Friday, 30 November 2018

All Aboard!

 Baby Book Club explored new territories this morning as we took up our new quarters in the sensory room. The babies weren't phased in the slightest by the darkish, reddish light and made a beeline for all the new things they just had to try out: the blackout tent, the foam balls, the bean bags, the skittles!
We were a bit distracted in our reading, but that's all right. We still got a good helping of Car Car Jeep Jeep and we did some excellent singing. We then moved on to our craft and play session, drawing a collective city with roads, playgrounds, train tracks, trees and resident cats for our toy cars to drive around. We enjoyed naming things and colours and practising with markers and crayons. we noticed the latter didn't taste particularly well, no matter their colour.
As promised, here are the links to the videos and songs.
Until next time, team!

The Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang song! 
Drive My Car by the Beatles: 
For an action-packed day at ‘Digger School’, watch Here Comes A Digger: 

Friday, 16 November 2018

New Recruits: Baby Book Club is Back!

Thanks to all who came along to our first Baby Book Club of the new school year! It was lovely to see veterans coming back and new recruits joining in the fun. We've added a few things to our regular schedule and you can now expect songs! tickling rhymes! teddies!
To kick us off this year, we revisited a favourite of babies across the world: Chris Haughton's A Bit Lost. We loved repeating 'uh-ho' when Little Owl falls out of the nest and mimicking his bumpy way down to the forest floor. And we agreed that Squirrel's ideas of what a Mammy Owl might look like were just hilarious. We also practised our evil laughter, just because.

We rounded up the session with some craft-making and put our fine motor skills and our imagination to good use: gluing, placing, taping our baby owls together... and pretending they were lollies to lick!
Thanks again everyone and well done!

As promised, here are the links to the songs and videos.
See you in two weeks!

The Owl Song, by the Whizpops

The Old Owl Said, "Who?", by Eric Ode

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "birdsong fm"
Non-stop birdsong!

And A Bit Hungry, a tiny play inspired by A Bit Lost

Saturday, 23 June 2018


As part of Cruinniú na nÓg, over the last few weeks, Margaret Anne Suggs and myself have been running a series of writing and art workshops with children from Fourth Class in Inchicore. The result is 37 bespoke encyclopaedias written and illustrated by the kids all about the topic they are experts in: themselves.
Here is a wee video about the project: Ourselvesopedia!

#HEYDAYDublin #Inchicore @dublinsconnects @dublincitycouncil @creativeirl

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Baby Book Club is the Best

I've said it approximately 50 million times and a half, but really Baby Book Club rocks. We had this year's final session in Crumlin today and what a party that was!
We read (appropriately enough) Zeki Loves Baby Club, which I accidentally called 'Baby Book Club' throughout the reading. We sang in several languages. We delivered Awesome Baby Book Clubber certs. We ate cake.

This year, the babies and their grown-ups were game for every challenge I threw at them: outdoor scavenger hunts! messy play! football! yoga! The group survived chicken pox! snow! hurricanes!

To everyone who attended the sessions this year, to Liz and Jane who were such stars for running things smoothly, and to David who set it up in the first place, a massive thank you. It has been a pleasure and an honour seeing all the wee people grow and get more comfortable around books.

And now, for your delight, Baby Book Club in moving pictures.
Are you sitting comfortably?

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Bold Girls!

To celebrate the release of the new reading guide BOLD GIRLS by Children's Books Ireland, we are running a competition open to all in 4th, 5th and 6th here at SMGS Inchicore.
There will be goodies for all classes and pressies for the winners.
BOLD GIRLS is full of reviews of brilliant books featuring strong, clever girls. There are books for all ages and they can be enjoyed by boys and girls alike!

In the meantime, you can take a look at the BOLD GIRLS reading guide here and download it for absolutely free!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Babies Do... Waterplay

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "max's bath book"Inspired by Barbro Lindgren's books about Max, a toddler who loves putting things into other things, the babies had a brilliant time putting water into pots and pans, watering cans and jugs, and, let's face it, they loved getting the water out too.
We made some connections today between Max's and our bath-times; we predicted what would happen if Max's wagon got too full and we tried working where Max's cookie had disappeared to. Could Dog have anything to do with it?
The water play was a lovely, messy, but quiet affair. Most babies would have been happy to splash about all day.
No songs and videos this week, but a list of the baby and toddler storytimes run in nearby libraries. Those are a great way to spend an hour with your little one while someone else provides the entertainment. All involves songs and stories, some add crafts into the bargain. Some you must book ahead, all are free. Give it a go!

