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Adventures in early literacy

Whoa Babies! And the importance of music

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Today’s baby storytimes were awesome! We’ve been on break for 2 weeks so I wasn’t sure how attendance and participation would be. The first one was pretty small compared to usual, but a very happy group with a couple newcomers and some great friendships made. The second one was smaller than normal but felt WAY bigger as they were so loud and rowdy (in a good way). And the second one came with a great discussion about music.

Before that, I had struggled with a couple chatty moms, tried out a great new rhyme (Cuckoo Clock-it’s on the Rhymes page), had fun with scarves and the parachute (they are now sitting in a circle when they come in the room, I think in anticipation of parachute time-yay!) and given two literacy tips about sharing books at home. One I stole from Mel over at Mel’s Desk  about babies playing with books and the other I’m sure we all say a lot: “While your baby is playing by themselves, picking up a book or magazine to read is a great way to show them that reading is enjoyable for everyone. If they see you do it, they’ll want to do it, too.”

Then, after storytime a regular mom came up to thank me for giving her a list of the songs on my storytime mix CD. She wanted to find them and play them for her son’s 1st birthday party. She said all the moms in attendance loved the music and wanted copies of the songs themselves. She thought maybe we had them in the library. As many of ou know, we do not carry music CD’s in my library system. They never have. The only way for patrons to get access to music is to go to a neighboring library system (not really fair to them or that library system), buy the music, or download the small amount of stuff we have available on Freegal (Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes and the Wiggles are the only real worthwhile ones on there in my opinion). When I’m asked this question I give them their options and then suggest they fill out a comment form requesting the system to purchase children’s music for the collection. Dozens have taken the form. No idea how may have returned it. They’re moms, dad, and grandparents. They get busy and the form probably ends up in the recycle bin. And the board is not as interested in my comments, no surprise there. They want to hear from patrons (I am one, but I digress).

Anyway, this started a whole conversation about how much all the kids in the room love music and they are always looking for new stuff to play at home but it’s so expensive to buy if you don’t know it’s really good. Totally agreed. Kind of the whole point of having it in the library. That and we encourage them to sing and listen to music with their children as part of early literacy and getting ready to read so should probably give them the tools to do that.  What I did was give them a list of my favorite storytime artists, plus mentioned other artists and albums I love for kids. So, while I work on this predicament with our library system at least I’ve got something to give them. And hope they can afford the gas to get across the river to check them out from the other library.

It’s always nice to have the whole room engaged in a conversation about early literacy so this storytime was totally invigorating for me! And I hope for the parents in attendance, too.

For your enjoyment here is a short list of some of my favorite kids musicians and here is a list of my Favorite ST artists that I handed out today, along with a Rhyme Sheet I also handed out.

My Favs:

Barenaked Ladies- Snacktime

They Might Be Giants

Rock-a-Bye Baby: lullaby renditions of songs by The Beatles, U2, Green Day and more-awesome for background music!

Putamayo Kids

Lisa Loeb

 There are tons more out there, but these are the first that come to mind when talking with parents. I also encourage them to play and dance to the music they love as adults.

Whick artists and albums do YOU recommend to patrons?

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Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

2 thoughts on “Whoa Babies! And the importance of music

  1. I love the Mother Goose Rocks cds, and of course,Jim Gill! The Mother Goose Rocks cds take familiar song rhythms/melodies and put nursery rhymes to them in the styl of the original artists. Not sure I am explaining well… just go get some and listen! I used a couple in my music & movement storytimes. Jim Gill is just super fun and also has lots of movement/directions built into his songs. Oh, one of my favorite songs to use is a jazzy version of Wheels on the Bus from the Baby Loves Jazz : Greatest Hits cd. 🙂

    • I’m putting a request in for those Mother goose ones now! I love the Baby Loves Jazz CD! and Jim Gill, of course. He’s on my Fav ST artists list. Preschool storytime functions on him. I’d be lost without my List of Dances!

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