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You will find programming for babies and their parents "Simply Irresistible!" Babies are your "captive audience," and parents are often at their most hopeful and receptive. Your library can establish itself as a literacy leader in the community by teaching parents how to share baby songs, lullabies, nursery rhymes, fingerplays, age-appropriate picture books, board books, and gentle stretching. You can forge strong relationships with parents as you demonstrate how to explore language with their child in a lively and entertaining way. Together you can build life-long readers, starting at birth.

Workshop Description: In this all-day workshop, children's library staff will learn how to prepare and deliver a literacy-based storytime for infants and their parents/caregivers.

Guided by a dynamic PowerPoint presentation, students will design an appropriate space; develop an age-appropriate, literacy-rich program; learn "parent patter" and how to use it during the program; and "tweak" their current storytime program to focus on early literacy skills with younger children.

In a supportive and entertaining environment students will share and perform all storytime components to develop familiarity, confidence, and ease in working with this "keep you on your toes" age group of two and under.

Students will be armed with song sheets, fingerplays, booklists, equipment suggestions, recommended websites, and gentle stretching techniques that will help stimulate language and baby brain development.

You've never had so much fun at a library skills workshop!

Pre-workshop Assignment:

  • Survey current storytime clientele for actual ages served during programs. Example: in your preschool storytime (three to five-year-olds) 50% of attendees are two and under. Based on these numbers bring an idea of who your underserved age group is.
  • Bring one book appropriate for the age group (birth to two-year-olds) to share with group. If you need help try one of the following websites:

  • Bring a favorite fingerplay for each of these age groups: (birth-12 months) and (12-24 months) to share with the group. If you need help try one of the following websites:

Optional: Bring sample flyers of infant programs already being offered at your site to show and share with the group.

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Introduction
    • Baby brain development
    • Developmental milestones
    • PLA 6 Literacy Skills
    • Librarian's role
    • Breakdown of age groups
    • Parent participation
  • Nuts and Bolts: Nuts
    • Registration
    • Physical setting
    • Length of program
    • Sample storytime
    • Book selection
  • Nuts and Bolts: Bolts
    • Fingerplays
    • Stretching
    • Puppets and props
    • Songs with music and props
  • Taking It Home
    • Parent patter
    • Dialogic reading
    • Marketing
    • Partnerships
    • Don't be afraid to be yourself

Workshop Instructor: Colleen Willis