Friday, September 28, 2012

Flannel Friday Guest Posts: Apple Farmer

This week we have a return Guest Poster for the Flannel Friday Round-Up

Lindy is back! 


To learn a little about Lindy, you can visit her first Guest Post here.

And now, here is her contribution for this week:

Apple Farmer
(Sung to "Bingo")

There was a farmer had some trees.
His apples were so tasty.
His apples were so tasty!

Continue singing the next verse and turn over the first apple and clap like when singing "Bingo".

Continue singing, turning over apples and clapping until the last apple is turned.

Then everyone yells, "Yum yum!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Not a Flannel Friday: Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day!

AVAST, me hearties!

It be time to celebrate!

If you follow this blog or my Flannel Friday posts at all, then you know how much I adore anything pirate-y. 

If you know about my love for pirate treasures ~ then you have probably guessed that I look forward to Talk Like a Pirate Day each year. And, oooooh, how I DO look forward to it!

If you have never heard of this very special day, you can learn about the celebration here.

For this year, I have been working on adding things for younger children to my pirate stash of things to share when it is time to set sail with the Captain at a storytime for little ones. 

Recently, I came across a delightfully illustrated Board Buddies book entitled,  Pirates!

Illustrations by Viviana Garofoli
The simple and easy-to-follow text presents the exciting antics of a small band of young pirates. Your younger child(ren) will enjoy the brightly colored illustrations, especially the expressive faces of the pirate crew. They remind me a little of the old Peanuts characters ~ especially Charlie Brown! ;o) 

For my Flannel Friday Round-Up contribution this week, I have made a magnetic board set of 5 young pirates. These could be made for use on a flannel board by backing them with a little felt or they could be made into stick puppets so that you could have 5 children actively participate in the rhymes by holding the stick puppets up in front of the group ~ until you take them back as you count-down with the last rhyme.

Each pirate is around 9 to 10 inches tall.

For the first activity, I am sharing a piggy-back song:

One Brave Pirate
(Sung to the tune of "One Little Elephant")

One brave pirate sailed out to sea
Across the blue waters, wild and free
He had such enormous fun
That he called for another brave pirate to come.

Two brave pirates sailed out to sea
Across the blue waters, wild and free
They had such enormous fun
That they called for another brave pirate to come.

Continue counting up to five 
~ adding another pirate with each verse.

Special note: As you can see, I used the illustrations from the book to create my cute little pirates. Out of respect for the illustrator, I am only posting a few pictures here. I will be using these adorable pirates along with the book so that I can give credit where credit is due! I feel that by creating a magnetic set that mimics the illustrations in the book, I am adding some cohesion to my storytimes. The little ones will be able to more easily connect the book with the song and rhyme. It also gives me an opportunity to talk briefly with the adults about the importance of reading well-illustrated books with characters that appeal to younger children. These little guys are perfect for this "teachable moment" discussion.

Five Scurvy Pirates

Five scurvy pirates standing on the shore,
One went on a search and that left four.

Four scurvy pirates sailing out to sea,
One went for a swim and that left three.

Three scurvy pirates out on the ocean blue,
One walked the plank and that left two.

Two scurvy pirates having tons of fun,
One went below the deck and that left one.

One scurvy pirate, tired and alone,
He turned the ship around and sailed for home.

The book actually only had 3 different pirates so we had to play around with them in Photoshop to make 5 pirates for the set. This is the same guy with a few tweaks, like different hair color:

We also made a few changes to this guy ~ a solid-colored bandana and striped:pajama pants to match his shirt!

We all had a blast at our Talk Like a Pirate celebration! We sang and danced like pirates. We counted pirates and fish. And we even "swam in the ocean" with lots of other sea creatures. We topped off storytime with a yummy snack of fish crackers while we made Pirate Spyglasses to take home. We used pirate stickers, jewel stickers and colorful beads to decorate our spyglasses:

I have one more picture to share ~ just for fun. ;o) It is our youngest storytime pirate. She is only 2 months old! So precious!

