In March, I did a month-long series of baby activities on Saturday mornings called “Baby Explorers.” It was a sort of hybrid baby storytime/playtime.
My library has tried several things to get a baby storytime going, but a weekday morning just hasn’t worked, and previous more traditional baby storytimes on Saturdays weren’t well attended either. BUT, with a combo of better publicity and enticing activities, this worked! I think it’s going to become a monthly event in the fall.
I wanted to focus on demonstrating easy to make toys and explain the benefits of simple activities. I focused on a different broad topic each week, and this post I’ll go over the first one, Sensory Activities.
Program Rundown: Baby Explorers #1: Sensory
- Cost (not including existing supplies): $0! I pulled it all together with things we had.
- Age: Advertised for 0-18 months, actual attendance about 8-11 months
- Length: 45 minutes
- Attendance: 7 (3 babies, 4 adults)
I’m starting with my favorite, the pool full of scarves! This inflatable pool has been useful for treasure hunts, makeshift ball pits, and sensory bin containment. I just filled it with scarves and the babies had a ball.
For the ribbon box, I cut various lengths of ribbon and taped them to a box, which I covered in paper! Pretty simple, and a fun thing to explore. This idea was inspired by Meri Cherry’s Sensory Boxes.
One of the easiest but most exciting activities – paper to crawl on! I also had the parachute out for crawling on.
For sensory bottles, I filled water bottles with pompoms, feathers, beads, oil, food coloring, sequins…whatever looked fun. I then filled them with water, and glued the lids on. I added tape over the glue just to be sure they weren’t coming off.
- Greetings and introductions
- Hello song (Hi, Hello and How are You)
- Read a board book – grownups get a copy to read along
- Explain the activities
- Let the babies play!
- Last 5 minutes: Bubbles
I’ll write posts about the other three sessions too – the attendance really grew, and they were really successful.