Flannel Friday: What color is your underwear?

Our story time theme this week was Underpants, so we had stories all about underwear.  For my flannel story I decided to adapt the book What color is your underwear? by Sam Lloyd.  On its own this is a really cute book.  It has lift the flap pieces that reveal what color underwear different animals are wearing.  The book has rhyming text, but we left that off and just asked each animal 'what color is your underwear?' and once revealed the kids shouted out the color.
I did preface this book with a rule that we should never ask people what color their underwear is, but since our story has animals it is ok to ask them.  (I also prefaced the entire story time with our number one rule that we NEVER show ANYONE our underwear.)

So, this is an easy one when you have the kids helping.  Just ask each animal, 'what color is your underwear?' and then reveal it on the board.  There are several animals, I used the some ones from the book in case I want to use it in the future with the text from the book.  But, you could use any animals that you want.  And looking at it now I really wish I had spiced up the undies some.  How did I forget the glitter?
Here is the horse, turtle, crocodile, and spider.  I gave the spider a web to hide behind, but in the book she is in a cupboard.

On the other side of the board we have the cow, sheep, and elephant.  

Here they are showing off their underpants.

And surprise!  Elephant John forgot to put his on!

The looks on the kids faces when they realized the elephant had no underpants was priceless.  I ended the story by say, 'Oh well, he is an elephant and doesn't need to wear underpants anyway!'

This week's round-up is being hosted by Meghan at Busy Crafting Mommy.  You can find links to all of the past round-ups with Anne at Sotomorrow, or you can click the Flannel Friday link at the right to find all posts on Pinterest.

Underwear in the library!

I finally did it, an entire story time dedicated to Underwear!  It was a lot of fun too.  I was a bit worried about offending some people, but all of the parents seemed to enjoy the humor of our theme as opposed to being offended.  We featured the rarely used letter U for Underpants.  I was impressed with my little toddlers as they came up with words like Umbrella, Up, and Underwear.  Once our theme was announced I told them that there was a very important rule, we NEVER show ANYONE our underpants.  Of course they were welcome to tell me if they did wear underpants, which many were excited to share.  I also took the opportunity to plug our collection materials for potty training for anyone who might be interested in wearing underpants.

The first book that we read was Aliens love underpants by Claire Freedman.  This is a cute book about why your underpants may go missing - aliens like to take them!  The story is told in rhyme, though sometimes it is a bit stretched.  The whimsical illustrations are very colorful and feature aliens doing all kinds of silly things with the underpants.  One great feature of this book is its end papers (any KSU alums out there?).  There are all sorts of colorful undies to look at on the end pages of this book.  That in itself was a fun thing for the kids.  This author also has a book titled Dinosaurs love underpants, which is just as silly, but ends with the dinosaurs killing each other in a war over underpants - good for the cavemen, not for story time.

Our second book was Brian Sendelbach's The underpants zoo.  Another cute book with rhyming text, this one features a zoo where all of the animals wear underpants.  I like this silly story that features lions, elephants, and monkeys in colorful underpants.  A favorite was the crocodile in pink frilly undies and the penguins wearing icicle laden boxers.

The final underpants story was What color is your underwear by Sam Lloyd.  This a a fun lift-the-flap book, but I turned it into a flannel board.  The book would be great on its own, but with the toddlers I have found flannel boards are a big hit and this book lent well to that.  I did have to preface this book with another rule: we never ask people what color their underwear is.  But, since our story has animals, it is ok.  So, then I had all of the kids help me ask each animal, 'what color is your underwear?'  Then they would tell me the color.  The best part was the confused faces at the end when the elephants forgot to put his underwear on!  You can read more about the flannel board here.

Since there are really no good songs about underpants that I can use in story time, we just did some favorites and silly songs.  We sang Row, row, row by the Old town school of folk music.  This is a great re-make of the classic where the kids row, twist, bounce, rock, and tickle in their boats.

We re-visted The Wiggles' Shake your sillies out from a few weeks ago.  Kids don't mind repeating, especially when they get to use the shaker eggs.

