Clean Books for Babies

Baby-Chew-Book2
Most everyone knows they should wash their baby’s clothes, bedding, and toys. We sterilize the bottles and of course bathe baby himself. But for some reason, we aren’t always mindful that his books might need cleaning too.

If your baby is creating conditions for things to grow in and on the books (and he probably is), then you need to think about baby’s health. Likewise, if there is a sick and contagious someone enjoying a book, you probably want to disinfect that book before you give it to your baby to enjoy. Another benefit of keeping your baby’s books clean is that it can help keep them in good condition so they can grow with your child.

So, what do you do? Unless we’re talking about bath books or cloth books, you can’t wash them in the same way that you would wash clothes or toys.

There are different options for cleaning books and toys that babies put into their mouths, but the most accessible and most affordable way is with a mild bleach solution. Here is the formula you’ll find on most health resources:

Add 15 mL (1 Tablespoon) household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) to 4 Litres (1 gallon) of cool water.

I want everybody in Books for Babies to know that the books I bring to the group are safe for babies to chew on; I clean all of my sample books after each session. Even so, a gallon of cleaning solution is too much even for me, especially since the solution will only be effective for about a week before you need to mix up a new batch. So if you want to make a small batch, that works out to a little less than a 1/4 teaspoon of bleach in 2 cups of water.

Some final tips:

  • Put the solution in a spray bottle to avoid spills.
  • Use the solution with a clean cloth to wipe down board books (they’re water resistant, not waterproof).
  • Let the books dry before putting them away.
  • If you are laundering cloth books, use the delicate cycle and let them hang to dry.
  • While it’s true that vinegar and similar cleaners can kill germs, the conditions needed for them to be effective as disinfectants are not friendly to books (see: not waterproof).

 

Books for Babies Edmonton program schedule:

hashtag: #books_for_babies

 

3,2,1, Fun! Blasts Off the Fall Session

Elementary Pupil Counting With Teacher In Classroom

3,2,1, Fun! is back for the fall session. As always, our programs are free. We are now located at Brander Gardens School on Tuesday afternoons, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. We are excited to see the return of some of our families from previous sessions, and are eager to meet some new families from the Brander Gardens area.

Some things that you can look forward to this fall from 3,2,1, Fun!:

Books we will be sharing:

  • A Perfectly Messed up Story by Patrick McDonnell
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
  • The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett

Songs and Rhymes that we be sharing:

  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
  • 5 Little Pumpkins
  • The Color Song
  • Mix and Stir
  • If You Are a Ghost

Activities and Games we will explore:

  • Creating a Story Board to bring our favourite stories to life
  • Constructing our own game of BLAST OFF! using items you already have at home
  • Baking and decorating delicious cookies in all shapes, sizes, and colours
  • Creating our own puzzles and matching games using calendars and our imaginations
  • Exploring the colours, smells, and textures of Fall through a scavenger hunt and a hide and seek game

This is just the start of the fun and learning that is set to happen Tuesday afternoons at Brander Gardens School! Please join our community of learners as we explore numeracy through songs, stories and play!

Visit our website for more information about the 3,2,1, Fun! program.

hashtag: #321Fun

 

Lullabies

Lullabies belong to the instinctive nature of motherhood

– Richard Dubrill

Mom & BabyLullabies have been sung to children for centuries. Wherever you travel, women all over the world use the same tones, the same kind of pattern for singing to their babies. The sound of the lullaby mimics movement in the womb. It is a very basic song with a few words being repeated over and over.

The sound is meant to be sleep inducing and is rooted in love, tenderness and caring.

One of the earliest lullabies recorded chastises a baby for waking the house with its crying and threatens the baby with being eaten by a demon if it does not shut up right now.

An African lullaby sung in Western Africa begins with Rock, Rock, Rock and warns the baby that if it cries it could be eaten by a hyena. It is hard to believe that a lullaby with such dark undertones could be soothing to a baby.

The most popular lullaby, Rock a bye Baby, also tells of how the baby and cradle will drop from the bough of a tree. There are a couple of claims as to how the song began:

In American history, it is said that a young pilgrim boy saw a Native Indian mother suspend her baby from the branch of a tree. The wind was able to rock the cradle and put baby to sleep. The rhyme was known as “Hush a bye baby!”