Dolphin’s Barn Library: Toddler and Carer Group
meet every Tuesday morning from 10.30am to 11.30pm.
Tel. 01 4540681

Rathmines Library: Toddlers at Twelve Parent and Toddler Group
meets every Monday from 12pm - 1pm. All welcome!
No booking required but places are limited.

Terenure Library: Toddler Time
every Tuesday from 10am - 11.15am.
Please note this event is run on a first-come basis and numbers are limited to 20 (children and adults).
Tel. 01 4907035

Walkinstown Library: Parent and Toddler group,
every Tuesday, 11.00am - 12.30pm.
Tel. 01 4558159

Ballyfermot Library: Baby Bounce
meets every Tuesday 11.00am - 12.00pm
Tel. 01 6269324 / 6269325

Tallaght Library: Toddler Time.
Every Wednesday at 11.30.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Music of What Happens

“The music of what happens,” said great Fionn, “that is the finest music in the world.”
He loved “what happened,” and would not evade it by the swerve of a hair.

This quote from James Stephens' Irish Fairy Tales, you could say, had something to do with the workshop I ran recently for the Mother Tongues Festival in Dublin. It was in French and it was LOUD. Young people (ages 3 to 8) and their grown-ups (no ages were mentioned) were invited to listen, to voice and to label the 'music of what happens'. 
We guessed what could be making the noises recorded on my phone. We told each other what cows say and how ambulances go. We recognised things and actions from sound words ('bang!' 'ha ha ha!' 'miaou!'). And we looked at orphan sounds: noises that don't have a word to describe them (like snow or skiing or dreaming). 
On the day, I was also lucky enough to meet Louise Williams, a radio reporter working for RTÉ Lyric FM's Culture Files (produced by Luke Clancy). We had a great chat about multilingualism, untranslatable words and the language of cows.
You can hear me and lots of other great contributions to the discussion on the show's podcast, right here.

All in all, we had a brilliant time and I'm delighted to be invited by South County Dublin Libraries to run this workshop again (on a multilingual basis this time, not just French) in Clondalkin Library on April 5th. Tickets are free but should be booked, I'm told, on this eventbrite page. This will celebrate nicely the 2018 edition of International Children's Books Day.
Come along!

(Photo credits: Sarah Ryan and Zoë Holman.)

Monday, 12 March 2018

World Book Day in SMGS!

Never mind the snow and the delays, we're always ready to celebrate reading and have fun with books in SMGS Inchicore! Check out how each class transformed their classroom door for the occasion...

Monday, 5 February 2018

Love is in the Air

What a ball we had at our latest Baby Book Club session! Thanks to two of Mary Murphy's books we were all about hugs and snuggles. We discovered how various animals kissed their mams and dads in A Kiss Like This and how to look after a baby in Did You Kiss the Baby? We practised blowing kisses and elephant snuggles and really enjoyed the cast of animal characters.

We then went fishing for love hearts in a big pile of confetti paper. Some babies found this challenging as they didn't like the feel of our fishing rods (pipe-cleaners) and were worried about what might be hiding in the paper, but they overcame their fear in the end and we had a mad run-around-throwing-paper-everywhere party. We also used the hearts to make bracelets (by stringing them onto the pipe-cleaners), and found innovative ways to wear the paper on our heads as hats or hair... or jellyfish.
One club member eventually decided that the hearts were treasure and we were pirates, so off we went over the 7 seas, shouting about hearties and singing yo-ho-ho and unfortunately crashing our ship. Thankfully, Paw Patrol was promptly called to the rescue...
See where baby books can take you?!

As promised, here are the links to the songs and videos to spread the love!

Barney! (sorry 😉

All You Need is Love by the Beatles

Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder
Beautiful Boy by John Lennon

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Beware, Babies, Here Be Monsters!

Baby Book Club is back after the Christmas break and this week it was all about food, glorious food! Or at least, about what a ravenous beast and some very, very, VERY hungry animals might consider eating, given half the chance...
We read Niamh Sharkey's Ravenous Beast, with a lit of roaring and nibbling and giggling along the way and as we progressed through the story, the bravest of us came up to feed the beast: a yellow house, a little mouse, a marmalade cat, etc. A good job the beast had an extendible tummy!
We then fed our very own monsters, using pictures from various catalogues. Interestingly, when faced with strange and wonderful options (think office furniture, baby cots, nappies, chairs, detergents...), all the babies went with images of actual food. They loved using the toddler-friendly scissors, and I suspect the parents did too: cutting paper is always so relaxing!

As promised, here are the links to the songs and videos:

The animated version of the Ravenous Beast

I Like Pie, I Like Cake by the Four Clefs

Food, Glorious Food - Oliver! By the Young People's Theater

Laura Linney - Please can I keep it? 

Check out this video about the Edible Book Festival