Baby Bundles: Shapes

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Animals Shapes by Little Bee Books ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Shapes by DK Braille ($14.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Match and Roll Shape Sorter ($19.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $51.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

I had to have a shape sorter, right? That is a staple of baby/toddler toys. I went with the Melissa and Doug Match and Roll Shape Sorter since it came with many different opportunities for play. In addition to being a shape sorter, it can also be rolled and you can match based on color instead of shape. It’s also got that great durability associated with Melissa and Doug products.

There are lots of shape books and both of my choices are excellent examples of them. Shapes by DK Braille might be one of my favorite board books of all time though. I love the raised and indented illustrations so that people with low vision can feel the illustrations and shapes featured in the book.


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated EIGHTEEN times. It is our most popular Bundle!

Baby Bundles: Pets

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • My First Pets by DK Kids ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hape Walk-a-Long Puppy ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $47.37

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

The Hape Walk-a-Long Puppy is the most expensive toy that I purchased for the Baby Bundles. But it is such a great, well-made toy. The pull string encourages grasping tools for good fine-motor development. And the fact that it is a pull-along toy encourages gross motor movement at home. I would love to have these kinds of toys available in the library, but the one that I did try to put out was broken within a week with the constant use. I was glad to be able to add a pull-along toy to the circulating Baby Bundles.

I really wanted to include books that showcased a lot of other pets since my toy choice was a specific pet. I also wanted to include a photo-illustrated book to show a different perspective. It was easy to choose my illustrated title though —
Fifteen Animals is my favorite Sandra Boynton book ever. It’s funny and makes a great flannelboard too. And then I added My First Pets to the Bundle to complete it.


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated twelve times.

Baby Bundles: Peek-a-Boo

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Peek-a-Who? by Nina Laden ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Peek a Boo Panda ($7.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $32.37

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

This is definitely a younger toy for sure (the manufacturer age says 9+ months), but I wanted to have a variety of ages represented in the toys that I chose for the collection. Since this is a very simple toy, it made sense to me to include it, as this is one that I can see some children growing out of very fast, but entranced by it for a brief period of time. (The reviews on many sites seemed to indicate that as well.) I also love the fine motor work that kiddos will work on.

But these books! Oh, these are some of my favorite board books in the entire world. I love Peekaboo Morning for its everyday diversity. It’s a great read for young toddler classes as well. And all of Nina Laden’s Peek-a-Boo books are pretty awesome. My favorite is Peek-a-Who? (and its the one with the most natural rhymes since its the first of the series).


It’s been ten months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated nine times. It is the lightest Baby Bundle, just for fun trivia facts!

Baby Bundles: Ocean

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Deep Sea Dive by Salina Yoon ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • You Are My Baby: Ocean by Lorena Siminovich ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Flip Fish Baby Toy ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $43.37

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

The Melissa and Doug Flip Fish Baby Toy was one of the true baby-friendly toys that I found online. Since we have a washing machine here in the library, I decided to circulate some of these soft toys knowing that we can clean them after circulations. This toy is also one that will grow with children, because you can play an almost memory-like game with the scales on the fish.

Both Deep Sea Dive and You Are My Baby: Ocean are books that have a part that make them difficult to have in the main collection of board books. Deep Sea Dive‘s clear blue piece would get scratched up easily and all of the “You Are My Baby” series wind up splitting the little board book’s spine from the big board book’s spine. I am hopeful that having these in the Baby Bundle will still let caregivers and children enjoy these great stories.


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated five times.

Baby Bundles: Make Music

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It illustrated by Annie Kubler ($4.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hohner 4-Piece Baby Band ($19.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $42.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

Oh, the joy of the Hohner 4-Piece Baby Band! Such great instruments in an adorable carrying case. I really wanted to make sure that our patrons had opportunities to have their own version of our music programs at home. Some of our most popular items in storytime have been the music makers and the Baby Bundle is a great way to allow caregivers to take those instruments home. I did read one review online that mentions that these instruments can become choking hazards if they are split open. Staff members and volunteers carefully look over the Bundle when it comes back to the library and have been instructed to pull this Bundle if any of the instruments are starting to look worn.

I wanted to have books that would encourage caregivers to sing to their child and both selections — The Babies on the Bus and If You’re Happy and You Know It — absolutely encourage singing. I always wanted to highlight a more traditional song and show caregivers how that could be expanded, which both books do as well. These are easy songs for caregivers to add their own verses to!


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated eight times. Music is one of our most popular requests!

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/27

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

Book
This was another Caldecott eligible book, so I won’t be talking about it on the blog.

Props
Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Like a Spinning Top — Alison Faith Levy
Jumping & Counting — Jim Gill
Blast Off — Joanie Leeds
Popcorn — Mr. Jon & Friends
Butterfly — Laura Doherty
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Like a Spinning Top is a song tailor-made for gross motor practice. The kids and I wound up spinning, jumping, wiggling, and flying with such glee — it’s a great way to start off a program. Afterwards, we did some more jumping with Jim Gill’s Jumping and Counting. The kids never get tired of jumping and I love that this song also incorporates a math activity with some counting practice!

