Lapsit, or joyous fun with babies

Lapsit is one of my favorite, favorite parts of this job. I get to be in a room full of smiling babies and caregivers and we always have so much fun singing, reading, dancing, and playing. We have Lapsit at my library once a month for 0-24 month olds. There can be a wide variation in ages and abilities, from true infant lapsiters all the way up to busy walkers. Lately we’ve had mostly walkers attending, which has made it a little easier, but I want to make sure parents know babies are welcome starting from birth.

I have been doing this program for a year now, and this fall I am finally feeling like I have it down. I have a pretty set schedule I use each month, and I repeat many of the same songs and rhymes. Almost everything I do in lapsit I learned from the talented Mary Frasier during my internship at the Monroe County Public Library. The links below are Mary herself singing the opening and closing songs I borrowed from her! I have also learned a ton from the amazing Melissa at Mel’s Desk. She knows so much about baby storytime! So here it is, my plan for a typical lapsit.

Opening Song: Hello Everybody

Bubbles and Music

Read a Book

Open Them, Shut Them (my own variation)

Song/Flannel Board

Fingerplay or Rhyme

Read a Second Book

Dancing (with scarves, bells, shakers, etc.)

Goodbye Song: Clap Your Hands

Craft or Play Time

I read two books, which sometimes I shorten, we always sing the same opening song, closing song, and do Open Them, Shut Them somewhere in the middle. We always blow bubbles to music at the beginning and dance to music at the end. In the middle I mix it up with different bouncing rhymes, songs, flannel boards, or nursery rhymes.

So there it is! Lapsit lasts about twenty minutes, after which parents usually stay around and chat. I have just started adding a more structured play or baby craft portion at the end which has been very successful. I’m getting better at squeezing those important literacy tips for the parents in as well. I’ll be sharing more specific plans for my lapsits in the next few weeks. How do you structure your lapsits? Any tricks or tips for us?

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