Flannel Friday: Little Lightning Bugs

Our story time theme this week was Night Creatures and I am not sure if there is a night creature more loved (at least by children around here) than lightning bugs (or fireflies, we used the word interchangeably).  Right now we are in the prime of lightning bug season.  They come out around 8 o'clock and flash their little lights all over.

So, for a night creature theme I knew I had to include lightning bugs.  I was inspired by 2 other Flannel Friday posts this week.  One was Miss Alison at MiSS ALiSSON iS BLOGGiNG.  It was almost a year ago that she posted her Five Little Fireflies with disappearing lights that I thought was so cool.  Although, I was wary of pulling lights out of the little pockets she made, so I made my bugs reversible.  I was also inspired by Amy at catch the possibilites who posted her version of Ten Flashing Fireflies by Philemon Sturges. 

My plan was to use both of these flannels toward the end of my story time, but other activities ran a little longer so I only used one.  I went with Miss Alison's Five fireflies because that involves loud sneezing which is often a hit in story time.  The rhyme went:

Five little firflies flashing in the night.
Looking at the glow of each other's light.
Then whoosh went the wind whistle went the breeze,
And out went one light with a great big sneeze...

The repeat with 4,3,2 and finish with

One lonely firefly flashing in the night.
He couldn't see the glow of the others' lights.
Then whoosh went the wind and whistle went the breeze,
And out went his light with a great big sneeze...

The kids really enjoyed this one.  Many of them were saying the rhyme with me by the end.  I had to get a little tricky with my craft foam so that I could flip them over.  I realized that a little bit of black velcro did the trick and blended nicely with the lightning bugs' wings.  I did have ten fireflies made up to do both rhymes.  My plan was that I would change the Ten Flashing Frieflies to Five Flashing Fireflies so I set my board (which has felt on both sides) so that both flannels were ready to go.  Then, when I only needed one I did not have to move anything around.
Here is the side of the board we did not use.
 You can find this week's round-up with Andrea at rovingfiddlehead kidlit, all posts on Pinterest by clicking the Flannel Friday button to the right, or see all things Flannel Friday at the Flannel Friday blog!



Week 2 of our Summer Reading Program featured Pajamas and a Bedtime theme.  I set the stage by wearing a pajama shirt and some wonderful cow slippers that my coworker had brought in.  Needless to say it did not take the kids long to guess our theme.

All of our books for story time this week were relatively new.  I like using new books in story time, especially for a theme like bedtime that gets played out a lot.  Of course there are lots of great stand by books and I always have those on hand in case, but it is fun to highlight new items to the collection.

The first book we read was My dad is big and strong but : a bedtime story by Coralie Saudo.  I ran across this book on the new shelf just last week and I knew I had to use it for story time.  It was probably more for the parents, but it is a cute book.  Dad does not want to go to bed.  His son has to beg, plead, and cajole him into bed.  Dad plays all the tricks that kids use to delay bed time and tests his son's patience.  The illustrations are a little more subdues than I tend to use.  There are lots of neutral colors with pencil drawings and some black and white detail, but the book is big, so they are not hard for the kids to see.

Our second book was Anne Margaret Lewis' Fly blanky fly!  This is an adorable book about the adventures of Sam and his blanky.  One night he tosses blanky from the top of the steps, and off they fly, zooming through the air like a rocket.  Blanky becomes all sorts of things, like a marching camel, a boat, a train, and even swings from the moon before bed.  Before we read this story I passed around the scarves that we use with songs.  As I read the book we made our scarves act like the blanky did and we marched, zoomed, and whooshed them around.

For our final story I did a flannel version of Pete the cat and his four groovy buttons by Eric Litwin.  I was really excited to use this book.  It is not really a bedtime story, but I changed the first part and said that Pete was putting on his favorite pajamas that had four very groovy buttons.  In the story Pete's buttons pop off one by one until the only button he has left is his belly button.  You can see more of my flannel board, along with Pete's buttons that actually pop off here.  The parents and kids really loved this book.  Many recognized Pete right away from his other books and by the end they were singing along with me.