I did make up an underpants-ish song.  We turned Head, shoulders, knees, and toes into Head, shoulders, knees, and underpants.  And the second verse was eyes and ears and mouth and underpants.  This got lots of giggles from the kids as well as the parents.

Our final song was Sue Schnitzer's All the fish.  This is a fun song with various water creatures and each verse ends with a literal 'splash!'  One adorable little boy burst into giggles and jumped with each splash.

This week's craft was a cute peek-a-underpants sheep that I found.  The original craft can be found here at librarianmade.com.  There was no template that I could find, so I made my own sheep.  Here are the pictures, you may be able enlarge it to use.


Flannel Friday: Teddy

This week's Flannel Friday story is an adaptation of Leslie Patricelli's book Binky.  Binky is a cute board book (a favorite of my 2 year old son) about a cute baby who is looking all over for his binky.  My story time theme this week was Bedtime for Prince and Princess, so I changed the book some to fit that.  I turned the baby into a prince (a baby prince) and instead of looking for the binky he is instead looking for his teddy bear.
The little prince.  He flips over to a happy prince.  There is velcro on his diaper to hold him on the board.

Since board books are quick and simple, I was able to sequence this one out on the flannel board.  I put all of the objects/people that baby goes to when looking for his binky on the board.  Then, I just went right down the line asking ... Where is teddy?  Is teddy behind the couch?  No.  In the cereal?  No.  In the potty (hope not)?  No.  Who has teddy?  Fishy? No. etc. until the end.
Here is the couch, cereal bowl, potty chair, fishy, dog, mom, dad, rug, and chair.

But, when we got to the end there were no items on the board and we still had not found teddy!  So, of course, the little prince threw a little fit.  And then...
The teddy bear was actually borrowed from my 5 in the bed flannel set, he is the 'little one.'

I turned the board around and there was teddy, in bed where he belongs!
Happy little prince!

If you wanted, you could do this without going in order.  The kids could suggest where to look and as long as teddy is on the back of the board you will still have a crying fit before flipping it over.  If you do flannels where they look for items a lot it maybe fun to have the surprise of not finding anything until it is flipped around.

This week's Flannel Friday round-up can be found with Katie over at Story Time Secrets, past round-ups with Anne at Sotomorrow, or you can click on the Flannel Friday button at the right to see us on Pinterest.

The Royals at Bedtime

This week the secret title of my story time was 'Royal Pains at Bedtime' but that didn't sound very nice (it is just amusing for those of us with kids).  So, for my story time friends our theme was Bedtime for Prince and Princess.  We featured the letter B for Bedtime for Prince and Princess since we had already used P during Penguin week.  After planning for this theme I realized that I should have saved it since the Summer Reading Program has a night time theme this year, but oh well.  I was really amused how many kids told me that they go right to bed and stay there all night.  I could hear all of the parents muttering about how their child was lying :)

The first book that we read was The prince won't go to bed by Dayle Ann Dodds.  This book is a little longer than I usually read for the 2's and 3's.  I ended up skipping a few pages because the story worked without them.  It was great for my Family Time group that is more of a 4 and 5 crowd.  This is the story of a prince that just will not go to bed.  They try a bath, pudding, extra mattresses, fluffier pillows, a lullaby, but nothing works.  Luckily, his sister is there to realize they were forgetting one specific thing from his routine.  I really like the rhyme and repetition of this book and there is a phrase 'Wah, wah, wah, I will not go to bed!' that the prince repeats a lot.  I had all of the kids do this part, but I made them first promise that they will not repeat it to their parents at bedtime.
Our second book was Naomi Howland's Princess say goodnight.  This is a sweet bedtime story about how a princess gets ready for bed.  She does many of the things typical children do, like take a bath, have a snack, brush her hair, have a lullaby, etc. just in a much fancier manner.  This was good for talking with the kids about bedtime routine and what they do to get ready for bed.  This book also had great rhyme along with fanciful illustrations.

