Baby Danced the Polka

Written by: Karen Beaumont

Illustrated by: Jennifer Plecas

Before Reading

Explore and Discover

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That's the lesson that this little baby's parents learn when they just can't get Baby to sleep because he just wants to dance with all of his animal friends! Talk to your child about the cover and illustrations, and bring their attention to different elements. Use prompts and questions like these to preface the story: 

What do we see on the cover? I see a baby dancing with some animals!

I think this book will be about a baby that likes to dance! Do you like to dance?

How do you dance the polka? I dance the polka like this...

As You Read

Build Language

You can use your voice and body to relay the meaning of words to your child. S/he may be too young for a vocabulary lesson, but these simple tips could help your child learn new words. For example, when reading "The barn was filled with yawning cows.", take a moment to give a faint yawn. You can also point to the different things that you are describing, pointing to Mama and Papa and the different animals as you read about them.


Make Predictions

Before you or your child opens a flap, ask your little one to guess what animal they will see dancing with Baby. Also, ask what sounds these animals make? Make connections to the story and how the characters are feeling by saying things like, "Look, Mama and Papa are so surprised because Baby is out of bed! Do you think Baby will go to sleep now? Why not? I think..."

After Reading

Make Connections

Talk to/with your child about the story and make your own comments if your child is not yet able to verbally respond. 

Did you like that story?

Mama and Papa were trying to get their chores done while Baby was sleeping. Why didn't Baby want to go to sleep? 

Let's go back and find all of the animals that Baby danced with!

Extending the Story

Stuffed Animal Dance Party



Of course this story would inspire a dance party because who doesn't love to dance? To make your dance party more fun, gather all of your child's favorite stuffed animals so that they can get in on the action! Try making one of these ribbon shakers to add a more visual experience for your youngster. For older children, create a ribbon for each of you, put on your little one's favorite song and have a ball! 


A Look at Child Development

Curious to learn why music has such a profound effect on a child's development? Here is a great article that lays it all out for you! We are especially interested in the Language and Literacy Skills section, which states how swapping out words in well-known songs and nursery rhymes is a great way for children to practice thinking and reasoning skills.