Not very flannely Friday

This week our flannel Friday task was to post something for the summer reading program 'dream big, read'. I have not made it far in planning for summer yet, but I have one idea to share.
We decided that for our summer decor we are going to use a camping theme. We will have a tent and a little campfire in the room for kids to play with. My plan is to make some flannel camp food that the kids can also play with. I am hoping to make some marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers, hotdogs, burgers, etc for the kids to play with at the 'fire'. I think I may even have a mini grill that we can pull out for them to cook on. We may even add a little cooler to store it in.
You can find all of today's round up at Rain Makes Applesauce: http://storytime.readingchick.com/?p=2164


Just one Elephant

This week kicked off our Spring storytime session.  Originally I was thinking that I wanted to use a circus theme, but I found that there weren't very many circus books that I liked for storytime.  I did have several elephant related songs and ideas, so I decided to go that route.  But, again, there were few books that stood out to me.  Then, during my searching I ran across two books that I really like, each having one elephant in the story.  So, our theme became 'Books with one Elephant.'  Our letter of the day was E for Elephant, since I plan on using the letter B later in the session.

Since this was the first week of a session I once again handed out the guidelines that I made up.  But, as many were repeat attenders I merely stressed the point that we are here for the kids so please keep side conversations for after storytime at the craft tables or the play area.  I also mentioned the fact that we do (not very) messy crafts just so the newbies are aware.

The first book that we read was I took my frog to the library by Eric A. Kimmel.  I like this book because it discusses polite library behavior in a fun way.  For example, the hyena the little girl brings to the library laughs so loudly in storytime that no one can hear.  And we learn that no matter how well behaved and elephant it just way too big for the library.  I also love the ending of this book, but I won't give that away :)

Our second book was Judi Barrett's Animals should definitely not wear clothing.  This is a fun silly story for the kids and I had them tell me on each page what happened when the animal put clothes on.  The porcupine rips his, the goat eats his pants, the hen has a horrible time laying eggs, and at the end we have an elephant in an embarrassing situation.

The last book we read was Big and little by John Stadler.  This is one that I had pulled for the circus theme, but it features an elephant who is going to climb a ladder and jump into a small glass of water.  Each page has flaps to literally unfold the elephants dilemma as she nervously climbs higher and higher.  This one also has a cute surprise ending.

We sang a few elephant songs, but most we just to get the kids up and moving.  The Wiggle song by Carole Peterson has no elephants, but the kids got to wiggle their hands, feet, hips, head, and whole bodies.

The Exercise party album has a song called You're an elephant.  We used the shaker eggs with this one because it has a good beat but there are several verses with no action for the kids.  They do repeat one part where they stomp their feet, flap their ears, and wave their trunk; so we did that part and then I just led them in shaking the shakers during each verse.

We also did Sue Schnitzer's Jump, jump, jump.  This song has the kids acting like several different animals like kangaroos, snakes, worms, and spiders.  It is a fun song and easy for the toddlers to follow along with.
 Instead of a flannel story we did a song this week.  I have used the Elephant song several times now, and it is fun for the kids to sing along and helps with counting skills.  We start by counting all of my elephants (there are 6 and each one has a number) but we don't put them on the board yet.  The lyrics to the song are:
One elephant went out to play
On a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun
That he call for another elephant to come: HEY ELEPHANT!!!

Repeat with 2, 3, 4, 5
 The kids yell 'HEY ELEPHANT' with me and then I add an elephant and they tell me how many there are.  I made a 'spider web' for the board so I put all of the elephants on that.  Once there are six elephants stacked on the web I ask the kids 'what happens when you have six elephants on a spider web?'  They tend to look blankly as me.  I have the top of the web taped at the back of the board so I pull that free and shake the web until all the elephants fall off.  As I do this I say 'the web starts to wiggle, and jiggle, and all the elephants fall off!'  I got this idea awhile ago when Miss Mary Liberry posted her flannelization of the song.

I also did a rhyme that was posted on the blog a bad case of books.  I liked these elephants so much that I also used them for our craft.  The rhyme goes:
Two little elephants standing in a row.
Two little trunks waving hello.
“Oh”, said an elephant.
“It’s time to go”.
One little elephant standing in a row.
One little trunk waving hello.
“Hey”, said the elephant.
“Where’d he go?”
 For the craft I gave the kids a plain, craft foam elephant with google eyes and tusks cut from q-tips.  They also has some star stickers and sharpie pens to decorate the elephants with.  I found that we had to use tacky glue because the Elmer's did not dry well enough to hold everything on.  They turned out really cute and the kids loved using their finger for the trunk.