Enjoy your weekend!
And, as always,


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flannel Friday Guest Post: Five Little Leaves

On Tuesday, I met up with a good friend (also a local children's librarian). During our conversation I mentioned that I was hosting the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week. She was very excited to hear about the group and wanted to know more. I showed her the website and a few of the past Round-Ups on my laptop. 

She loved them! 

But ~ was a little bummed because she doesn't have a blog. I offered to have her as a "Guest Poster" anytime she wanted to share an idea. This interested her immediately.

She asked what our theme was for this week. After my explanation that we don't usually have a theme, she asked what I was doing for the week. When I mentioned Fall leaves, she smiled happily and said that she might have something to contribute since that was her storytime theme this week, too. 

And that is how we came to have "Lindy" as a Guest Poster this week! 
(I put her name in quotes because she doesn't want me to use her real name yet. Her library is rather strict about an "on-line presence" so she isn't sure if she would get in trouble or not. Until she has a chance to find out, she will be "Lindy".)

Lindy works mostly with 3 and 4 year olds. She "enjoys seeing their faces light up when she shares a new song or rhyme so she tries to share a new one each week". (That is the reason she was excited to learn about our group! New songs and rhymes!)

This week at her Fall storytimes, she shared a magnetic board rhyme called "Five Little Leaves". She mentioned that  it should be easily transferred to a flannel board set.

Here is the rhyme and a few pictures that Lindy emailed me:

Five Little Leaves

Five little leaves in the tree next door,
One fell off and then there were four.
Four little leaves all over the tree,
A bird pulled off one and now there are three.
Three little leaves up where the wind blew,
One fell off and then there were two.
Two little leaves sitting in the sun,
A bug ate a leaf and now there is one.
One little leaf in the tree alone,
The wind blew and blew and now there are none.

Lindy says that she starts with a bare tree on the magnetic board and has the children help her count each leaf as she puts it on the tree. Then, as she recites the rhyme, she adds the other pieces (bird, grasshopper, wind) to the board as they appear in the rhyme and removes a leaf with each verse.

Other pieces:

Lindy made her magnetic pieces by finding pictures in books that her library has in their professional collection. She copied the bird, grasshopper, and cloud pictures onto white construction paper and colored them with crayons before laminating them. For the tree, she cut the trunk out of brown construction paper ~ freehand! (I'm impressed!) ~ and then diecut the leaves out of green construction paper. She laminated these pieces, too, Then she added a piece of magnetic stripping to the back of each one.

Lindy recommends this counting rhyme for many different storytimes. She has used it for Fall, trees, birds, bugs, and even a weather storytime. Very versatile!

Thanks, Lindy, for joining us this week and sharing this fun magnetic board set and rhyme. I hope you can join us again for another Flannel Friday Round-Up real soon!

Flannel Friday: Fall Leaves are Falling!

Fall is almost here!

With it's cooler days and colorful leaves!

When I first arrived in Florida years ago, I thought that I would not be seeing any of the color-changing leaves of Fall. Florida has only one season, right?

I was wrong! Even though Fall isn't that much cooler here, we do still have some trees around that change colors. I was very happy to see this because, as a preschool teacher, one of my favorite Fall storytimes was all about leaves ~ green ones, red ones, yellow ones, orange ones, and even brown ones! I love the colors of Fall, don't you? So bright and vibrant!

Today, I want to share a few songs and ideas for enjoying the colorful leaves of Fall. 

The first song is such a simple one but it is a tremendous amount of fun and very interactive! Let's get moving!

To prepare for this activity, I have 5 leaves that I have diecut from felt. They are green, red yellow, orange, and brown. I used our Maple leaf diecut and made my leaves all the same shape so that we could discuss same and different once we have counted the leaves onto the board. First, we count as I add each leaf. Then, I ask if the leaves are the same or different ~ they are both! The leaves are the same shape but they are different colors. Next, we name each color and sign the ASL sign for each one.

