Monday, April 9, 2012

Babies on Beach Towels Boosting Their Brains

Today's guest post comes from Jill Patchin at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire. Thanks Jill!

Baby Beach Party

Ages 0-24 months

We hosted a Baby Beach Party as part of a week of special Spring Break programming at our library. On this morning our special program took the place of the two regular baby storytimes we hold: Bouncing Babies (for pre-walkers) and Little Movers (for walkers up to 24 months).

The general format of the program followed our regular storytime format loosely, but I inserted beach-themed activities here and there to go with the theme. Our outline was: approximately 15 minutes of bouncing rhymes, simple fingerplays, and familiar songs with one special beachy song added. All of my beach-themed songs for this program were found on the internet by doing a search for “beach theme” or “preschool beach theme.” I am happy to share any of my songs with anyone--just ask! (jillp @

In the middle of the storytime portion of the program we did apx. 5-10 minutes of parachute games. The parachute is a new addition to our baby storytimes starting this past January, and it has been a huge hit! During this special event I split the group into the two age groupings so that little ones lying on their backs under the parachute did not get trampled by the runners. We did all the familiar parachute songs but then I added two beachy songs. To end the parachute games portion, I brought out lots of 5 inch mini beach balls and the older babies got to use the beach balls to play popcorn games on their parachute. We used the song “Popcorn” on the CD We all live together Volume 2 by Greg and Steve.
It’s got a great beat and a funky 70’s vibe! The younger babies each got a mini beach ball to hold and explore during this time.

At the end of the storytime portion of the program we sang our very popular "Goodbye Bubbles" song and used multiple bubble machines to make sure the babies all got enough bubbles. After storytime we had playgroup time with our regular toys, but I also had a beachy craft for parents to do on their own or to allow the baby to help with. We did a discovery bottle craft using a clear water bottle, white rice, and a few beach themed foam pieces. The parents and babies stuck the foam pieces in the bottle, filled the bottle half with rice, and then a staff member hot glued the cap on. This is a fun and developmentally appropriate craft for this group.

I don't think I would do anything differently if I repeat this program in the future. It was a great program with over 80 in attendance. Apx. 40 babies in one room is quite a feat! I did have the help of two other YS staff members which was crucial. I am happy to share my ideas and/or songs and rhymes with anyone that is interested in more specifics on this program or our two regular baby storytimes. Contact me here: jillp @

1 comment:

Beth said...

I Love this program! So cool! I need to use it this summer for sure.