Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime

"There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, So just give me a happy middle and a very happy start." -Shel Silverstein

Baby Parachute Playtime!

Baby Parachute Playtime!

Ever since I started using the parachute during programming, I’ve wanted to provide something for the babies.  Today that finally happened.  We had our first Baby Parachute Playtime!  Now, I know what you’re all thinking, that a chute is way too overwhelming for a baby.  What I did was a combination of a storytime while having the chute be a pretty big focus. Due to budget cuts etc., we haven’t had an actual baby storytime in years.  Once we had to make cuts, the toddler time and baby time were clumped together into one giant storytime for ages 0-5.  Rhythm and Rhyme storytime is oober popular and it’s great to be able to still offer programming for that age group, but there’s something to be said about an actual storytime just for babies.  We have these wonderful lap-sit kits that were created several years ago with grant money.  They sit in storage and are shared among all our branches.  Each kit has 15 copies of a board book and some toys that go along with the theme to be used at the end of the storytime.  Some also include a CD and a few other stories for the librarian to tell.  These are so handy for putting together a baby time. We all know how important it is to get the books into the hands of these kids and these kits help provide that.  So, I used the parachute and one of these kits to form my program.  Here is the outline I took in with me:

Parachute Playtime!

Babies 0-12 months

  • Talk about the parachute.  Some babies will love it, some will hate it, some will be unsure and that’s ok.  Some of the activities the babies will be laying on the floor in front of you, if they get upset, just hold them in your lap.
  • The babies might be all over the place and that is ok.  This is all new to them and they love to explore.  Feel free to get up and move with them.
  • If your child is very upset, it’s ok to step outside the room until they’ve calmed down. We don’t mind.
  • Remind parents that they are their baby’s biggest role model; they are looking and listening to them.  I’m only here to guide the parents along and instruct them.  Participation is a huge part of being here so please join in.
  • Introduce the parachute to the babies by playing peek-a-boo. Have them lie on the floor in front of you (or in your lap) and lift the chute up and down slowly.
  • Sing a welcome song (babies lie or sit on the chute)-Twinkle Twinkle
  • Sing “Row Row Row Your Boat” while holding your baby in your lap and sway back and forth. (2 times)
  • Now that your baby is on your lap, let’s read a book! (15 copies are available)
  • Show your baby the pictures, talk to them about the pictures, and let them touch the book. If they want to turn the pages out or order, that’s ok. Just let them get familiar with it.
  • Sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” while your baby lies on the floor in front of you.  The parachute will go up and down as the song lyrics do.
  • Sing “Shake Your Rattles like the Leaves” while holding your baby on your lap. Shake the chute if your baby can sit upright by themselves, otherwise just hold your baby and gently rock with them.
  • Sing a goodbye song while the babies lie or sit on the chute.-You are my Sunshine
  • Parents are welcome to hang out with their babies and socialize and play with the toy blocks provided.
  • Thanks for coming!

NOW, here is what really happened:

Well, only two babies came, the rest of the kids were older siblings.  There were a total of 9 people. I pretty much stuck to the outline I had prepared, except I didn’t get to talk as much about babies and books as I wanted to.  The older kids were pretty crazy running all around so it was distracting. At the end they all loved the playtime!  I had blocks with colors on them and a Colorpillar from Lakeshore that was great.  Everyone got to socialize and I sat and talked with the moms and the kids. Apparently they all loved the program and had never even been to our library.  They all said they were going to come back, so I guess I did something right! I probably won’t do the chute again with that age group only because I can’t tell them that siblings can’t come and with the siblings it was just too crazy.  I do want to start offering more baby programs though. I think I will stick with just offering baby storytime because we used to do that in the past and it worked out really well.


Flannel Friday: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Brown Bear

The Brown Bear is much bigger than these guys

Okay, so this is more of a storytelling activity than a flannel board.  But I really wanted to share it with you all!  Last week I did a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, so of course everything was bear themed.  I love the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? By: Bill Martin.  I don’t think I know anyone who DOESN’T love that book. I also love to use it because most of the children know the story.  This time around I didn’t want to just read the story, or just use my flannel board, but I wanted the kids to help me tell the story.  When our Outreach Department closed late last year, they had tons of stuff in storage that we were able to use. Kits, crafts, crayons, flannels etc.  Well, I found these great laminated pieces that went along with the story and really wanted to use them.  My idea was to pass one out to each child so that when we came to that animal in the story, they could come up to the front of the room and hold up their animal!  I invited everyone to help me tell the story too.  Of course, I had to make sure I had several pieces of each animal so there would be enough for everyone, but it worked out.  Sometimes we had three ducks and only one cat, it was ok!  By the end of the story all the kids were standing up front holding their animals proudly.  It was a blast!  I will definitely do it again. A few kids didn’t want to come up front, so I told them it was ok to just hold up their animal where they were sitting.  I hope you all can try this next time you tell this story!

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Parachute Playtime Songs

Parachute Songs Pic

Here are some great songs you can use in Parachute Playtime all in one place!  I will add to it as I find new songs.

One, Two, Three Whee! By: Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael

My Ups and Downs By: Jim Gill

Itsy Bitsy Spider (any version)

The Wheels on the Bus (any version)

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes (any version)

Ring Around a Rosie

Ring Around Rainbow

Roll the Ball By: Carole Peterson

Rolling Ball By: Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael

Alabama, Mississippi By: Jim Gill

Fruit Salad Salsa By: Laurie Berkner

Going Nowhere By: Jim Gill

I hear the Water By: Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael

Old MacDonald (any version, use animals on the chute)

Popcorn Calling Me By: Laurie Berkner

Family Goodbyes By: Jim Gill (great closing song, sit on the chute)

5 Little Monkeys (any)

What Falls in the Fall By: Laurie Berkner (use leaves!)

Mover Music By: Imagination Movers

Snowflakes Falling from the Sky By: Piggyback Songs CD (use cotton balls!)

Shakin the Chute CD By: Michael Plunkett (Some great songs on it)




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