The final story was a flannel board that I adapted from Leslie Patricelli's board book Binky.  I love Leslie Patricelli's board books.  They are a favorite at my house.  The bold, simple illustrations are great for toddlers and her subject matter, style, and language are so easy for the little ones to relate to.  Binky is about a baby who is looking all over for his binky only to discover that it is in his bed, right where it belongs.  Since many of my story time friends are past the binky stage, we had him looking for a teddy instead and I gave him a crown and called him a prince.  You can read more about the flannel board here.

Since lullaby songs are not very exciting to use for story time, I instead used songs that had napping and resting.  We sang Laurie Berkner's We are the dinosaurs since the dinosaurs march, eat, rest, and roar.  We also sang Berkner's version of the Goldfish because the goldfish take lots of naps in between swimming, showering, brushing teeth, and biking.

I threw in Carole Peterson's I like my hat just for fun.  I needed a song to use with our scarves and I figured a hat and crown are similar, not that it really had to go with the theme.

Our craft this week was a pop-up Prince or Princess.  I gave each kid a royal purple card cut to look like a bed.  They accordion folded a strip of card stock and used that to attach the prince or princess inside of the bed.  Then, when the covers are lifted the little royal pops out of bed.  The kids had crayons and stickers to decorate the royals and their beds with.


Flannel Friday: My Froggy Valentine

While it is probably late for Valentine's flannel stories, I just had to re-share this one.  For the Valentine edition of Flannel Friday Miss Cate at Storytiming shared her flannel version of Matt Novak's My froggy valentine.  I ran across it last week when looking for something to use for my Valentine theme this week and it was too cute to pass up.  Also, if you happen to need a Valentine flannel for next week and have a frog dye-cut you could probably whip up your own version fairly quickly.
This story is a cute take on the story of the Princess and the Frog.  We did not actually have the book at my library (nor did any libraries I had access to though ILL) so I had to modify some and based my re-telling on Cate's post and reviews that I could find for the book.  All of the flannel pieces have 2 sides, so when you say 'Poof' (or whatever you want to use) you flip them over (which is why this one is actually made of flannel).  Also, Polly has some kissing lips that you put on each frog as she kisses him.  As I told it:
Princess Polly was lonely and she decided that she really wanted to meet a prince.  The problem was that she spent most of her time down at the pond, so all she met were frogs.
One day she was telling the frogs about how lonely she was and how much she wanted to meet a prince.  The frogs informed her that they were, in fact, princes under spells that could be broken if she kissed them.  Being that Polly knew her fairytales, she decided to give it a try, so she puckered up and gave the first frog a BIG kiss.  (Here I had all of the kids make kissing sounds).  And, poof!  The frog turned into...
... a hairy beast!  'You are not a prince,' cried Polly, 'you are a hairy beast!'
'True,' replied the Hairy Beast, 'but I am Prince of all hairy beasts!'
But, Polly was not looking for the Prince of Hairy Beasts so she decided to give the second frog a kiss.  (Kissing noises from the kids again).  And, poof!
... an ogre!  'You are an ogre, not a prince' said Polly.
'No, I am the prince of ogres,' replied the Ogre.
But, Polly was not looking for an Ogre prince, so she went ahead and kissed the third frog.  (Kissing sounds).  And, poof!
... a toad stool!  (From what I could find the book has a goblin here, but I already had decided that I wanted a toadstool.  Not sure why, maybe to much Mario Bros as a kid?  Either way he is my favorite and got lots of  'awwwws' from the parents.)  'Let me guess,' said Polly, 'you are prince of the toadstools?'
'Yep,' said the Toadstool, 'marry me?'
'No thanks,' said Polly.
She turned to the last frog.  At this point she was really sick of kissing frogs, but there was only one left so why not try.  She puckered up... (kissing sounds) and, poof!

Princess Polly turned into a frog!  'You are in luck,' the last frog told her, 'for I am Prince of the Frogs and you can be my princess!'
And the two frogs hooped happily away together!

