Baby Bounce: Clouds

Date presented:  Tuesday, June 9, 2015

When I started in my current position, one of the first story times that I took over was our Baby Bounce session.  We advertise this session for babies from newborn up to 18 months, although in practice our actually ages are more fluid and often include older siblings as well.

For the fall session, I mostly used a previous librarian’s outlines that she had left behind specifically for me.  However, after reading other blogs and experimenting with her outlines, I started making some tweaks and changes of my own.  All told, I put together 42 different baby outlines, utilizing a combination of existing materials and new ideas.  For each theme, I have laminated song cards that have the rhymes/songs that we will be doing that day on one side (including the actions that we do with a song), and the baby sign language that we will be doing on the other.

Since this summer’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story,” I have been trying to select story time themes that tie in with this theme.  For our first week of summer reading, I stuck with a general superhero theme for my toddler and preschool story times.  For the babies, it was a little more challenging, so I settled on clouds (since many superheroes fly, right?).


I try to start each session with some kind of introduction if I don’t know the babies and parents who are attending.  I have to admit, it’s very informal and I don’t do much to outline rules or guidelines for the story time.  Reading other posts, I know this is an area where I can improve in the future.  Any time we come back from a break, we take time at our first story time session to introduce ourselves and our babies.

Hello Song

We start our baby story times with a welcome song that is different from the one that we use in our other story times.  I inherited this from the previous librarian, and I have stuck with it because it is easy for the parents to remember, and also lets our babies get warmed up to start story time.  It’s also easy for late-coming parents to easily join in with the next verse without feeling out of place.

This is the way we wave hello,

Wave hello, wave hello

This is the way we wave hello

Hello, hello, hello

This is the way we clap hello…

This is the way we tap hello…

This is the way we kiss hello…

Source:  Adapted from Story Time Secrets:

Baby Warm Up

After our welcome song, we continue with our baby warm up.  Originally, I wrote this plan with two warm ups included:  Up, Down, Turn Around and Clap Your Hands.  I thought I would use both; however, I’ve found that usually one is enough for our groups.  If they are particularly wiggly, we will do the warm up twice before we continue on to our next activity.

Up, down, turn around.

Touch the sky.

Touch the ground.

Wiggle fingers, wiggle toes,

Wiggle shoulders.

Say hello!

Source:  Adapted from Miss Sarah’s Storytime:

Glove Puppet with Rattle

I’m not a big puppet person, but we do have an adorable glove puppet of the classic rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle.  Some of my babies get really excited when we bring this out each week.  Again, it’s something that I inherited in the previous outlines, but it’s fun (and easy for the parents to recite along as well), so it’s something that we’ve kept.  I usually make my way around the circle while we recite the rhyme to interact with each of the babies.  We repeat the rhyme twice, going around the circle one way and then the other.

1st Book

Now we’re ready for our first book:  It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Green Shaw.

Songs, Movement, and Rhymes

After a story, our babies are usually ready for a little more movement.  This is when I will hand out the song cards to the parents so that they can sing along, especially if it’s something that they don’t already know.  For this section, I usually plan 3 songs, rhymes, or bounces.  I choose from these based on what I think will work best with a particular group.  For this one, I had planned:  Bumpin’ Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon, Big Round Sun, and Open Them, Shut Them.  We ended up using only two:

Bumpin’ up and down in my little red wagon

Bumpin’ up and down in my little red wagon

Bumpin’ up and down in my little red wagon

Won’t you be my darlin’?

One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken

One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken

One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken

Won’t you be my darlin’?

Source:  Deschutes Public Library:

This one is always a favorite, so we do it as our first song every week.  After that, we moved on to Open Them, Shut Them, which is one of my favorites.  As an added bonus, most of my parents already knew this one!

Open them, shut them, open them, shut them

Give a little clap, clap, clap

Open them, shut them, open them, shut them

Put them in your lap

Creep them, creep them, creep them up

Right up to your chin

Open wide your little mouth

But don’t let them in!

Source:  Adapted from The Children’s Department of Perry Public Library:

The babies loved this one, so we ended up doing it twice before moving on to our next section.

Baby Signs

Each week, we try to feature 3-4 baby signs that relate to the theme of our stories.  I model the sign for the parents the first time, and then we do it together several times.  This week we learned cloud, sky, sun, and outside.

2nd Book

Now that we’ve had a chance to wiggle and play, we’re ready for our second book:  Little Cloud by Eric Carle.

Songs, Movement, and Rhymes

After our second story, it’s time to get our babies moving again with more songs, rhymes, and bounces.  For this section, I generally have 3 more activities picked out and I choose from them.  Or, I may use something from the first section that I didn’t use earlier.  Again, it just depends on what I think will work best for the group.  For this outline, I had three activities planned:  Watch the Clouds, Roll, Roll, Sugar Babies, and This is Big.  We ended up using these two:

Roll, roll sugar babies

Roll, roll, sugar babies



Clap, clap, clap

Source:  Melissa Depper at Mel’s Desk:

We had so much fun with this one (and it was so easy for the parents to catch on), that we did it at least twice before moving on to our next rhyme, another of my favorites.

This is big, big, big

This is small, small, small

This is short, short, short

This is tall, tall, tall

This is fast, fast, fast

This is slow, slow, slow

This is yes, yes, yes

This is no, no, no

Source:  Melissa Depper at Mel’s Desk:

Again, this one is easy to repeat if the group is still engaged.

Glove Story

When I was cleaning up our story time resources a few months ago, I came across an extensive collection of glove stories.  Since then, I’ve been trying to think of how to use them in story time.  Since the babies are generally really excited for our glove puppet nursery rhyme, I decided for the summer to try adding a glove story each week.  For this theme, I planned to use Basic Shape Bees, but we were starting to get fussy so we ended up skipping this altogether.

Literacy Tip

This is generally the part in story time where I want to start inserting my early literacy tips.  I have one noted for each of my outlines, but I’m still working on the finer art of actually working them into the story times.

Musical Instrument

Each week, we end our story time with our musical instruments.  I have a collection of rattles, bells, and shakers that I bring out.  I keep them in two different containers, so that I can rotate each week which ones we are using.  Then, we sing a really simple song while we shake our instruments:

Rattle, rattle, shake, shake, shake,


Rattle, rattle, shake, shake, shake


With a shake, shake here

And a shake, shake there

Here a shake, there a shake,

Everywhere a shake, shake

Rattle, rattle, shake, shake, shake


I inherited this from the previous librarian, and it’s just too much fun to skip.  We do this song 2-3 times depending on how interested the babies are in making noise that week.

Goodbye Song

Each week, we end story time with the same song.  I play Toot Toot Tootsie, Goodbye (Wave Bye-Bye) from our Baby Face CD.  We get to wave bye-bye to each other, continue playing with our instruments, and just have fun to wrap up.  Afterwards, I bring out our baby-friendly toys and sometimes a few board books, and we have free play and social time.  I try to use this time to talk to the parents and interact with each baby so that they feel more comfortable with me, and it’s also when I answer other questions.  Since this was the first story time of summer reading, I also let parents know that even babies can participate in the program.

How It Went:

Overall, we had a lot of fun for our first time back from the summer.  I was excited to see some new babies joining us, and we had fun with the songs and rhymes.  In general, the books were a little too long for our attention span, so in the future I may consider modifying those or even shortening them.  But, almost every family signed up for summer reading with us after story time, and we had a blast, so I’m rating this one a success.


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