Here is where I make this song/activity a little more interactive. In advance, I diecut a set of Fall leaves for each child out of construction paper. I give each child a set and ask them to place the leaves in a row in front of them as they are sitting on the ground.

Next, I make the ASL sign for Green and ask the children to hold up their leaf of the correct color. Once we have finished our "color recognition by sign" activity, we are ready for this song:

The Leaves on the Tree
(Sung to the tune of: "The Wheels on the Bus")
As we sing the first verse, the children hold up
the green leaf and wave it in the air.
The leaves on the trees are green, green, green.
Green, green, green. 
Green, green, green.
The leaves on the trees are green, green, green,
All around the town.
For this verse, the child holds up the red leaf,
then orange, and waves them in the air.
The leaves on the trees are red and orange.
Red and orange. 
Red and orange.
The leaves on the trees are red and orange,
All around the town.
For this verse, the child holds up the yellow leaf, 
then brown, and waves them in the air.
The leaves on the trees are yellow and brown.
Yellow and brown. 
Yellow and brown.
The leaves on the trees are yellow and brown,
All around the town.
For this verse, the child holds up any leaves 
that they choose and twirl them down to the ground.
The leaves on the trees come tumbling down.
Tumbling down
Tumbling down.
The leaves on the trees come tumbling down,
All around the town.
For this verse, the child lays the leaves 
on the ground and pats hands up and down on them.
The leaves on the ground go crunch, crunch, crunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch.
Crunch, crunch, crunch.
The leaves on the ground go crunch, crunch, crunch.
All around the town.
For this verse, the child lays the leaves 
on the ground and swishes them 
into the air with their hands.
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish.
Swish, swish, swish.
Swish, swish, swish.
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish.
All around the town.

I provide each family with a printout of the words and allow the children to take home a set of leaves so they can sing the song at home with them.

So that is my favorite Fall leaves interactive activity. 
Very, very simple!

 I shared this song at our Family Game Night for September. To continue the leaf fun, we played with some artificial fall leaves and our parachute. 

The children AND the parents had a BLAST!

Stay tuned for details on the games we played with the
parachute and our colorful leaves.

Before I go, I want to share a second simple song that I use to calm down a rowdy group during any type of Fall program. We usually sing this song two or more times. To start, I ask where leaves grow and talk about them being high in a tree. I ask the children to raise their hands high above their heads and we wiggle each hand as we count 1-2. As we start singing, we twirl our hands:
Leaves Are Twirling
(Sung to the tune of: "Frere Jacques")

Leaves are twirling.
Leaves are twirling.
All around
All around.  

They are falling softly,
Very, very softly, 
To the ground, 
To the ground.

When we sing "all around", I encourage the children to make large sweeping motions with their hands ~ crossing several times in front of their bodies. Then, as we sing the rest of the song in a very soft, quiet voice, we slowly bring our hands down to the ground.

This is a very calming song to use as a transition from a more lively activity into the sharing of a book or flannel story.

Thanks for stopping by today. I am the host for the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week so check below for the Blog Hop and all of the creative posts.

Have a delightful weekend!
And, as always,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Flannel Friday Round-Up for September 14, 2012


It is time for the Flannel Friday Round-Up!

I am excited to be hosting Flannel Friday this week. I love reading everyone's creative posts and am always inspired by all the fun ideas!

This is my third time to host. Whoo hoo! Love it!

I used a newer way to collect everyone's contributions. It is called a Blog Hop. (You can check out a couple of past ones here and here.) 

I have been hosting Blog Hops on my blog for quite awhile because I have found them to be a fun, simple way to organize storytime ideas in an easy to access format.
(I hope you will check out one or two of my Blog Hops through the link above. And please feel free to link up any of your past, present, or future posts that fit the theme of the Blog Hops). 