Anyone feel like kissing a frog?

You can find this week's round-up all the way across the pond (if you are in the States like I am) with Library Quine at Loons and Quines @ Librarytime, a history of round-ups with Anne at Sotomorrow or you can have a visual feast of flannel at Pinterest by clicking on the Flannel Friday button to your right.

Happy Valentine's Day!

This week at story time we celebrated Valentine's Day a week early.  Next week the actual holiday falls in the middle of my story time week and since our craft is a valentine card we went ahead and did the theme this week so that the kids can give their card to someone.  So, our letter of the day this week was V, for Valentine, Van, Vest, and Violet (a color and a name!).

The first book this week was all about hearts.  Micheal Hall's My heart is like a zoo is an adorable book that features lots of animals made for various sizes of hearts.  There are lots of animals depicted in this simple yet bold style.  The kids seemed to like this one and we were able to take a break from time to time and make animal sounds.  There were also a few 'silly' pages with hippos drinking apple juice and walruses lounging on towels that the kids enjoyed.
Our second book was Felicia Bond's new book Big hugs, little hugs.  This is a very simple and sweet story all about hugs.  It shows different animals hugging and different ways of hugging.  With only a few words on each page this one is good for the toddlers.  It would also be a good book about opposites.
This week's flannel story was from the book My froggy valentine by Matt Novak.  I ran across this story at Storytiming when Miss Cate posted it for a Valentine edition of Flannel Friday.  I loved the innovative use of the backs of the frogs so I added it in this week.  The story is about a princess that is looking for a prince.  She lets some frogs talk her into kissing them when they promise that they will turn into princes.  However, they are not human princes as Polly finds out after kissing them.  The real surprise is at the end when Polly kisses the last frog and turns into a frog herself!  Cute surprise that the kids (and parents) seemed to enjoy.  You can read more about my version of the story here.

Not all of our songs this week were lovey-dovey, but we tried.  We did do a few such as If you love me and you know it.  I modified If you're happy and you know it to sing:
If you love me and you know it wave hello,
If you love me and you know it wave hello.
If you love me and you know it then you really ought to show it,
If you love me and you know it wave hello.

Repeat with:
Give a Hug
Give a Kiss

We also briefly reference Valentine's Day with the song Counting valentines (to the tune of 1 little, 2 little, 3 little indians):
1 little, 2 little, 3 little valentines.
4 little, 5 little, 6 little valentines.
7 little, 8 little, 9 little valentines.
10 little valentines for you!

Then we sang it again only counting backwards.  We practiced our counting beforehand.  I had made up felt hearts to use as we sang, but instead opted to just count on my fingers since the song doesn't take very long.

Another song we did this week was Carole Peterson's Shake a friends hand.  This concept may have been a little above the 2 and 3's, but they made and effort to shake a friends hand, give high fives, scratch backs, and bump hips.  It was nice to see the parents getting involved too.

Just for fun was sang The Wiggles' version of Shake your sillies out.  We got out the shaker eggs for this one.

We ended story time this week with the song Skinnamarink.  I used Carole Peterson's version here.  It is nice and slow and goes through twice, so the kids get the hang of it but it doesn't go on forever.
Our craft this week was based on the book My heart is like a zoo.  I saw these adorable heart lions posted at Storytime ABC's.  I modified them so that they became cards with the message 'I love you, I'm not lyin'!'  (I have to say, my husband hated this pun and wanted me to put 'I love you and I'm not a tiger!' - too bad he is not in charge of story time!)


Flannel Friday: Pippa's Penguins

My flannel story this week is a version of Pippa's Penguins.  I first saw the story on the Rovingfiddlehead Kidlit blog (ironically the host of this week's Round-up), but it was originally written by Susan M. Daily and can be found on her website along with templates for the penguins.  I changed my story a little from Susan's story to better fit my style of story telling.  I started be asking who has seen the penguins at the zoo (our local zoo has a great penguin exhibit right at the front, so most kids have seen them).  For those who had not seen them at the zoo, we had penguins on our name tags so all of the kids could tell me what colors the penguins are.  So then I told them that our story was about a little girl who went to the zoo and love the penguins so much she asked grandma to draw her a picture of them when they got home.  First, grandma got the colors wrong...