In English history, a family with eight children, who lived in a massive Yew Tree that was 2000 years old, carved out a tree bough that was used as a cradle for their children.

Lullabies that are sung to a baby are a natural and effective way to bond and develop the human connection. It can be done through eye contact, loving touches and cuddling. Lullabies calm, comfort and help babies and their mothers feel secure.

The lullabies that are sung at Rhymes that Bind have changed from the traditional “Hush a bye Baby.”

Rock a Bye Baby

Rock a bye baby on the treetop,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And Daddy or Mommy will catch you, cradle and all.

Another popular song is to the tune of Michael Row your Boat Ashore:

Let’s Be Quiet

Now it’s time for us to rest
Let’s be quiet
Now it’s time for us to rest
Let’s be quiet

You’ve been busy all day long
Let’s be quiet
You’ve been busy all day long
Let’s be quiet

Close your eyes for just awhile
Let’s be quiet
Close your eyes for just awhile
Let’s be quiet

(hum a verse )

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what are

ABCs

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Now I know my ABC’s next time won’t you count with me?
Cat’s and dogs and baby sheep
When I count I fall asleep

 

Come and join us for some lullabies at one of the Rhymes that Bind programs throughout the city. Find more information about Rhymes that Bind and our Edmonton program schedule here

hashtag: #RTB_Edm

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving! What are YOU Thankful for?

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving, and the traditions and celebrations around it, are unique to every family. In mine it means gathering with as many family members as possible and lots of food – Chinese food at the local restaurant with my Grandma, turkey with my mom and dad, and turkey again with my in-laws. There’s lots of laughter and re-connecting.

Thanksgiving was originally created as a day to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest and all the other good things that had been received throughout the year. These days as we celebrate, how many of us stop and think about all the things we are thankful for?

Taking time to talk with your children about what you are thankful for can become a great tradition. A friend ensures they do this every year with an activity at the dinner table before the family eats. They each take five kernels of corn (I’m sure whatever vegetable you have will work) and take turns telling five things they are thankful for.

You can also make it into a game. Going around the table, each person gets a letter from the word Thanksgiving and has to come up with something they are thankful for that starts with their letter. For example, “T” could be “time with my family” and so on.

ThanksgivingBookIf you think your children might need some help understanding what they could be thankful for, Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland is a lovely little book you could read together to get things started.

I would love to hear the ways you give thanks with your family. Send me your ideas and have a wonderful, and thankful, Thanksgiving this year!

 

The Many Benefits of Crafts

iStock_000008336394XLargeDoing a craft together is a great way to build the skills needed for future lifelong learning, such as thinking skills, working together and continuous learning.

Crafts incorporate different learning styles, and are hands-on activities that build fine motor skills. By giving your child a project  that can be worked on together until completion, you are also working on setting goals and building confidence and self-esteem.

On the Alberta Prairie C.O.W. Bus, we have a variety of simple crafts you can do at home – all geared towards early learning and literacy.

One such craft is a do-it-yourself playmat. Try it in conjunction with your child’s favourite book. One of our favourite children’s books is I Went Walking, by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas, and it goes especially well with this project. This book is about a little boy who goes on a walk and sees many different animals along the way. It is simple, repetitive, rhyming and entertaining,

I went walking.
What did you see?
I saw a black cat
Looking at me.

The following is just an example of what you can do. Tailor it to your own child’s interests. You might even want to make up your own story to go with your mat!

When the playmat is finished, you can use it with toys you already have at home.

Craft1

You will need:

•  Plain cloth placemat or
other material such as pillowcase or tablecloth (the possibilities are endless)
•  Felt of various colours
•  Hot glue or fabric glue
•  Scissors
•  Paper and pencil for sketching

Optional:
Foam or felt letters to spell the title

Directions:

  1. Sketch out the setting on a piece of paper
  2. Cut out your felt pieces that go with the story
  3. Glue felt pieces onto placemat, then cut out and glue a path winding its way through the setting.
  4. Decorate with more felt as desired.

Craft2

Optional:

Draw, trace or print out play pieces from the story, then colour, cut and laminate (or use packing tape or contact paper). You might want to add Velcro to the backs of these pieces so they stick to the felt on the play-mat.

You want this to be a positive experience, so try to start simple. Don’t stress; have fun instead!

 

Alberta Prairie C.O.W. Bus information and schedule

hashtag: #ab_cow