Flannel Friday: Dog's Colorful Day (with a dinosaur)

For one story time session a few years ago I wanted to focus on colors, so each week we had book that featured colors.  I had also wanted to do a dinosaur theme and needed a color book to go along with that.  So, I took Emma Dodd's book Dog's colorful day and changed Dog into Dino.  I told the story pretty much as it is; big Dino was easily bumping into things and getting messy.

For the flannel board I put my green foam Dino up.  He had small pieces of velco all over so that the colored pieces would stick to him as they were added.  At the end we gave him a bath and said each color as it was washed away.
This was a really easy one to make.  I found a dinosaur coloring page to use for the shape and then free handed all of the colored spots.  Each spot has velco on the back to stick to the pieces on Dino.  The great thing about a story like this is that you can put all of the colors in order to help remember what goes when.  And, if you do forget, you can just make up something and they will probably not notice!

Did you know that Flannel Friday has its own website now?  Yay!!  You can get there by clicking here.  There is all kinds of information about how to get involved if you are interested as well as links to current and past round-ups, the round-up schedule, Flannel Friday on Pinterest, and the Flannel Friday Facebook page.

This week's round-up is being hosted by Linda at Notes From the Story Room, so stop there to get all of the newest Flannel Friday posts.


Flannel Friday: Me want cookie featuring Animal

 This week's story time featured books with the word Me in the title.  I had thought it would be fun to have Cookie Monster do a 'me want cookie!' puppet show, but I was not able to find a Cookie Monster puppet.  I had thought my parents had one from when I was a kid, but we could not find it if we did.  What we did find, though, was an Animal puppet.  This actually worked out because my two 'me' books featured cavemen and Animal is a bit caveman looking.

So, for our flannel story / puppet show Animal came out and demanded 'Me want cookie!'  But, we tried to give him some healthier snacks instead.  I had an assortment of foam vegetables that I had made for another flannel board and I added a few pieces of fruit.  Alas, Animal did not care for them.  I would hold up the food that we were feeding Animal and the kids would tell me what it was.  There was a tomato, an eggplant, and some cauliflower that they found a little tricky.  Once we had identified the food we fed it to Animal who promptly spit it out with a loud 'BLEEEHHHHH!'  Then he would shake his head and say 'mmm-uumm, mmm-uumm, me want cookie!' 
This went on for a bit (I'm sure the kids would prefer it went longer, they were LOVING it - parents too) when finally, after the last fruit/vegetable, Animal said 'me want cookie, plllllleeeeeease?'  One great thing about the puppet is that his eyebrows move up and down, so when he asked the last time I wiggled his eyebrows a bit.  So, because he asked so nicely, we gave him a cookie.  That stinker chewed the cookie for a minute and the spit it out and asked for pizza!  Well, there was no pizza to be had so he went off to take a nap until lunch time.

You can find this week's round-up with Mollie at What Happens in Storytime... past round-ups are with Anne at SoTomorrow and all posts are gathered on Pinterest, which you can find by clicking the Flannel Friday button to the right.

Me Caveman

Recently I ran across some picture books featuring cavemen that I thought were fun and so, a story time about cavemen!  I actually called our theme Me featuring the letter M because both book titles start with the word Me.

I decided to give Sparky a little rest this week and instead we had Animal from the Muppets here to introduce our theme.  Usually, at the end of story time, Sparky collects the kids name tags by eating them.  But, this week is the last week of the session so the kids get to take the name tags home.  Animal told the kids that Sparky was on vacation, looking for some name tags to eat!

Our first book was Me want pet by Tammi Sauer.  Cave boy wants a pet so he goes searching high and low and all over for one.  Each potential pet he brings home poses some kind of issue, so he has to keep looking.  I really like the dialog in this book.  Lots of 'cave talk' for cave boy and his family.  I love the part where the grandma is talking about one pet and says 'he no potty-trained.'  This is a cute story and led to a discussion of what types of pets the kids have at home.

The second book we read was Jeremy Tankard's Me Hungry!  In this book, you guessed it, the cave boy is hungry.  But, mom and dad are too busy, so he goes off hunting.  He finds some unsuitable foods before running across a big friend who happens to be hungry too.  They work together and are rewarded with a snack.  This one has really short text, but as I am reading I ask the kids if each item would be good for him to eat.

Our last story was more of a puppet show.  Animal came back and demanded 'me want cookie!'  Instead we tried to give him some fruits and vegetables, but he spit them all out.  The kids LOVED this.  Each item that I put in Animal's mouth was spit back out with a 'BLEHHHH' and then he shook his head and said 'mmm-umm, mmm-umm, Me want cookie!'  After spitting out an assortment of fruits and vegetables, Animal looked at me and very nicely said 'me want cookie pleeeease?'  So, since he asked so nicely we let him have a cookie, but wouldn't you know it, he chewed it happily for a minute before spitting it out and demanding 'me want pizza!'  Sadly, there was no pizza to be had, so he went off to take a nap.  I had wanted to use Cookie Monster for this one, but we did not have a Cookie Monster puppet.  My dad had 2 Animal puppets, and I figured that he looks kind of like a caveman, so that fit right in.  You can see more pictures from Animal's appearance here.

Our songs we not really related to cavemen (if there are any out there, let me know).  My co-worker noted dinosaurs lived with the cavemen, so we sang Laurie Berkner's We are the dinosaurs.  Two kids informed me that this was their favorite song.  It is fun to end with a loud 'ROAR!!!'

