Flannel Friday: It started with a sneeze

This week I am going to combine my Flannel Friday post with my usual storytime post as my storytime featured two flannel stories and a song that could become a (mildly gross) flannel story.  Our theme was Sneezing, but I wanted sneezing for the sake of sneezing, not because you are sick.  So, our letter of the day was S for Sneeze.  After revealing our theme we talked about the proper way to sneeze and practiced a bit so that we would not be spraying our neighbors later during storytime.

Our first story was the flannel board version of Baa-Choo! by Sarah Weeks.  I found the idea for this flannel board with Sharon at Rain Makes Applesauce.  It is a cute story about Sammy Sheep who needs to sneeze, he has the Baa, but not the Choo!  What will he do?  The text of this book is a really cute rhyme, but there was no way I was going to memorize all of that, so I told my own version.  I started the story by showing everyone the book and telling them that since the book was so small we were going to do the flannel board version.  So, our story went like this: 
This is Sammy Sheep.  Sammy has that tickle in his nose that you get when you need to sneeze.  He says Baa-baa-baa - but no Choo!  What will Sammy do?

He met his friend Ms. Hen.  'Sammy, why are you so sad?' she asked him.  Sammy told her, 'I need to sneeze.  I have the Baa, but not the choo!  What will I do?'  So, clever Ms. Hen plucked out a feather and tickled Sammy's nose.  'Baa-baa-baa' still no choo!  So, Sammy went on.
He met another friend, Mr. Pig.  'Sammy,' asked Mr. Pig, 'why are you so sad?'  Sammy told him, 'I really need to sneeze.  I have the Baa, but not the choo!  What will I do?'  'Pepper always makes me sneeze,' Mr. Pig told him and he got out a fan and his pepper shaker.  He pointed the fan at Sammy and shook some pepper into the breeze.  'Baa-baa-baa' still no choo!  So, Sammy kept going.

He met another friend, Nanny Goat and her Kid.  'Sammy, why are you so sad?' Nanny Goat asked.  Sammy told her, 'I really, really need to sneeze.  I have the Baa, but not the choo!  What will I do?'  Well, Nanny and her kid were really good at kicking their feet, so they kicked and kicked and made dust rise up around Sammy's nose.  'Baa-baa-baa...'  No choo yet.
The other animals saw Sammy still needed to sneeze and they came back to help some more.  The goats kicked, Mr. Pig shook his pepper, and Ms. Hen tickled his nose.  'Baa-baa-baa-baa-CHOOOO!!!'  Sammy finally sneezed a sneeze so big (start throwing pieces off the board) that he blew all of the others away.  And do you know what the animals said to Sammy?  'Bless you Sammy!'

The second story that we did was the book One day in the jungle by Colin West.  This is another smaller reader but it involves lots of sneezing that the kids can join in with.  The story starts with a really small butterfly sneeze and the sneeze gets passed among the animals growing a little each time until there is a gigantic elephant sneeze.  The kids really got into the sneezing part.  They even sneezed the proper way, into their elbow!
After sneezing our way through One day in the jungle we sang the Booger Song.  This is a song that I made up one day when watching my 2 year old son picking his nose.  Before introducing the song I let the kids each pull a tissue out of a tissues box.  (This in itself was great fun, except for the one little girl who had apparently been banned from tissues at home and refused to pull one out, even when mom and dad said that it was ok.)  Once they all had their tissue I asked them if anything ever came out of their nose when they sneeze.  At this point the parents figure out what is coming and start laughing while the kids tentatively tell me 'snot, boogies, boogers, etc.'  I jump on the boogers answer and then we sing this song:  (it goes to the tune of 'He's got the whole world in his hands')

I've got 5 boogers in my nose.
I've got 5 boogers in my nose.
I've got 5 boogers in my nose.
I better give it a blow.

Repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1.

We sneezed into our tissues and when the song was over we threw the tissues into the trash can.  I had been a bit worried about this one wondering if it was too gross.  It was more the parents I was worried about, but they loved it.  There were lots of parent giggles and most of them sang along with me.  I pass out a sheet at the beginning of storytime with lyrics to any songs like this that we do and could see parents giggling ahead of time as they read over the sheet.  I am considering making it into a flannel board with some green boogers that you can throw off, but we had so many other flannel stories where we were throwing things off I decided not to go there this week.

Our last story was really more of a rhyme as we did Five Hungry Ants.  I think I originally saw this on Miss Mary Liberry's blog a few years ago and have used it many times since.  The rhyme goes:
5 hungry ant 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.
(Then throw one of the ants off of the flannel board)
Repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1.

