Flannel Friday: 5 Hungry Ants

Since I still have food on the brain after yesterday's feasting, I give you one of my favorite food related flannel stories: 5 Hungry Ants.  I think that I first came across this several years ago on a PUBYAC post, but I have seen it many different places.  The rhyme goes:
5 hungry ants, marching in a line
Came across a picnic where they thought that they could dine.
They marched into the salad,
They marched into the cake,
They marched into the pepper, uh-oh, that was a mistake.

And of course the Aaah-chooing is very exaggerated and I throw one of the ants off of the board.  The kids and parents love this one.  I think I did it every week a few summers ago when the Summer Reading theme was bugs.  I thought that they would get sick of it but every time I pulled them out I could hear excited murmurs.

If you are looking for an archive of Flannel Friday round-ups you can visit here or if you just want this week's round-up you can go here.  If you want to see them all together on a highly addictive web-site you can click on the Flannel Friday button to the right.


Flannel Friday: Five in the Bed

Last week we did a sick theme in story time so we sang the song:
There were five in the bed and the little one said 'roll over, roll over.'
So they all rolled over and one fell out!

Repeat with 4, 3, 2, then...

There was one in the bed and that little one said 'I'm lonely.'
So they all got back in and fell fast asleep!

The first time I did this I just pulled the bears off of the board, but that was no fun because then they were 'falling out' from the middle of the bed.  So, I decided to try and rig it so that they would fall out.

I took a strip of felt and made sure that it was long enough to wrap around the flannel board.  It does not have to be really tight, you need to be able to make it move - plus, the felt stretches after a few uses.  I put velcro at the end to better help hold it together.  You place the bears on this strip so that as you sing you can pull the strip and they 'roll over.'

Then, I placed a craft stick at one end hoping that once they would get to the stick and it would separate the velcro from the flannel and they would pop off.

The bears did not 'pop' quite as well as I wanted.  It usually worked for the first one and the rest just bunched up and I had to pull them off.  So, if you have any ideas to make it work better, let me know.  Maybe felt bears with no velcro?  But then they may not move well...  Either way, they at least move to the edge of the bed :). 

Turkey Day

I have fallen a week behind in my posting.  I will be graduating from my master's program in a few weeks (YAY!!) so I have been a little busy finishing up things for that.  So, I will post what we did last week next week some time since this week was a Thanksgiving theme.  This week I abandoned the NYPL list and simply did Thanksgiving themed books.  Our letter of the day was T for Thanksgiving, Turkey, and Thursday - talk about getting a lot out of that one!

The first book we read was What is Thanksgiving by Harriet Ziefert.  This is a fairly good, informative book about Thanksgiving.  Little mouse asks questions (just like most of my story time friends) and gets a brief overview of Thanksgiving.  It is a great overview for a big crowd and it has lift-the-flap pages to add a little to the illustrations.

Our second book was Thank you Thanksgiving by David Milgrim.  This is a very simple, short book with a little girl who says lots of thank yous.  It is nice because you can talk about things you are thankful for, as well as how you tanks others when they do something nice for you.  Perfect for the theme.

The final book we read was Over the river: a turkey's tale by Derek Anderson.  This book was ok.  I think it may have been better if I sang the song.  I didn't because that makes it harder to talk about the pictures, but they seemed ok with it.

Turkey songs are really hard to find, but we dug up a few.  The Wiggles have a song called Turkey in the straw so we did that with shaker eggs.  I had the kids act like turkeys and then shake their eggs around, so that was fun.

We also sang Ron Brown's Turkey Trot (originally I had Dr. Jean's Gobble! Gobble! here, but that didn't go so well with the Monday crowd.)  This song has you trotting around like turkeys some more, but the music is really up beat and he tells you a few things to do, like pull your hands in and stick your wings out.

Our last song was Laurie Berkner's She'll be coming 'round the mountain.  This is a good song and it fit with the idea of relatives coming to visit.  We had lots of parents/grandparents singing along with this one and the actions are easy for the 2's and 3's.

We also did a fun flannel song.  I found a song called Did you ever see a turkey? that made a perfect flannel story.  I posted it on my blog here where you can see what we did.  The kids and parents all LOVED it!

The craft was a cute toilet paper roll turkey.  Luckily, we have a die cut for the hand print that made up the feathers.  The kids were too young to cut out their own hand print, but that could be fun with older kids.


Flannel Friday: Did you ever see a turkey?

This week's Flannel Friday post is what I plan to use for next week's story time. I'm posting a week early in case anyone else might want to use it. This is a really easy flannel to make, so if you need something but don't have much time this is a good one to use.