Our last song before I brought out the prop activity for the day was Blast Off. There are a lot of countdown/rocketship songs in children’s music and for good reason — the kids never get tired of them! I also like to pass on the caregiver tip that this is a great opportunity to lift smaller friends up in the air for maximum blast off potential.

Then it was time for the scarves to come out! For Popcorn, we bunched up the scarves and popped them into the air. And for Butterfly, the caregivers helped the kids pinch the middle of their scarves to turn it into a butterfly. Talk about some great fine motor skill practice! This program really does it all.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Baby Bundles: Food

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • My First Book of Food by Eric Carle ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Picnic Basket Fill and Spill Toy ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $47.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

Another washable toy from Melissa and Doug! Each of the food items from the Picnic Basket Fill and Spill makes a sound when you shake the item — perfect for little hands to explore with. I did have one caregiver comment that they wished the lunch was healthy, but I interpreted the drink as juice and not soda.

I love Eric Carle’s My First Book of Food but it is a really difficult book to keep in good condition with the dual pages to turn. It works best in a kit. And Yummy Yucky is a food board book classic — a must-have for any collection!


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated six times.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/20

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

Book
The book I used is Caldecott eligible, so I won’t be commenting on it.

Props
Parachute!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Wake Up & Shake Up — Rolie Polie Guacamole
Let’s Get Together — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Head Shoulders — Mr. Jon & Friends
The Shimmie Shake — The Wiggles
Under a Shady Tree — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I started today with a song with great energy — Wake Up, Shake Up — to get the kids and caregivers up and moving. My instructions to the group was to stretch and free dance during our opener. Afterwards, I launched into Let’s Get Together which I really like using for imaginative play. The songs asks friends to pretend that they’re different animals and my friends never disappoint me with their creative movements.

I rounded out with a new rendition of a classic song, Head Shoulders. This song is a great way to draw in caregivers since it’s something that they recognize. It’s also fun for kiddos because it challenges them to practice body identification in a fun and engaging way.

Then, it was time for our giant parachute! We did two songs with this prop (both Shake, Shimmy classics). The first was The Shimmie Shake which lets the kids get all their energy out by shaking the parachute as fast as they can. Towards the end of the song, the group does tend to get tired, but our next activity always gets their re-energized quickly.

During Under a Shady Tree, I let the kids run underneath the parachute while caregivers raise and lower the chute over them. This is everyone’s favorite parachute activity and I make sure to always include a part of the program where they can explore underneath. Today, I wound up having to join them underneath when I had a few friends who wanted to hold the parachute down.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Baby Bundles: Farm

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Can You Say It Too? Moo! Moo! by Sebastian Braun ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Musical Farmyard Cube ($19.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $45.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

I love the idea of soft toys; they are so wonderful for babies. But to have this kit, I think you have to have access to a washing machine for cleaning. My library has a washing machine (hooray!), so I felt confident in choosing the Melissa and Doug Musical Farmyard Cube. If you push each animal’s nose, they say their animal sound and sing a little song. Great fun and it helps expose children to music.

This is another Bundle where I choose popular books to include with the kit to double a patron’s chance of seeing the books. I absolutely adore the Can You Say It Too? series and they are always checked out here. I also think that Farmyard Beat is one of the more success picture book to board book adaptations.


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated seven times. We love farm animals, haha!

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/13

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
I like to think of this book as wonderful for a lot of reasons: STEM connections (five senses), diversity, music & movement, and just plain fun. I had a very large crowd today and they really got up to show me how they had the rhythm. As I read this book, I also like to talk about different ways that the children are moving and try to vary my movements. I want everyone to know that it’s okay to move differently from each other!

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
The More We Get Together — Rolie Polie Guacamole
Everybody’s Jumping — Aaron Nigel Smith
Heartbeat — Laura Doherty
The Shaker Song — Rocknoceros
I Know a Chicken — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Both The More We Get Together and Everybody’s Jumping have instructions in the lyrics which are helpful for caregivers to follow if they get stuck for ideas on how to move. I thought that the familiar The More We Get Together was a great opening song for storytime since it gave the grown-ups immediate buy-in. Everybody’s Jumping is always a kiddo favorite because of its high, high energy. Afterwards, I played Heartbeat as a slower song before transitioning into our prop songs.

I used a new song — The Shaker Song — to start the prop time this class. This song probably would have worked better as a second song, since the kids were too involved with shaking to listen to the directions of the song. I’ll have to remember that for next time. And then, an old favorite made its debut for the first time this summer: I Know a Chicken. This is my favorite way to have kids practice self-regulation!

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)