One of my groups early in the week thought that it was hilarious when I threw one of the ants so high that he hit the ceiling, so naturally I began to throw them all really high.  Well, after one particularly high throw my ant did not come back down!  This caused much excitement and the attempt to knock him down with the last ant, but he held on.
The songs that we did (aside from the Booger Song) were not really sneeze oriented, but that is ok as my throat needed some breaks.  We sang Greg and Steve's I can work with one hammer.  This version has a great up beat tune and I like that you count up to five and then count back down.

Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael have a great shaker egg song called I can shake my shaker egg that goes to to tune of In the hall of the mountain king (my favorite classical song as a child).  You shake your shaker egg and sneak, walk, then run around the room - or in our case the storytime rug.

We also sang One, two, three, whee! by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael.  This is a fun song, you count to three and the say Wheee!  The following verses have you jumping, shaking, and whee-ing again.

Our craft this week was super simple.  We used tissue paper to fit in with our theme.  I have seen the idea various places and I know co-workers have done this in the past.  You take a roll of toilet paper (with all the paper still on) and wrap a sheet of orange tissue paper around at stiff the excess tissue paper into the top opening of the t.p. roll.  Then, roll up some green paper for a stem (I gave each kid a half sheet) and add a little twisted pipe cleaner for some vine (half piper cleaner).  That's it!  The parents loved how easy it was.  And it makes a nice, seasonal addition to any home.  You could add a Jack-O-Lantern face, but I figured that a plain pumpkin would last through Thanksgiving.

This week's Flannel Friday round-up can be found with Lisa at Libraryland.  All things related to Flannel Friday are addressed on the Flannel Friday blog, or you can find all posts visually pinned to the Pinterest page


Fall into Storytime

For the third week of storytime our theme was Autumn, featuring the letter A.  This is one of those themes that is an easy pick and has lots of book options.  I went more for books about leaves in general, but as you will see one of the books featured all the activities of autumn.  I introduced the theme by talking about what the kids saw happening to the leaves on the trees and asking what colors they were seeing.  We also talked about seasons and the order that they go.

Our first book was Lois Ehlert's Leaf Man.  This is a book that I have read before and Ehlert's books are generally well received in storytimes, bit for some reason this years groups were not big fans of Leaf Man.  The pictures are great, made from collages of real leaves in Ehlert's signature style.  Maybe it was the story where they lost it a bit.  At one point I had a little boy ask 'when will this book end?'  I guess even tried and true these days is not reliable.

The second book we read was Let it Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler.  This is a nice simple book about different activities that you can do in the fall.  It shows a cute, cartoon family raking leaves, going to a fair, looking at pumpkins, hiking, celebrating Thanksgiving, and finally getting ready for winter.  It was a little early for the Thanksgiving and winter part of it, but 2 year olds don't really care and it helps to work on the order of the seasons.

Our flannel board was Marty Kelley's Fall is not easy.  This is a really cute story about a tree who just can't seem to get the hang of changing leaves.  Winter is easy, there are no leaves.  Spring and summer are easy, they bud and turn green.  But fall?  Not easy.  The book depicts a myriad of bizarre looking leaves such as rainbow, cow, a smiley face, stripes, and even an Eat at Joe's sign.  The kids loved the cray trees and the giggles got louder as the story went on.

Johnette Downing's Shake your scarves is a great song to use with a fall/leaves theme.  The scarves are great for mimicking the falling leaves and the song has an upbeat tune.

I brought back Tommy Thumb by Carole Peterson as many kids missed doing it the week before.  This is a great 'lap' song for getting kids calmed down before reading a story.  And I like that she does not use all the fingers, keeping to the ones that are easier for little kids to do themselves.

We sang Row, row, row your boat by The Old Town School of Funk.  I love this version of this song.  I have even used it with the baby groups because the parents can do the motions with the kids on their laps.  In the song you row, bounce, sway, wiggle, and tickle in your boat.

Additionally we sang Hap Palmer's version of Five Little Monkeys.  I use this one a lot as well.  The monkey jump on the bed, bounce on the bed, and spin on the bed before getting the idea to go and jump outside.  Mama and the Doctor can't complain about monkeys playing outside!

    Our craft was a tissue paper tree that I have seen many places.  The kids get a white circle of cardstock to which they glue pieces of tissue paper.  Then, they slide the cardstock into slits cut at the top of a toilet paper roll to make a tree.  But, I added a little twist and gave the kids a second cardstock circle and some paint stampers so that they could make a tree like the book Fall is not easy.  Many of them had two bizarre trees.


Flannel Friday: Garbage Trucks

This week our story time theme was Garbage trucks.  My grand plan was to make a flannel board where we would sort trash by color into a matching garbage truck.  But, we had really great weather over the weekend so my yard got the attention that my flannel board did not.  Instead I showed the movie version of the book I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullen.  (The kids and parents seemed to enjoy that special surprise.)