When looking for another song to use for my Turkey / Thanksgiving story time, I found this video:

Isn't she great? I knew right away this would be a fun flannel so, I made my own. The lyrics are:
Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey,
Who struts around the farm yard with feathers so bright?
With red ones and orange ones and yellow ones and brown ones,
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright.

So here is my turkey - Blogger turned it again :(

I decided to add a few extra rounds of the song with some different colors to spice things up. I made feathers that are bright colors:

Then we got really crazy and made feathers that have stripes, spots, sparkles, and a cow!


Wild, Wild, Animals

This week we had what I thought was a super fun story time.  I saw the book Dear Zoo on the NYPL list and knew that I wanted to use it in a story time - especially once I saw several flannelized versions of it!  So, our theme this week was Wild Animals.  I added the Wild so that the letter of the day could be W since we had already used an A this session with Apple week.  I am not opposed to repeating letters as they are random anyway, but if I can avoid it and feature a new letter I will do that.

The first book that I read is a new one by Jane Cabrera (I always love her books), this is her version of The wheels on the bus.  But, this isn't just any bus.  This bus is filled with WILD zoo animals.  So, I had all the kids sing along with me as we flapped like flamingos, chattered like monkeys, roared like lions, and slept like bush babies (they are SO cute in the book).  The book might be just a tad long, but since all of the kids were singing and doing the actions none of them seemed to mind.

Our second book was Farmyard beat by Lindsay Craig.  I happened upon this book one day when looking for something else and knew right away I wanted to use it in a story time.  This book features farm animals (ok, they are domesticated, but they act wild and no one complained) who all 'caught that beat.'  There is a nice rhythm that goes along with this story so you have to rap it instead of read it.  (Well, you could read it, but what fun would that be?  And, I think it would be really hard to avoid falling into the rhythm, it's that catchy.)  The illustrations are really great with big cute animals. 
The final book of the day was our featured book Dear zoo by Rod Campbell.  I turned this one into a flannel story and the kids seemed to enjoy it.  I had a box for each animal and I put the box up with the animal behind it.  Then I would give hints like this box came with some bananas, or this box was making a hissing noise.  This worked a little better with the family story time where the kids are a little older, but the 2 and 3 year olds enjoyed it as well.

We had several animal songs to go with our books.  One was Sue Schnitzer's Jump, jump, jump where the kids jump like kangaroos, slither like snakes, wiggle like worms, and soar like a jet.

I had another flannel that we did with the song 1 elephant went out to play.  I was inspired by Miss Mary Liberry's Flannel Friday post for this song that goes:
1 elephant went out to play
On a spider's web one day.
They had such enormous fun,
That they called for another elephant to come.
'HEY ELEPHANT!!!!!!' (We really yell this part because yelling in story time is one of my favorite things to do!)

You repeat with 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 elephants.  Then, once all six are up there I say 'what do you think happens when 6 elephants are on a spider's web?  It starts to wiggle, and wobble, and...' and I shake the web until all the elephants fall off.

We also sang Laurie Berkner's I know a chicken.  This is always fun with shaker eggs.  Sometimes I do cut this one short because it is over 3 minutes long and 2 year olds can only do so much egg shaking before they get bored and start throwing their eggs :)

Our final song was All the fish by Sue Schnitzer which I find is always a crowd pleaser.  This song has fish, ducks, frogs, crocodiles, seagulls, and kids swimming and slashing in the water so there is a lot of action for the kids.

The craft this week was a fairly simple lion that I found here.  We changed it a little to make it simpler.  Thankfully, we have Ellison circle dye cuts, so the kids got one big orange and one smaller yellow.  They also got to try out scissors and cut a mane for the lion.  It was pretty simple, but they kids all liked roaring for their lion.


Flannel Friday: Dear Zoo

This week my story time theme was Wild Animals, so we did the book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.  I have been planning my story times around the New York Public Library's list of 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know, and Dear Zoo is on that list.  I have seen this posted a few other times on Flannel Friday, but here is my version:

Sorry the animals are sideways, Blogger is acting funny today. 

I was so excited about my camel with his furry yarn, and then I realized that he has 5 legs.  Oops! :)

I think the kids really enjoyed this story (one little girl so much that she had to help me pull off all of the boxes!).  To add to the fun I would give them hints about what was in the box since my boxes are solid and you can't see through them.  For example, with the frog I told them that the box would not stop bouncing around, or with the monkey the box came with a bunch of bananas - although that one sparked a side conversation about how much they all liked bananas :)