We had a few sleepy songs this week.  Laurie Berkner's Goldfish take naps several times in between teeth brushing, showering, and bike riding.  Oh, and swimming because they are fish!

After reading Fly blanky fly we used the scarves with Johnette Downing's Flitter flutter where we move our scarves around like birds and bugs.

Hap Palmer's Five little monkeys don't sleep because they are too busy jumping, hopping, and spinning on their bed.  But, going outside to jump is just fine and they do that until they are exhausted.

This week's feature film was Mo Willems' Don't let the pigeon stay up late!  The kids LOVED this movie.  There was so much giggling and laughing (and not just from the kids, those parents were laughing too).  Poor pigeon does not want to go to bed, but he is clearly tired.  He tries to stay up, maybe for a hotdog party?  Mo Willems actually narrates this one along with some children who really enjoy telling the Pigeon 'no!'


Flannel Friday: Pete the Cat and his popping buttons

Pete the Cat has become one of my most favorite book characters.  He just has that special 'it's all good' attitude.  Plus, you can sing his books in story time, and who doesn't like to sing books in story time?  Plus, they have great repetition which is good for those toddlers.  So, I was super excited to see that Pete's (or Mr. Litwin's) newest book was, once again, perfect for story time.
Several other Flannel Friday participants have already flanneled Pete the cat and his four groovy buttons, but I am going to share mine too.  I decided to fit my version into my pajama themed story time because I could not wait to use this story and many pajamas have buttons, right?  So, I made Pete out of craft foam using an image for the shape of his head and free handing the rest.  I gave him some groovy flannel pajamas adorned with real plastic craft buttons.  And he has some yarn whiskers.
I decided that I really wanted my buttons to 'pop' off of Pete, so I rigged them with some fishing line.  I wove the fishing line in and out of the button holes a few times, tied them tight, and left a long tail.  I placed a piece of sticky back velcro on the back of each button, then I wound the end of the fishing line in a complete loop around a small piece of sticky back velcro that I then folded in half so that the stickiness would hold the line in place.
This one is a bit blurry, but you can see the wire going through (actually around) the folded velcro)

To set up the board, I have Pete on front with his buttons and I wrap the fishing line around to the back (my board has felt on each side, otherwise I would have added a soft side of velcro or just taped the wire down).
After taking this picture I cut the wire down so that the velcro reaches just past the back edge of the board. 
Then, as Pete's buttons pop off one by one I pull on the fishing line and POP!  Off fly the buttons!
Until, all the buttons are gone.  That is, all the buttons except his belly button!
The kids and parents really enjoyed this one, there was lots of giggling over his belly button (parents and grandparents included).  Just like the with the other Pete books they were signing along with me and shouting 'goodness no!'

You can find the round-up this week with Shawn over at Read, Rhyme, and Sing.  Past round-ups and everything else Flannel Friday related can be found at the website, or you can visit the Pinterest boards by clicking on the Flannel Friday button on the right.


Camping out at Story Time

This week kicked off our summer reading programming.  We are following the Dream Big: Read theme and decided to pick a different related theme for each week.  Week one was designated camping week to go along with our feature decor, a little campsite.  We set up a small tent (it can maybe fit four small children) and out fitted it with some 'log' seats (boxes covered with wood grain paper), a grill (box spray painted black with a cookie cooling rack taped to the top), and some play food.

Story time is a little different in the summer.  I do my program only once a week and it is for children ages 2-5 instead of 2-3.  We do not require registration so I do not do a craft because I would not know how many to plan for.  Instead of a craft, I end story time with a Scholastic or West Woods iconographic book.  We have a screen in the story time room, so I project the movie onto that.  We do have a movie license at our library, but I believe that these DVDs come with one built in.  I try to keep the video to one that is not much more than 5 minutes as I have found by then some of the littler ones get wiggly (and that is about how long it takes someone to discover they can make shadow puppets on the screen).