I did get the garbage trucks themselves made, so in the future I may print off photos of garbage in different colors, or use them to sort recycling items.  For recycling we could have plastic, glass, compost, and paper.  You could also have colored paper scattered around the room and have the kids pick it up and bring it to one of the trucks which could be taped to a box so the kids can put the paper in the box.

I also had a rhyme for my garbage trucks.  It goes:

Garbage trucks, garbage trucks,
Cleaning up the town.
Do you see any garbage lying around?
Pick up the trash and match it to a truck,
Soon the whole town will be all cleaned up.

There are also some great garbage truck ideas at Awesome Storytime and Read, Sarah, Read.  I drew inspiration from both of these great 'Stinky / Garbage' storytime posts.

This week's round-up is with Mollie at What Happens In Storytime.  The posts will also be pinned to the Pinterest boards and all things Flannel Friday can be found on the Flannel Friday Blog.


Flannel Friday: Fair Food

This week's post was totally stolen from Ms. Monica at Ram Sam Storytime.  (Thanks for the inspiration!)  A few weeks ago she posted a food on a stick flannel rhyme and I instantly loved it.  When I read her rhyme it for some reason brought to mind the song Animal fair, so I modified her rhyme to fit the song.  We sang:

(To the tune of Animal Fair)

I went to the county fair.
The pigs and the sheep were there.
When food I demanded,
We went to a stand,
And got _____ on a stick to share.

The song is kind of catchy. By the second or third round most of the kids were singing along with me. 

As we sang I would use my stick to prop up the food that we were using for that verse.  This worked really well.  We have several puppets that have sticks to move their arms around.  The stick has the soft side of velcro at the top to help hold it in place in a pocket at the bottom of the puppet's hand.  So, I placed the rougher side on the back of my pieces and just slapped the stick down on each piece as we sang.  You could easily make this device with any stick-like object.  And, if you are like us, you have quite a bit of that soft side of velcro floating around.

Some of the 'normal' food on a stick options.
I had all the pieces piled in the order I wanted so I could just slap them on quickly.
I added some things to make the song a bit silly.  This is one of those times when it is great to have a stock pile of flannel boards as I could just pull pieces from various sets to use in the song.  Very easy to do and saves time and energy for other projects.  I like to borrow pieces whenever I can.  This is one reason I try to do most of my sets with craft foam so that they are all similar.

Some of the more outrageous food on a stick options.  Lion on a stick anyone?

You can find all of this week's posts with one of the other flanneling Sarahs at Read, Sarah, Read! or you can visit the New This Week board on Pinterest.  If you have any questions about Flannel Friday you can find all sorts of information at the Flannel Friday blog - or just ask me or any of the other participants, we're happy to share!

A day at the Fair

Week 2 of fall story times brought the fun of fairs into the library.  However, due to life stuff, I only got to do one of my usual four story times.  Thankfully my wonderful co-workers were able to step in for me, but I don't feel that I performed the books and songs enough to have a good idea of how they all went over with the kids.  The only story time that I did was my Tuesday evening story time and those kids are always well behaved and receptive - partly because they tend to be a little older (4 - 5) and partly because they and their parents are awesome.  So, whatever I do on Tuesday nights seems to go well.

Anyway, our theme for week 2 was the Fair featuring the letter F.  This theme was very much inspired by Ms. Monica at Ram Sam Story Time who posted a flannel board about food on a stick.  Being a fan of food on a stick I knew instantly that this was a theme I wanted to use.

Our first book was I know a wee piggy by Kim Norman.  This is a cute story about a piggy who runs hog-wild all around the fair.  At each stop piggy acquires a new form of color, be it mud, paint, clay, cotton candy, this piggy becomes a mess!  The story is actually cumulative like I know and old lady, but I skipped the accumulating verse on each page and the rhyme still worked really well and left the story short enough to keep the attention of young children. 

The second book that we read was Janet Morgan Stoeke's Minerva Lousie at the fair.  I changed this book from a different one for the Tuesday evening crowd because it has some silliness that might be above the realms of a 2 or 3 year old.  Minerva is spending the night on her farm when she is drawn by some bright lights down to the local fair.  She gets rather confused by all of the fair stuff, she thinks the ferris wheel is an odd bulldozer, the carousel a horse barn, and the rabbit hutches.  The older kids were able to pick up on Minerva's mistakes making the book fun of the older kids.

Our flannel story was modified from Ram Sam Story Time.  Ms. Monica created a rhyme for her flannel board that I discovered could by sung with a little tweaking.  You can read her original version here.  I modified it to be sung to the tune of Animal Fair.  It goes:

I went to the county fair.
The pigs and the sheep were there.
When food I demanded,
We went to a stand
And got ______ on a stick to share!

