytime and I learned this one from the Mother Goose on the Loose Goslings program because I was researching songs and rhymes to share when I visit the NICU department at my local hospital. When we finished singing it one of the moms said, “I wish!” which made us all laugh. Positive reinforcement, right?

Tune: Hush Little Baby

Two little goslings safe in their nest (make a nest with your hands)
One was awake and the other at rest (lay one hand flat and raise the other)
One fell asleep and the other did too (put hands together)
And they slept and they slept the whole night through. (put hands near head like you are sleeping)

Boom Boom

Lastly, my co-worker taught me this soothing song which is especially useful for the new walkers in your group. I’ve recorded myself singing it so you can hear the tune.

Boom Boom
baby gooes boom boom
Baby goes boom boom down.
You might cry,
but everybody does it.
Everybody boom booms down.

Any new songs and rhymes that you’ve been doing in storytime? I’d love to hear about them!

6 thoughts on “I’m Back at Babytime!

  1. Oh, Lindsey, that’s so awesome that you get to see the babies again! We’re still doing only virtual in my library, but I hope we can change that soon!

    The one new song I learned recently (with a VPL colleague of yours) and that has become one of my favourite lullabies is:

    Rockabye you high, rockabye you low,
    Rockabye you close, rockabye you slow.
    Rockabye you high, rockabye you low,
    Rockabye you everywhere we go.
    Rockabye the sun, rockabye the moon,
    Rockabye the sweet flowers growing in June.
    Rockabye you love, my turtle dove.
    Rockabye you everywhere I go

    I learned the ukulele chords for it and I sing it at the end of my babytime. Everyone loves it!

    I loved your new suggestions and I’ll definitely try them soon. Thank you for sharing!

    1. It really is the highlight of my week! I think I know that lullaby from a Kathy Reid-Naiman album – thanks for sharing as I am always looking for lullabies that caregivers want to sing. Props to you for learning the uke chords – I thought I’d spend the pandemic learning how to play but it never happened.

      1. You know what’s awesome about that song? It was written by Theresa McKay, a young mom who sang it to her first child (who – you guessed it – was born in June). She taught it to the rest of the Parent Child Mother Goose group she was attending with her wee babe, which is how Kathy Reid Naiman learned it and eventually recorded it. I was lucky enough to hear this story at a PCMG fundraiser in Peterborough back when my now 18 year old was a babe in arms.

        1. Whoa, that’s so cool! I had no idea of that origin story and grateful you have shared it. Isn’t it wonderful how the songs continue to be passed down?

  2. I my my babies and toddlers SO much! Pre-COVID was the highlight of my week as well. We’re still mostly virtual, with some outdoor programs as long as the weather permits, but oh how I miss those crazy crowded indoor chubby cheek to chubby cheek story times!

  3. Yay for new songs and storytime! I am starting mine again mid-January, and excited but nervous!

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