By Meredith Lamothe

Hi there! I am the Lead Educator at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and also the host of Baby Storytime. I have a Bachelors Degree in Theatre from The University of Southern Maine and a Masters of Library and Information Science with a focus in Children’s Services from Simmons College.

I’m passionate about early literacy and excited to share information with you about our weekly Baby Storytime stories and activities. Join us for the next Baby Storytime which meets every Wednesday in the Museum's Primary Place exhibit at 9:45am.


We started with "Open Them, Shut Them," which we do every week. I thought I’d post the words here for anyone who doesn’t know this wonderful song/finger play.

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Give a little clap clap clap!

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Lay them in your lap

Creep them, creep them
Creep them, creep them
Right up to your chin chin chin!

Open up your little mouth…But do not let them in!

I love that one!

The reason we do this rhyme every week and why I will commonly use the same rhymes/songs/finger plays is because repetition is so important for babies and for early literacy! Even though we, as adults, may get tired of hearing the same rhyme/song over and over again–babies enjoy hearing the same things over and over again. They gain familiarity with the actions and words and are able to play along. They’re also learning vocabulary from those songs and rhymes and each time we sing the song or say the rhyme it is a little different and babies will always be getting something different out of our repetitions!


Our literacy tip today is about rhythm in rhymes or songs. Babies are learning to speak our language just as we would have to learn to speak a new language–to many of them our words sound like big long strings of sounds with no clear words or phrases. When we bounce babies on our laps while singing a song or saying a phrase or when we clap out words during a rhyme (this was tricky!) we’re helping to get them ready to read by knowing that a number of different words make up a sentence which makes up a story or song.

The rhyme that we clapped to was “To Market”
Here are the words:

To market, to market to buy a fat pig
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

To market, to market to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog

This is another fun rhyme about Rain!

Rain on the green grass,
And rain on the tree;
Rain on the house top,
But not on me!