I find Blog Hops to be much easier and quicker to use. And since a participant in one links a photo from their own site, you can easily see if an idea is what you are looking for. 

It is very Pinterest-y

I LOVE all of the colorful pictures. ;o) I hope you enjoy them, too!

Well, enough of all that chit-chat, let's get this Flannel Friday Round-Up started! 

If you prefer to just get started hopping from one blog to another, skip this next part and start clicking on the thumbnail photos below to see the cool ideas for this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up. Have fun!

But ~ if you prefer the regular option of reading a little description before clicking the link then stay with me here because that is what you are now going to get! ;o)

First, we have two bilingual storytime ideas from Katie at Es divertido hablar dos idiomasShe shares an exciting, mixed up day on the farm with her adorable flannelized farm animals from David McPhail's easy reader book, The Day Dog Said, "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!"
Next, she shared instructions for making a very colorful felt piƱata! It is beautiful! Thank you, Katie! I enjoy learning new ways to incorporatemSpanish into my own storytimes.

This week, we have quite a number of Fall-related storytime ideas. 

I love Fall, don't you?

Lisa at Libraryland is taking us on a colorful leaf hunt with her flannelized version of the Steve Metzger book, "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt".  She includes a pattern so you can make your own.

Please give a warm welcome to Lindy who is a Guest Poster this week. She is sharing her magnetic version of Five Little Leaves. This is a versatile rhyme that can easily be flannelized and used for many different storytime themes.

Fall is also a very good time to enjoy some delicious applesauce. Lucy at In the Children's Room has provided us with a fun and interactive flannel recipe for making and enjoying Applesauce, Applesauce. Mmmmm good!

Storytime Katie was Flannel Friday-inspired by Sarah to make her own tree with colorful leaves to share the song, The Leaves on the Trees. I love her beautiful tree and her 
suggestion for making this song a little more interactive. You will love it too!

Great minds and really FUN, wacky librarians think alike! Or at least that's my story and I am sticking to it . ;o)

You'll understand those two statements when you visit my blog at Storytime ABC'S  I chose to share a two-fer this week that includes the song, Leaves are Twirling. It is a very good song to help calm little ones down and ease into a transition from a more active song or activity into a calmer, quieter book sharing or flannel board story.

Next, we have monster-ific fun happening with Lucy at Notes From the Story Room. She  is letting her Five Little Monsters escape the bedroom to have some jumping fun in other places. Her monster finger puppets are too cute!

Please give another warm welcome to Carolyn from Risking Failure. This is her first time to join us on the Round-Up. She says that she was Flannel Friday-inspired to make individual flannel/magnetic boards AND multiple flannel kits to put into the hands of her students to encourage retelling of the story. Her contribution is an adorable flannel version of Mr. Wiggle's BookI am now inspired by Carolyn!

Erin at LibrErin brings us a new idea to extend everyone's favorite cat book, Pete the Cat.  Her activity features Pete and his famous shoes and is the perfect way to practice color recognition skills with storytime friends. Very creative!

Library Quine at Loons and Quines @ Librarytime is sharing three ~ yes, you read that right!   ~ THREE ways to use her Five Fancy Goldfish. So cute and versatile! And she has a teaser for us, too.

We have a second contribution this week from Storytime Katie. (Wow! I'm impressed because I struggle to share one post each week. LOL) This one is an adorable Flannel Friday-inspired activity about yummy Popsicles. A delicious way to encourage color recognition!

Oooh! Mollie at What Happens In Storytime... is sharing "Petey the Pirate and his sidekick Julie Child" who are two creatively changeable felt puppets. I hope we hear more about them in the future!

There you go! That is the fantastic Flannel Friday Round-Up this week!

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below, post a comment on the Flannel Friday Facebook page, email me at or catch me on Twitter ~ I am @StorytimeFun.

For anyone who is new to Flannel Friday and curious about this awesome group of guys and gals, you can check out the Flannel Friday website here.

Have fun!
~ K ~