The first book that we read was Bailey goes camping by Kevin Henkes.  The pictures in this book are a little small for story time.  They are done in small boxes surround by a large white frame, but they are so cute and the story is great for a camping theme.  Bailey's older brother and sister get to go to scout camp but Bailey is too little to go.  He is very upset over missing the fishing, swimming, hotdog eating, marshmallow roasting, bear hunting, tent sleeping fun.  Luckily, mama has a solution and Bailey gets to have his own 'indoor' camp out!

Our second book was Wendy Orr's The Princess and her Panther.  In this story, two sisters, one dressed up as a princess and the other a panther, head out on a camping adventure.  They are brave (well, the panther tries to be) as they set up camp and settle in for the night, but an array of noises keep them up.  The illustrations in this one are bold and depict some scary shadows on the tent wall.  But, as the children see in the end, the 'scary shadows' were merely some friendly backyard creatures.

In addition to the books we went on a Bear Hunt.  I used a flannel board for this one.  All of the kids 'walked' with their hands on their legs.  At the beginning of each verse we said: 'Going, on a bear hunt.  I'm not afraid.  Gonna catch a big one!'  Then, at each impasse, we said 'Can't go around it, can't go over it.'  Our obstacles were:
Tall grass (rub hands and swish)
Big Tree (climb)
Wide River (swim)
Sticky mud (squish squelch)
Cold Snowstorm (shiver)
Dark Cave (cover eyes)

When we went into the cave I covered my eyes and wandered over to the crowd.  I put my hand out and felt a few kids on the head and talked about how I felt some thing warm and hairy that must be a BEAR!  So we ran quickly back through our obstacles to get away.  I thought for sure the kids would correct me that the 'bear' was just kids, but no one did.

The songs we did were not all that camp-y.  We sang Here comes a bear by The Wiggles.  This was before our bear hunt, but the song also has hopping kangaroos, slithering snakes, and crawling wombats.

I found a new song called Shake your boom boom from the Smart Moves 3 album.  This has very upbeat music and tells kids to 'shake your boom boom' in all different directions.  Our boom booms were shaker eggs.

When we did a search for camp songs on Youtube we came up with the B-Bananas (or Bananas or Bananas unite) song several times, so I used Carole Peterson's version.  She does the song twice with the second verse being a little faster.  The kids always seem to enjoy this song.

Another camp song that came up a lot was Baby Shark.  We did this a few years ago when summer reading was a water theme and the kids seem to enjoy it.  I do it as:
Baby shark, do-do, do-do.  Baby shark, do-do, do-do.  (Touch arms a wrist and open hands for mouth)
Mommy shark, do-do, do-do.  Mommy shark, do-do, do-do.  (Tough arms at elbow and open for mouth)
Daddy shark, do-do, do-do.  Daddy shark, do-do, do-do.  (Use whole arms as mouth)
Swimmer guy, do-do, do-do.  (Swim)
Sees a shark, do-do, do-do.  (Make fin on your back)
Swims away, do-do, do-do.  (Swim)
Swim faster! Do-do, do-do.  (Swim fast)
Got away! Do-do, do-do.  (Wipe brow)
Sad shark, do-do, do-do.  (Make sad face) 
That's the end, do-do, do-do.

Obviously there are lots of variations of this.  With an older crowd the shark may 'get' the swimmer who has to hop away, but I like to keep it tame for the little kids.

We ended with the video Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies.  In this story bats have a night of fun at the beach playing in the waves, having picnics, and sitting around a campfire.  The kids get to see the bats doing very similar things as people (aside from snacking on bugs - ewww) as they play at the beach.  The story is narrated by the author himself which is neat.

As the kids left I gave each of them a few camp themed coloring pages as well as a s'more snack.  The snack was golden graham cereal (actually the knock-off variety) with marshmallows and chocolate chips.  I generally do not do food, but this was perfect for the theme and the kids loved it.


Flannel Round-Up for 6/15/12

Welcome to Read It Again!
Thanks to everyone who contributed to Flannel Friday this week!  Thank you also to everyone who gave a song or rhyme suggestion.  For those of you who missed the original post I asked for favorite songs and rhymes for story time.  (Unfortunately that post was deleted when I started editing.  The plan was to keep the link for everyone who used it in their post, now I know to use a separate document if I want to get a jump on things!)