The Imagination Movers have a song called Shakable you.  We used our shaker eggs as we shook our arms, legs, head, hips, and then jumped around like crazy.  This is a very upbeat song.

It did rain a few days this week so that fit with Carole Peterson's Singing in the rain.  The great part about this version is that there are actions between each verse.  You add a new one each round and then say 'ooo-ga chuck-a, ooo-ga chuck-a' which sounds kind of caveman-like.  Each time we sang the singing in the rain part we put our hands in the air and waved them.

Our craft was rather simple this week.  We planted grass seed in a cup that was decorated like a face.  Each kid got some eye stickers and markers to decorate the cup.  The plan is that the grass seed will grow up to look like green hair.


Beep Beep Vroom Vroom

Last week's story time was a LOT of fun.  I aim for fun every week, but last week seemed more so.  It probably helped that there was a little more activity, so all of those wiggly little boys were more engaged.  Plus, our theme was Go, go, go, featuring the letter G along with planes, trains, and automobiles and there was a song that involved screaming.  So, not only were those wiggly little boys more engaged, they were excited to see what was coming next!

Our format was a little different, which made me nervous, but ended up working out well.  Generally, my story time format is as follows:
Hello songs (we do one a capella and one with the ipod)
Sparky introduces the letter of the day and our theme
Read book 1
Song on the ipod
Open shut them fingerplay
Read book 2
Song on ipod using scarves, shakers, etc.
Open the book fingerplay
Flannel board story
Song on the ipod
Explain craft
Goodbye song

This format tends to work really well for me, but last week I found a really great idea that worked better if I switched the flannel story and Book 2.  It worked out well because the second book was rather interactive, but I will get to that in a minute.

The first book that we read was Toot, toot, beep, beep by Emma Garcia.  This is the second of her books that I have used this session and they are great for story time.  The illustrations are big, bold, and bright and the text is simple and involves making fun noises.  This book features a variety of cars making noise as they drive through the city.  On each page I would tell the kids what kind of car it was and they would tell me what color the car was.

The flannel story that I did was a twist on Bill Martin's Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?  I found the idea at ValleyStorytime.  I simply made a variety of transportation modes from craft foam.  I used clip art to get the shapes as my vehicular drawing skills are rather lacking.  Then, I would put one at a time up and the kids would tell me what it was as well as what color it was.  Then, say it was the red bus, we would say 'red bus, red bus, what do you see?'  I would take down the bus and put up something else.  I ended with a yellow race car (it got left out of the picture) so that to end the story I could say 'I see a yellow race car speeding past me!'  Then I drove the race car away behind the story time cart so that everyone would know that the story was over.  You can see more pictures at my post here.

Our last book was In the driver's seat by Max Haynes.  I found this great idea over at Storytiming and knew it was too fun to pass up.  I made up some steering wheels using paper plates and a steering wheel coloring page.  I used the coloring page so that the kids could color it as part of their craft.  As we read  the book they 'drove' with their steering wheels.  I added a few more actions that went along with the book, such as bouncing up and down over mountain roads, plugging our noses as we plunged into a lake, swimming out of the lake, etc.  The kids really enjoyed this and loved that they got to keep the steering wheel.

Before reading the last book we sang one of my favorite songs.  Several years ago I saw a post on PUBYAC with the song:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
If you see an alligator,
Don't forget to scream!

(Not sure who to give credit to here, I have seen it many times since.  If you know I can add that in.)

We sing this once to learn the words and practice screaming in case we see any alligators.  Then, as we sing I pull various puppets out and scream like crazy at each one that is not an alligator.  The kids all laugh and correct me (though by the 2nd or 3rd round they are screaming right along with me at the monkey puppet).  They would probably do this for the entire half hour of story time, but after about 6 random animal puppets I bring out the alligator.  I do not scream as he climbs up on top of my head.  Then, I sit calmly as the kids go nuts pointing to the alligator on my head.  After a minute I look up and scream, then the alligator whispers in my ear that he is really friendly and just wants to read a story with us, so, of course, we let him.

We also sang To stop the train by Peter and Ellen Allard.  This is a song that repeats the same few lines and gets faster and faster.  It has a good 'train' sound so we cycle our arms like the wheels of a train and go faster and faster along with the music.  We also pull on a cord and say 'toot-toot.'  (**I should note that this song gets stuck in my head every time I think about it.  It kept me from sleeping one night last week!  I guess it is just that catchy!**)

Scott Besaw has a version of the Wheels on the bus that is fun.  I gave all of the kids scarves for this one that we hold as we do the motions.  This has the typical motions like the doors, driver, wipers, babies, but also includes the muffler so all of the kids get to stick out their tongues and make a pfffttt sound which is always fun.

I put Ralph Covert's Driving in my car right after reading In the driver's seat.  This way all of the kids had steering wheels to use as we sang about driving our cars all the way to Minneapolis.  This song is a little long, so we did the verses that has a car horn, windshield wipers, and a muffler (more pfffttt sounds) and then we stopped the song.
Our craft, in addition to coloring the steering wheels, was a train conductors hat.  I found the craft here at Danielle's Place.  The kids colored it and then (with parental help) assembled it with glue sticks and double sided tape.  I was worried they might be a little challenging for the parents, but most had no trouble and they turned out great!

I must add, that the story ideas mentioned were both posted to Flannel Friday, there are so many great ideas posted there!  Check out the Pinterest page by clicking the Flannel Friday button to the right if you are not familiar with Flannel Friday!