We’ll Link to That: Fall 2016

The Fall 2016 issue of YAACING, a youth services newsletter published by the Young Adult and Children’s Services (YAACS) arm of the British Columbia Library Association, is here!  This quarter we’re sharing our favourite things to do in babytime. Make sure to read the entire fall issue.  If you’d like to catch up on our past columns you can find them here:

Fall is here! Kids are heading back to school, the leaves are changing colours, and most importantly, storytimes are back in full force. One of our favourite storytimes is babytime – those special 30 minutes where you are surrounded by giggling and babbling babies and their caregivers. For this column we thought we’d share our 10 Favourite Things to Do in Babytime.  Need more babytime ideas? We got you covered.

  1. Welcome Puppet Kisses – Before babytime begins and after it ends, we love going around and asking babies if they would like a kiss from Duckie. Babies love seeing the puppet up close and it gives us a chance to connect with families one on one.
  2. Sing a Fun Hello Song – This song can become both a ritual and a signal to both parents and infants that Babytime is about to begin. We love the sign language in Hello Friends, the awesome opportunity Gilly, Gilly, Gilly Good Morning offers to talk about how singing lets us practice sounds like guh and m and the interactiveness of Wake Up Feet.
  3. Sing a Song Using Baby’s Name – At least once during babytime we sing a song where caregivers can insert baby’s name in the song. Our current favourites include Cool Cat, Baby Put Your Pants On, and What Shall We Do with Lazy Katie? It’s a great chance to encourage caregivers to personalize songs at home too.
  4. Share an Early Literacy Message – We take a relaxed, informal approach to talking about early literacy and baby brain development in storytime, but we do believe it’s part of what makes us a professional resource for families. Personal stories work great, and check out our list of recommended resources.
  5. Use a Parachute – Have babies lay on their backs, sit in their caregiver’s laps, or take a ride on top of the chute! Any way you do it is sure to be a fun experience. We recommend singing songs and rhymes caregivers already to know as their attention will be focused on helping their little ones enjoy the parachute.
  6. Play – Play is one of the five early literacy practices and there are so many creative ways to infuse it into babytime. Kendra at Read Sing Play has so many fabulous ideas – play boxes, baby art in a bag and sensory hoops, and draw-on mustaches and eyebrows! These ideas would make great standalone programs for babies as well.
  7. Use scarves or egg shakers – Easy to create at home, these two manipulatives or storytime props are an excellent way to equip parents with ways to play and add some fun to babytime! Try one of our favourites like Rain is Falling Down, Popcorn Kernels or The Fish in the Sea.
  8. Dance and have caregivers lift babies into the air – Nothing brings a smile to a little one’s face quite like blasting off after Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. But you can try with All the Little Babies or Mama/Papa’s Little Baby Loves Dancing. Inspired? Why not throw a Baby Dance Party to celebrate?!
  9. Read an interactive book – When parents are concerned that babies do not seem interested in books we like to recommend books which demand interaction. Try Nose to Toes (Harrington), Planes Go (or any in this series by Steve Light!) or Jump (Fischer). For information on these titles and more check out our post all about Babytime Books.
  10. Get baby his or her first library card – While this may seem obvious, it might not be obvious to parents that their little one, no matter how little qualifies for a card. Hosting a Baby Welcoming is a great way to introduce baby to their new library, sign them up for a card, oh and promote your Babytimes of course!

What are your favourite things to do in babytime? We’d love to hear about it! Give us a shout at jbrary@gmail.com.

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