Then she gave the penguins some odd patterns...

So, the little girl told grandma that a penguin looks like he is wearing a suit...

No grandma!  Not a bathing suit, a fancy suit...

Well, maybe not that fancy.  At this point I had the kids describe the penguins again for grandma, who finally got the picture right.

This week's Round-up can be found with Andrea at rovingfiddlehead kit lit. If you are looking for past round-ups you can find them with Anne at SoTomorrow.  You can also click on the Flannel Friday button at the right to see all Flannel Friday posts visually arranged on Pinterest.

Groundhogs, shadows, and shapes, Oh My!

Since we are celebrating Groundhog's Day today our story time theme this week was Shadows, although we featured the letter G for Groundhogs.  I was actually able to give a groundhog report to my group this morning.  In neighboring Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter.  However, here in the Buckeye State, Buckeye Chuck did not see his shadow and is predicting an early spring.  Give the mild winter we have already had, my bets are that we are experiencing an early spring to be followed by six weeks of winter :)

Anyway, our first shadow book was an illustrated version of Robert Louis Stevenson's My shadow.  I used the version that was illustrated by Penny Dale.  It has lovely illustrations of the boy and his shadow, showing them as they play and how the shadow changes.  It is great for introducing Groundhog's Day to the littler ones as most of them know what a shadow is and we can use the book to talk about how their shadows change, disappear, and are always connected to them.  This book did not go over well with my more wiggly Monday group, but the other groups seemed to enjoy it.

Our second book really had little to do with shadows, but It looked like spilt milk by Charles G. Shaw has lots of shadowy-ish shapes.  This book is always fun in story time because the kids like to guess what each shape is.  Most were easy for them, but there were a few challenging ones.  The great horned owl gave them all trouble, but one boy guessed a crow and another guessed a rocket ship - I liked the rocket ship.  The angel was also difficult.  A few guessed a butterfly which was also a very good guess.  I got them to see the angel by talking about making snow angels.
 For our last story I made up my own.  Groundhog books appropriate for preschoolers are hard to find so I created a flannel story called Groundhog's Shadow.  You can read all about how I made it here, along with the full version of the story.  Basically, little Groundhog is excited for his first Groundhog's Day and it warned by his mother that if he sees his shadow he needs to come back in and go to bed.  So, he pops up, but the shadow that he sees is not his.  So, he tries again (several more times in fact) until he sees his own shadow and then pops back down to sleep for six more weeks.

In addition to our books we also did a shadow activity.  I brought in an overhead projector and cut several different shapes from our dye cut machine.  They guessed what they were and then we all stood up to make our own shadows.  The kids waved to their shadow, had them jump, wiggle, and turn around before we told our shadows good-bye.

Our songs this week were just favorites of mine.  We sang Hap Palmer's Itsy bitsy spider.  This couples the traditional song with a second verse and adds in some spiders that crawl all over the kids.

Because I try to use scarves, bells, or shakers each week we got out the scarves for Johnette Downing's Shake your scarves.  This has simple motions to do with the scarves that the kids can easily follow along.

We ended story time with Tooty ta by Dr. Jean.  It had been awhile since I used this song, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.  It builds a new activity each verse and repeats all of them.  By the end you have your: thumbs up, elbows back, feet apart, knees together, bottoms up, tongue out, eyes shut, and you are turning around.  I have found that it is actually a decent thigh workout.  Younger kids had a little trouble in the middle, but most kept with it, especially when it came to sticking out their tongue.
 Our craft this week was super easy.  I gave all of the kids four dye-cut shapes along with popsicle sticks so that they could make puppets.  I showed them how they could take them home and use a flashlight to make their own shadow puppet story.  Some colored the puppets before taping on the stick.