Flannel Friday: Jump!

I fell a few weeks behind with my Flannel Friday posting, but we are currently on a one week break, so I can catch up.  A couple of weeks ago I made a foamie version of Scott Fischer's book Jump! to go along with my Leap Day story time.

I drew all of the shapes free-hand except the frog that we have a die cut for and I pieced die cut circles for the lady bug.

This one was a lot of fun in story time.  (I love throwing flannels in the air - I enjoy it more than the kids do.)  The story is a rhyme, so I ended up memorizing it.  I try not to memorize stories word for word, but this was not too hard and I made a cheat sheet in case I got stuck (although YAY - I did not need it).

I started the story by just putting the bug up and then added the frog when I got to that part.  I paused before saying frog so that the kids could say it.  Then, when the bug sees the frog she JUMPS!  And when she jumps I threw her up into the air leaving only the frog until she sees the cat and JUMPS!

I did the whole story that way, having only 2 animals on the board at a time.  I would pause for the kids to name the new animals and as we got further into the rhyme they were also screaming JUMP!

I changed the end a little so that I could toss one last piece.  In the book the whale ends the tale with a SPLOOSH!!! sending all the animals back home.  I changed it and just had the whale jump to.  I said 'it's time to end this tale so I JUMP!'

You can find this week's round-up with Angela at ValleyStorytime.  For links to all of the past round-ups visit Anne at Sotomorrow, or you can click the Flannel Friday link at the right to find all posts on Pinterest.

Leaping at the Library

A few weeks back we had a hopping and jumping themed story time to celebrate Leap Day.  The concept was a little hard for the kids to get, not many showed much of a reaction when I exclaimed 'we get an extra day!'  But, they did have lots of fun bouncing around for 30 minutes.  Our letter of the day was L for Leap Day, however, we read books and sang songs about leaping, bouncing, hopping, and jumping.

I found that I was able to get them to sit better by 'bouncing on our bottoms.'  Basically, as they were sitting they bounced up and down in that spot and that really helped get the wiggles out and keep them sitting.  I may have to start throwing that in the mix of every story time when they get too wiggly.

I should note that before doing a high energy hopping story time make sure you have your inhaler if you need it.  I had been suspecting that I have asthma and the kangaroo song followed by open shut them really did me in.  Thankfully, I have since visited the doctor and now have an inhaler to use before story times.

Our first book originally was Bouncing by Shirley Hughes.  I thought it was cute how the little girl bounces all around the house with her baby brother, but the kids did not seem to go for it.  So, for the last two session of the week we read Emily loves to bounce by Stephen Michael King.  This book features another bouncing girl, but she bounces around with an elephant, with her Nana, and all over mom and dad's bed.  This book has lots of springs and boings and the kids seemed to enjoy it better.  (I will mention that my Monday group this session was a little crazy and there were few things they seemed to 'like', so Bouncing may have gone over better later in the week.)

The second book that we read was Lauren Thompson's Leap back home to me.  I was excited to find that this book used the word leap repeatedly, perfect for a leap day story time.  And the illustrations were great with the little frog leaping all over then back to his mom who was always waiting for him.  I love the way that the frog is depicted soaring through the air with his arms and legs straight back from the speed.

Our final story was Jump! by Scott Fischer.  I turned this one into a flannel story.  It was a lot of fun.  I always enjoy throwing flannel pieces in story time, so every instance where an animal would 'jump' I threw that piece way up into the air behind me.  Basically, the story starts with a frog and when he sees a cat he jumps.  The cat jumps from the dog and on and on with bigger animals until we end with a whale - who jumps away too.  I got the kids to join in by pausing before putting up each new animal and letting them call out what it was.  You can read more about my flannel here.

As mentioned above, I was able to find several asthma inducing jumping/hopping songs.  The Exercise Party album has one called Kangaroos hopping.  This song in non-stop hopping as the kangaroos hop, wiggle big feet, and wag a tail all over Australia.

Carole Peterson has a song called the Shaker Hop.  It is essentially the Bunny hop, but instead of the Bunny hop lyrics you 'put your shakers in, put your shakers out, do the shaker hop, hop, hop, hop.'  There is also a bit of dancing with the shakers.  This is a great egg shaker song for preschoolers.