I always like to see what the favorites of others are because I am continually looking for new song ideas.  I use 3 songs on our library ipod every week (and that does not include our 'Hello' song) and I try not to repeat songs too often.  If you are looking for some new ideas as well, check out some of these suggestions from our Flannel Friday contributors:

All the fish by Sue Schnitzer - this one is one of my favorites
Criss, cross, line, line - compliments of Library Quine, lyrics can be found on her resource page here.
Driving in my car by Ralph Covert - compliments of Amy
Five in the bed - complements of Miss Courtney who also does it as Three in the bed
Lightning flashed - compliments of Maureen
Two little blackbirds - compliments of Maria
Wiggle your lah dee da by Ralph Covert - compliments of Lisa

And now, the reason you are really here, the Flannel-riffic Round-Up for June 15, 2012:

Amy from catch the possibilities shares her version of Ten Flashing Fireflies, complete with super-sparkly fireflies.

Cate from Storytiming made her very own flannel Spider puppet/ring to use with the Itsy Bitsy spider.

Courtney from Miss Courtney Meet Bobo has an adorable set of Five Owls in a Tree.  (Plus the opportunity to spray your story time crowd with water - that has always been a secret dream of mine!)   

Erin from Falling Flannelboards shares her versatile adaptation of A Tree for Me!

Erin from LibrErin brings us an idea for a Library Space Camp that looks like it was really fun.  (How could it not be fun when a trip to Mars and Astronaut ice cream are included!)

Katie from storytime katie presents a Weather song that makes even rain look appealing.

Katie from Story Time Secrets is sharing Feelings through a fun song that she wrote.

Kay from Storytime ABC's gives us a whole post dedicated to dear old Dad, including a cookies for dad flannel board song.

Kelly from Welcome to Storytime is Wishing she was all sorts of fun things to go along with the Dream Big: Read theme.

Library Quine from Loons and Quines @ Librarytime constructed an awesome interchangeable Color Spinner.

Linda from Notes from the Story Room has the Moon falling from the sky - no worries it gets put back!

Lisa from Libraryland has a great Airplane Song that you can use as part of a story time or a Dance Party!

Lucy from In the Children's Room shows us what a Monster eats for lunch.

Maria from The Serpentine Library makes her Flannel Friday debut with Ahhh-Chooo!   Welcome Maria!

Maureen from StrongStart brings us her adaptation of the book There's a Billy Goat in the Garden.

Mollie Kay from What Happens in Storytime is Having a Ball with balls in anticipation of the Olympics.

Seth from The Voices Inside My Headphones has another printable craft for us.  This week we get to see Dinosaur Vs. ...

Tara from Storytime with Miss Tara and Friends shares two ideas this week.  First is a rhyming flannel about some colorful Fish.  Miss Tara also shares an idea for using a Flannel Sandwich set that she found.

My contribution for the week is my version of Going on a Bear Hunt that we used for our camping theme this week.

I believe that concludes our Flannel fun for the week.  If that is too sad for you, you may continue browsing past Flannel round-ups at the Flannel Friday website.  Or, you can click the Flannel Friday button to the right and pop over to Pinterest for a visual feast of Flannel...and craft foam!


Flannel Friday: Going on a Bear Hunt

This week is our first story time of the Summer Reading program and our theme is camping.  I threw around several flannel story ideas before deciding to go with the tried and true Going on a Bear Hunt.  We don't have registration for story times over the summer and that can lead to some serious crowds, so my goal is to keep kids more involved and this allows them to participate and keep involved.

I have seen this story many times on Flannel Friday, so quickly, here are my pieces.  I free handed them using foam.  The storm cloud also has a few sequin snow flakes glued onto ribbon.