Then I would whip out various foods on my stick to insert into the song.  Some were foods that could work, some were silly foods, and some weren't foods at all!  You can read more about my version here.

We used some fun songs in between our books.  Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael have one called Wiggledy Woo where you do a lot of wiggling.

Carole Peterson has a great finger play song called Tommy Thumb is up.  It is a twist on Where it thumbkin but uses the easier thumb, pointer, and baby fingers before getting all of the fingers into the mix.

We pulled out the shaker eggs for Angela Russ's Shake your boom boom.  This is a fun, upbeat shaker song.  She notes that you can use anything for a boom boom, I like shaker eggs.  We may be getting some boom whackers, so that could be fun with this song.

Sue Schnitzer's All the fish is a very popular song with the 2 and 3 year old set.  So much so that many of my friends have 2 year old kids who walk around singing it thanks to our church's Sunday school.
Because all of the Fair themed crafts that I could find were far beyond what I deem appropriate for story time I decided to have the kids make their own puppet show for the Three Little Pigs.  Pigs are a big part of the fair, so this isn't too far of a stretch, right?  The craft was basic, each kid had 3 pigs, 3 houses, and 1 wolf to color.  They got a stick for each pig and wolf and then the houses were attached to a cut paper bag.  This way as they told the story they could turn from house to house.  If you set the bag on a flat surface you could also have the wolf blow it away.  And, added bonus for the parents, all the puppet pieces could be carried home in the bag.  I was also able to put all the pieces into the bag before story time so they were ready to go drafts.  Also, I put some sheets with the story printed out on the craft tables just in case someone need it.


Dragons in Story Time

So, we are already in the fourth week of this sessions story time and I am just now getting around to posting about the first week of story time.  That's what happens when real life hits, blogging falls to the back burner.
 Anyway, for our first week of story time this fall I wanted to feature dragons so that I could introduce my dragon puppet, Sparky.  Sparky actually started doing story time with me last fall, but there are lots of new two year olds who have not met him.  So, we did a dragon themed story time with the letter D for Dragon.

The first week is always a little hectic, I lay out a few guidelines (such as keep all adult conversation for after story time because we are role models for our children) and that takes up a little time at the beginning.  I also introduce myself and give a little overview of how a typical story time goes so that they know what to expect.
After all that housekeeping we read our first dragon book Me and my dragon by David Biedrzycki.  This is a cute story about a boy who wants a fire breathing dragon for a pet.  He talks about all of the fun things that he would do with his dragon and throws in a few funny anecdotes (like why feeding broccoli to a fire-breathing dragon is bad).  Before reading this book we talked about pets and what would be a good pet..lion?...puppy?...elephant?  And then everyone yelled what they have at home as pets.  No dragons though...

Our second book was James Mayhew's Who wants a dragon?  This is the story of a sweet little baby dragon who just wants someone to love him.  Trouble is, most people in the kingdom are afraid of him.  Luckily, baby dragon finds someone who will love him.  The dragon in this book is very cute and not at all scary.

For our final story I took Eric Kimmel's I took my frog to the library and I dragon-ized it.  You can read all about it here.  Basically, I wanted to talk about good library behavior and use dragons.  So, I had dragons that brought different forms of havoc to the library - such as knocking down books with their tails, making messes they didn't clean up, ruining books, and even setting fire to the librarians hair!  

Since dragons songs are on my list of 'what children's artists need to sing more action songs about' (I admit it is a very wishful list) we did some monster and dinosaur songs instead.  Laurie Berkner's We are the dinosaurs is always a very popular song with my story time crowd.  Many know it already and that seems to make it all the more fun.

My new favorite artists Mr. Eric and Mr. Micheal have a song called We are monsters on their Bouncy Blue album.  This is a fun song that involves lots of roaring.  (Warning - it did make one little girl cry, but all the rest has SO much fun that I will keep it in the rotation.)

We also pulled out the shaker eggs for Shakable you, a super fun song by the Imagination Movers.  You shake different parts of your body then you shake and jump!  This turns into a what looks like a toddler rock concert.  I can only imagine what the people walking by my story time think we are doing at the library.
Our craft was a fire breathing dragon.  I found the idea at the KangarooBoo blog.  I modified it a little.  For the eyes I cut a slit near the bottom of the cup and the kids could slide the circles into that.  They also had stickers for the eye balls.  The 'fire' is crepe paper stuck on with double sided tape.  I poked holes in the bottom of the cup and they put a straw (cut in half) into it.  They loved that the dragon actually blew out fire.  It worked really well if you tucked the crepe paper into the cup before blowing.