Today was the last Baby Lap Time session of the 5-week program I developed for Arlington Parks & Recreation. Twelve babies were signed up in all and two babies made it to every Saturday session! I hope to email the attendees with a survey I am developing (in my head) about their experience with the class. Several asked about future classes, even though I had awkwardly told them it was hard for me to offer the program while teaching first grade full time. I talked about wanting to sleep on Saturday mornings to a room full of new parents — I probably did not get much sympathy.
All in all I think the program went really well. I enjoyed seeing the same happy babies and parents each week, as opposed to the program I do at the DC Jewish Community Center, where I don’t have as many regulars. It was fun to see the babies learn and grow over the five weeks. One baby who was afraid of the parachute the first time we did parachute play was smiling and enjoying the parachute by the end of the program. I also used this opportunity to discover new books, rhymes, songs, and bounces I can use in the future.
Today we read:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By: Bill Martin Jr.
I sang the song to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and put the images up on the flannel board. I asked parents to make animal sounds.
Snowy Flowy Blowy By: Nancy Tafuri
A book I had never used before, but now love. The images are very large, for babies to see, but also detailed – a lot to look at. Each double-page spread contains only one word, which rhymes with three adjectives about the four seasons. “Snowy, flowy, blowy” describes winter. I asked the parents to say the word with me, which they could because it was so large and easy to read from far across the parachute.
Above Us, In the Sky By: Eric Carle
This beautiful board book is part of a three-part series, all together called All Around Us by Eric Carle. You can check out the individual books at the library, but I think you have to purchase them as a set. I will add this to my wish list. The other two books are With Us, in the Earth and Sea and Below Us, under the Earth and Sea. A beautiful way to introduce nature and concepts such as “above” and “below” to little ones.
Hello Baby! By: Mem Fox
I was fortunate enough to have a few samples of a tiny, paperback version of this book (they were passed out at the library I worked out, and I think may have originally come from Cheerios). I handed one out to all the adults and said, we will read this one together, like a chorus while you read with your baby in your lap. It was very cute and worked very well. We read the first half, and then the last two pages. I love this book! More collaboration between Mem Fox and Steve Jenkins, please! I love how it features unordinary animals, like the porcupine and the gecko. The rhymes, of course (being by Mem Fox), are perfect.