better than playing in traffic: activities for babies in the library

I am always in pursuit of cool sensory things for the Baby storytime group which I work with, for two reasons: 1. It is really hard to do cool things with babies...everything is a choking or poisoning hazard. 2. I feel because of reason #1, this group gets overlooked a little in the Library world.

So, I decided to dedicate some time to come up with cutesie things I could do/use with the babies. I came up with two ideas. The first is not a new idea, it is something I actually learned about a million years ago when I was a daycare/preschool teacher. When I worked with infants we used to make these cool water shakers, which the babies always loved and which kept their attention. These were also fun for the infants learning to roll over and crawl. They would bat the bottles around and try to chase them. These shaker bottles are super simple to make; the instructions are as follows:
  • Just take any empty water bottle, wash it out and rip off the labels. (If you are having a problem getting the label glue off, soak the bottles in hot soapy water--filling the water bottles up with water so they sink to the bottom of the sink is a good idea!)
  • Once cleaned, fill up the water bottles half and half: half water and half Caro Syrup (light corn syrup). The corn syrup slows down the motion of the glitter you add, giving it a cooler effect.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of sparkles, glitter, whatever. As you will see in the pics, I experimented with different colors (and even amounts of stuff--less is more, I found).
  • Once done filling the bottles, make sure to twist the caps as tight as possible, then hot glue gun around the lids of the bottles, thus insuring that the bottles won't leak.

The other project I am working on are going to be sensory mitts. I have huge bags of great northern beans and lentils that I found while cleaning my pantry, and not knowing how old they are and also not wanting to waste them I brought them to work with me. I purchased a half dozen pairs of children's mittens from the dollar store, which I will fill up with the beans/lentils so that the babies can feel different textures during the sensory section of our story time. Working on finishing those gloves this week!

"Shaken, not stirred," a view from the side.

All 8 shakers I have made so far.

A side view of the skaken shakers! I love how the corn syrup helps suspend the glitter in the liquid!


Okay, that is about the coolest thing EVER! With a 3 yr old and a 10 month old, I am going to give these a try tomorrow.

Love it!!!
Thanks Michele. Hope the chitlins enjoy!

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