Our Little Listeners group is for babies 3 months to 15 months. Our format remains the same each week. We have 6 weeks in a session and we switch songs halfway through so that the parents and children have some time to learn the songs before we change them. Repetition helps learning! (But we don’t want the same songs the whole session or parents might get bored. I have a powepoint up each class to show all of the lyrics to the songs so that parents can just look up and sing the words. The following lesson plan was for our November/December session, as you might be able to tell from some of the themed rhymes.

We have 10 minutes of social time where the babies can play with the toys, and each other, on the mat. Then we put away the toys and sing the same song each week to add vocabulary and a tune to the routine. This later cues the kids to clean up. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the kids will clean up at home when you sing this song. The only problems we have is if the parents sing like the Barney clean up song at home and some of the kids get confused. I sing the song (with the parents) until all the toys are put away. I try to keep it to two times or less. Here’s the lyrics (mulberry bush tune?):

We can put the toys away,

The toys away,

The toys away,

We can put the toys away,

Hip, hip, hooray, hooray!

When the kids are all upset that I took their toys, a song and some waving usually cheer them up, so we sing the welcome song and practice waving. It’s really cute because it’s one of the first “fingerplays” they can do and most of them start waving backwards at themselves because that’s how it looks to them. We  have enough of an age range where you can see the differences in how they wave. I think it encourages the parents of the younger kids that they will get there, and the older kids model the motions to the younger kids. (The best part is when they see me in the library they wave.) Here’s the lyrics (I don’t know what the tune is called.):

Hello, hello

Hello and how are you?

I’m fine, I’m fine,

And I hope that you are, too!

We do a name game song to see who is here. But, the best part is watching their reactions when you say their names. The tiny ones don’t even notice. The shy ones hide (or start crying). The outgoing ones clap their hands and smile like it’s their own personal concert. We clap to the beat of this song to help out phonemic awareness and just make it fun for the kids. Again, the lyrics (Tune: Farmer in the Dell):

[Name] is here today,

[Name] is here today,

Everybody say hello,

[Name] is here today

Then we sing three songs or rhymes. Most, but not all, are fingerplays that are really simple because at this age, they can’t really do the fingerplays yet. These songs stay the same for three weeks and then we switch to new songs.

  1. Little Red Wagon
  2. Hey Diddle Diddle
  3. Rock on the Wall

Rock and rock and rock on a wall

Rock an rock, I hope we don’t fall

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great falllll

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

There’s a great video for this one. It’s a good bouncing song. I try to miss classic nursery rhymes, new themed piggy back rhymes, easy finger plays, cuddly/tickly songs and bouncing songs for this age group.

To break up the songs we do a choral read where everyone gets the same board book and we all read the book together out loud. I add these tips on the powerpoint: Even if your child is wandering around, still read out loud, they will get curious and come back. Don’t hold your child down in your lap if they don’t want to, we want the reading experience to stay positive. It’s okay to eat the book or turn the pages any which way. These are our choral reads for this session. We read one book each week:

Bird Fly High (Horacek)

Here are My Hands (Martin)

I Went Walking (Williams)

Trucks (Barton)

Wiggle Waggle (London)

Yummy Yucky (Patricelli)

Then three more songs/fingerplays

  1. Round and Round the Garden

Like a teddy bear

One step two steps

Tickle you under there

  1. I’m a Little Teapot
  2. Pumpkin, Pumpkin on the ground (“Twinkle Twinkle”)

How’d you get so big and round

Once you were a see so small

Now you are a great big ball

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground

How’d you get so big and round

 

The last book is our individual read. We have  big basket of books and walk around so the kids can pick out books (the older ones love doing this! You practically have to take the basket away.). Then the parents read to the kids for about 4-5 minutes. This is because these guys are pretty little and respond to their parents’ voices better than mine and that is their eyesight range instead of having to look to the front at me holding a tiny book. Also, it’s a good time to model reading and help parents interact with their child, show them that there’s more than one way to “read” a book. If you have a chatty group, you might have to corral them in again and detour social hour.

 

Then our goodbye song:

Open shut them, open shut them

Give a little clap, clap, clap

Open shut them, open shut them

Put them in your lap, lap, lap

Wave them, wave them

Wave them, wave them

High up in the sky, sky, sky

I wave to you, you wave to me

Let’s all wave bye bye

 

Our songs for our second half of the session are:

  1. This Little Piggy
  2. Eensy Weensy Spider
  3. Where is Thumbkin
  4. One Little Scarecrow

To chase off the crows

When the wind blows

This is how he goes

He flops to the left

He flops to the right

He spins all around

Oh, what a silly sight

  1. Rickety, rickety rocking horse

Over the field we go

Rickety, rickety rocking horse

Giddy up, giddy up – whoa

  1. Animals at the Zoo (“The Wheels on the Bus”)

The lion at the zoo goes

Roar roar roar

Roar roar roar

Roar roar roar

The lion at the zoo goes

Roar roar roar

All day long

*snakes (hiss), monkeys (ooh),…