It has been my privilege and pleasure to present a four week Baby Bounce Programme through the Clarence Valley Libraries in NSW in June 2016. Most people who work in Public Libraries are aware of, if not already delivering these library-based family literacy programmes (Baby Bounce, Rhyme Time and similarly named programmes for the 0-2 age group).
Professor Susan Hill has been an advocate and researcher into the outcomes of these programmes over the past decade. You can read her paper here on the studies she has conducted and the myriad of literacy outcomes achieved through these ‘live language’ programmes.
Here are some photographs from the sessions I have presented, with an accompanying commentary.
- Mentoring: Here we are in a photo shoot with our babies. A key component in teaching rhymes and songs is demonstrating positive actions and interactions that can be easily learnt and applied in a home setting, and offering parents and carers accompanying written resources to enhance their skills.
2. Modelling: “Clap hands, clap hand till Daddy comes home.” Parents and carers are children’s first teachers, and what better way to learn than through songs and rhymes.
3. Active Listening: “All fall down!” As well as learning concepts such as up, down, high, low, fast and slow, babies extend their vocabulary, learn how to identify rhyming patterns and experience the thrill of anticipating a rhyme’s climax.
4. Integration: ‘But let the little brumby go bare, bare, bare.” Sharing examples of how we can integrate rhymes and songs into baby’s daily life, such as bath time, change time, sleep time and food time .
5. Co-operation: “Here is baby’s belly-button, round and round it goes.” When older children are familiar with the rhyme they actively participate in discovering the body parts mentioned in the rhyme for themselves.
6. Body Awareness: “The Moon is round as round can be.” Skin to skin contact in a gentle rhyme that that teaches about facial features, the senses and shapes.
7. Trust, Intimacy and Love: Through repeated performance of rhymes and songs by the parent or carer, babies learn to forge bonds of trust, develop intimacy and experience the joy of loving and being loved.
8. Music-Making and Movement: Babies learn that holding something and shaking or striking it can create a sound. Repeating that movement creates music. Rhymes also have a beat that they can clap their hands and kick their feet too.
9. Engagement: Babies are active learners and active listeners. They learn through their senses and from the moment they are born they are interpreting their environment and who is in it. They form strong bonds with their carers and long before they can talk are actively communicating with those around them. The rhythm of walking and talking is a natural one for babies.
10. Community: Babies are part of our community and enjoy listening to music, experiencing rhymes and expressing joy through active participation like older children and adults do.
Photos by Roman W. Schatz
With Thanks to Katrina Shillam from Clarence Valley Libraries, NSW Australia.