Friday, February 28, 2014

Baby Storytime Structure and Planning

For this post, I thought I'd share a little bit about how I structure and plan my baby storytimes. I always find it interesting to hear about how other children's librarians do things, so I figured sharing this information might be helpful to others.

A little background information:
  • Baby Storytime is for babies under 2 years old, accompanied by their caregiver. 
  • I do not require registration (mainly because we are a small town and have a smaller service population to begin with) 
  • All storytimes are held in my storytime room.
Here are a few pictures of my storytime room:

A picture of our storytime tree, which was made by a local resident and transfered into this room during our recent renovations:

Here is my basic structure:

Baby Storytime always starts with our "Hello" song, which goes like this:

"(Baby's name) is here today, (Baby's name) is here today! Let's clap our hands and say "Hooray!" (Baby's name) is here today!"

Next we move on to our story. I don't have group sets of books, so I move around the room showing each individual baby the pictures.

After the story, I do a few bouncing songs. I always start with bounces because this is when the babies are most likely to be focused and still on the caregiver's lap. Towards the end some of the walkers tend to get antsy.

The rest of the stories consists of a variety of songs. I try to through in a few new songs each week, but many of the songs do repeat from week to week. Baby's thrive on repetition, so I feel it is important to their development to maintain this consistency.

I always end with the song "Bye Bye Baby" from the CD  Baby Face by Georgiana Stewart.

The final element is playtime. I put out a variety of toys and let the babies play. I think this aspect is important because it provides caregivers an opportunity to socialize. This makes it more fun for them, and more likely they'll bring the babies back to the library :)

As for planning, one of my favorite resources is Perry Public Library. They have a great pdf of songs and rhymes posted here. I also really like the ALSC website. They have helpful lists of rhymes and books. I've also gotten a lot of great ideas from other children's librarians, both in person and through listservs like PUBYAC.

Baby storytime is probably one of the most fun parts of my job. I love interacting with the babies and  caregivers and seeing how quickly they change and grow.

At the same time it is the hardest storytime to get attendance at. I have struggled to find the right time and day and recently moved it to Thursdays at 10:30 am. I'm hoping this will work better, but with babies you never know.

For more information on my storytime plans you can check out my storytime blog.

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