For our bear hunt we are going to go through some tall grass, climb a big tree, swim across a wide river, squelch through some sticky mud, shiver into a cold snow storm, and enter a dark cave where we will find a BEAR!  I am thinking that when we get to the bear I will feel my own hair (with my eyes closed) and get scared and run home.  But, I just may sneak into the crowd and feel a child's hair that I will be convinced is a bear, we will see how the mood of the crowd is.
This week I am hosting Flannel Friday so you will see the round-up here late Friday or sometime Saturday.  You can find past round-ups and everything Flannel Friday at the site, or visit the Pinterest page by clicking the Flannel Friday button to the right.


Flannel Friday: Flannel Foodie

This week our summer reading program kicked off, so there are no new story times to share, but I have been working on a flannel 'project.'  As part of our room decor  for the Dream Big - Read theme we put out a tent.  My project was making some flannel food to go with the camp site.
My co-worker found this great book: Big little felt universe: sew it, stuff it, squeeze it, fun! by Jeanette Lim.

This book was great!  There were instructions for making all kinds of felt creations along with templates to use.  Ms. Lim even gave some tips for what kind of felt to buy as well as basic stitches that you can use.
I kept it simple and made a s'more, chips, and some hotdogs.  I was hoping to get a few burgers, but we will see how things go now that summer is in full swing.  One co-worker also brought in a wooden sandwich set, so we do have an abundance of 'food' at our campsite.

I cheated a little on the graham cracker.  The instructions said to make french knots for all of the little dots ... I used a brown sharpie :)  But, I did add the perforation in the middle to make it look like 2 crackers (the book did not have that).
I also deviated on the chocolate piece.  I simple stacked 3 felt squares and then stitched lines to denote the perforations.  The instructions had to stitch a strip between 2 squares and stuff it, but I think mine turned out well.
Not the best picture, but you can almost make out the details.

The hotdog was easy, though I learned that you have to do the end stitching at least a half inch in so that when you flip it there are no gaps in the end of the hotdog.
In addition to the food I made a little grill for cooking.  I took an upside-down box and spray painted it black.  Then, I taped a cookie cooling rack to the bottom (now top) and voila, a little grill.

You can find the round-up this week over at Recipe for Reading.  Check out the Flannel Friday site for past round-ups and all kinds of other information pertaining to Flannel Friday.  The Pinterest page can be reached by clicking the Flannel Friday link at the right.

And...I will be hosting the round-up next week, so look for the place holder mid to late week next week!


Flannel Friday: Foamie Me!

Have you met Foamie Me?  Last fall I did a story time all about flies and used a cute little poem that I found at fellow Flannel Friday-er Miss Mary Liberry's blog.  The poem is actually called 'There's a bug on the teacher' and was written by Kalli Dakos, but I changed it to be specifically a fly.

I made me out of foam!  The scale is probably a bit off, I think foamie me seems taller than life-size me, but I can dream a little.  I used a clip art shape that I found and then fit my own clothes and hair to the shape.   We have a little magnet board that I sometimes use for story time, so I added a magnet to the back.  The fly is a round magnet to which I added some silver paper wings, a puffy paint smile, and googly eyes.

The poem goes:
There’s a Bug on the Teacher
by Kalli Dakos

There’s a bug on the teacher,
and it’s crawling on her shoe.
What will she do?
It’s crawling on her shoe!

There’s a bug on the teacher,
And it’s crawling on her pants.
Has us in a trance,
That bug on her pants.

There’s a bug on the teacher,
And it’s crawling on her shirt,
I hope it doesn’t hurt,
That bug on her shirt.

There’s a bug on the teacher,
And it’s crawling on her neck,
Everyone check,
It’s crawling on her neck!

There’s a bug on the teacher,
And it’s crawling on her nose,
Why do you suppose
It’s crawling on her nose?

Oh no! It's on her nose!

There’s a bug on the floor,
And it’s crawling out the door!

I had the kids use their fingers as a bug and move it along with me as we did the rhyme.  This was quite a bit of fun.  Who knew flies could be so entertaining?

This week you can find the round-up with Lisa at Libraryland.  You can find all kinds of Flannel Friday information at the new site here, or you can click the Flannel Friday link to the right to go straight to the Pinterest boards.