Hap Palmer's Five little monkeys also fit right in with our theme.  I have used this song many times before.  It has the five little monkeys who jump, hop, and spin on the bed before bumping heads and causing mama to call that doctor.  They finally wise up and jump outside, an activity that the doctor okays.

A few other hopping songs that we did were:

Five green and speckled frogs:(I have a magnet board for this one)
Five green and speckled frogs,
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs,
One jumped into the pool,
Where it is nice and cool,
Now there are four speckled frogs,
Ribbit, ribbit!

If you’re hoppy and you know it:
If you’re hoppy and you know it give a hop,
If you’re hoppy and you know it give a hop,
If you’re hoppy and you know it then you really want to show it,
If you’re hoppy and you know it give a jump.

Repeat with:
Give a bounce
Give a jump
 Once we were all bounced out we made some frog party blowers.  This was really easy as we have a die cut for the frogs.  I used the version with the finger holes so that the kids could make the frogs jump if they wanted.  I let them decorate the cardstock frog with colorful bingo daubers and eye stickers.  Then, they slid a party blower through the mouth slit so the frog had a tongue they could blow in and out.  They LOVED this part of it.  A few of the youngest ones had a little trouble making the blower work, but I think eventually they all got it.  The blowers were cheap (8 / $1.49 at Walmart) so I needed a few extra on hand.


Waking up the Bears

I fell a little behind in posting last week when I got a few days off, but we are having a one week break from story time, so hopefully I will get caught up.  Last week was our last week of the winter story time session and we read books about hibernating bears.  I know that it seems a little backwards to do a hibernation story time at the end of winter, but really it worked out rather well.  I discovered that most of the hibernating bear books end with the bear waking up, which tends to happen in the spring!  So, what better way to end winter and usher in spring?

Our letter of the day was H for Hibernation.  I had already used B earlier this year and this gave us an opportunity to learn an new word.  A few of the kids actually knew what hibernation meant, so we talked a little about when animals hibernate which also led to a discussion about the order of the seasons.

The first book that we read was Baby bear sees blue by Ashley Wolff.  This is a brand new book and it is perfects for story time.  A curious little bear wakes up to sees something bright peeking into his cave and discovers the yellow sun.  He and mama go exploring and baby bear encounters a variety of colors in nature.  The illustrations are colorful and translate well for an audience.  I had all of the kids shout out the different colors that baby bear was seeing which made for great audience participation.

Our second book was Kevin Henkes' Old bear.  This story has nice, simple text describing an old bear who went to sleep and dreamed his way through the seasons.  Each season is illustrated with the colors dominant to that season so I was able to have the kids guess the season as we turned the pages.  And, of course, old bear wakes up to discover that spring has finally come and he is no longer dreaming.  When he woke up I had the kids guess what the bear would see, was it snowing in winter or would he see something else?

In the bliss of my long weekend I totally forgot to make a flannel board - oops!  Luckily, I had Sleepy bear by Lydia Dabcovich on standby with the other bear books.  This book could actually make a good flannel board as well, but we just read it.  I did add audience participation with this one as well.  There is very simple text in this book, a phrase per 2 page spread, so it is short.  But in the book the birds leave and come back (kids tweet each time), leaves and snow fall (falling motion with their fingers), bear sleeps (pretend to sleep), bear wakes up (stretch), and bugs and bees come back (make a buzzing sound for each).  This kept even the wiggly kids involved, so it actually turned out really well.

There are some really fun teddy bear songs, so we added those in this week.  The Wiggles have a song called Rock-a-bye your bear where you clap, sing, spin, and put your hands in the air.  There isn't really a lot of rocking your bear, but there is a decent amount of action to keep kids moving.

The Wiggles have another song called Here comes a bear that I use frequently.  In this one the kids act like bears, kangaroos, snakes, and wombats.  We act like each animal and throw in a few growls for the bear.

Georgiana Stewart has an entire album called Teddy bear tunes.  There are several songs that could be used in story time but this week we used one called Whee! There goes teddy.  In the past I have had kids bring in a teddy bear, but since it was not a teddy bear theme we used scarves instead.  The kids held the scarves down by the ground and then flung them 'whee!' into the air.  Then we dances with the scarves between verses.  There were lots of giggles with this one and the scarves worked well because when I have used bears they all throw them into the air but they held on to the scarves.
 Our craft was this sleeping bear that I found here with storytime katie but it was originally used as a fall craft.  So, I just gave the kids spring colored tissue paper and some bug and flower stickers to make it more spring like.