Thursday, March 06, 2014

Mods for Storytime When Pregnant

I'm currently 6 months pregnant, visibly showing, and starting to have some difficulty getting around. Mostly I'll go to lean against a counter and it's much closer than I think it is. Or I try to squish between cars in a parking lot and my stomach doesn't suck in and I don't squish anymore. So far I can still touch my toes (I've been told that will go away).

As I was lamenting to my husband that every week "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" gets a teeny bit harder and I'm not sure I will make it to the end of the storytime session, he suggested I skip that song. Let's all pause to note in his naive, pre-fatherhood days, that he thinks you can just skip head, shoulders, knees, and toes without a full on toddler riot. I've been brainstorming solutions and before last week I had: just wave in the general direction of my feet and hope everyone knows what I mean.

Last weekend though I was at the Alaska Library Association annual conference and joking about this with another librarian who had a great solution. (Apologies because it was an off the cuff conversation between sessions and I can't remember who suggested this.)

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes becomes Head, Shoulders, Knees and Hips!

Of course you need to change nose (in "eyes and ears and mouth and nose") to lips to maintain the rhyme structure. (DUH, rhyme structure is very important to toddlers, helps build phonetic awareness, and soothes the feelings of OCD librarians who need the rhyme too). However you don't want to say "mouth and lips" because that has you pointing to your mouth twice in a row. Boring! Thus "eyes and ears and nose and lips" works perfectly.

If you're a children's librarian, you're nodding along with me (and humming under your breath). If you're not a children's librarian, you've probably stopped reading. Or are totally confused that I just put that much time into this.

I haven't had to do any other mods for storytime yet for pregnancy. The next thing to go might be the little bitty storytime chair because we have a rhyme that has you jump out of your seat. It's harder when you're large, pregnant, and sitting on a small stool about 8 inches off the ground.

This morning in toddler storytime (here called Lapsit) we did Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes and followed it with Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Hips. The moms laughed at the explanation why and some of them who are further along than me looked grateful. The kids are always just happy to sing and dance. And we felt very jaunty ending our song with our hands on our hips.


Unknown said...

That's a great modification! When I was very pregnant I did a story time for a field trip of 4 year olds. Afterwards a mom, who I knew, told me that she could see the baby moving around! Pregnancy is an interesting state. Congratulations, btw!

Kalen Jones said...

I could touch my toes throughout my pregnancy (I wound up more wide than round), but we do a lot of jumping in storytime, so I wound up kind of bouncing up and down on the balls of my feet. The last few weeks, it was more like barely bending my knees. I like your modification, it sounds like a great solution!

Anne said...

My main problem with storytime during my pregnancy was that I kept running out of breath while I was singing!