Sunday, April 29, 2012

Snack: Frogs on a Log

It's time for a snack ~ with a froggie twist to it!

For the past few weeks, my storytime friends and I have been exploring frogs through learning activities, books, and crafts. And, of course, a part of that exploration just HAD to include snacks, didn't it?

Over the time period of a few weeks, we've enjoyed several different froggie snacks but the one I am sharing today was, by far, the most popular! It is our version of the well-known Ants on a Log ~ which we also enjoyed when we were pretending to be frogs. So fun! ;o)

Here's the classic version that inspired our new snack:

Ants on a Log made with celery, peanut butter, and raisins.
Yummy!
Ants on a Log are delicious and pretty healthy. They are perfect when you are a hungry frog!

But what if you aren't a frog? What if you are a very hungry alligator ~ or maybe just pretending to be a gator who likes to eat frogs? Especially after reading books like in these two silly ones:


and



If you are a hungry gator or pretending to be one, these colorful Frogs on a Log are just the snack for you! Delicious and easy to make, too!

Here's what you need:


Supplies Needed:

Graham crackers
Nutella
Mint M&M's
Plate
Knife
A hungry gator or two (LOL)

Directions:

***Break graham crackers into fourths and spread them with the Nutella.

***Add M&M's ~ The cool thing is that they are three different shades of green! Each log can look different by varying the number of "frogs" and the shades of green, too.

***Enjoy your Frogs on a Log!

FAIR WARNING: I am not a gator but these Frogs on a Log are addicting! LOL! How could they not be? For one thing, I love Nutella!

But it is so much more than that!

I had never seen the Mint M&M's before. But, when we went searching for our "frog" item, I knew as soon as I saw them that they would be perfect "frogs". I love that they are three different shades of green. :o) My storytime friends loved that, too. And they thought they were beyond delicious. I had more little ones ask for seconds than I have ever had with any storytime snack. Even my shy friends were brave enough to ask for another one. What a surprise!

In the interest of full disclosure, I have actually bought two more bags of the Mint M&M's!

But I did not eat them ALL myself. I shared with family and friends. :o)

I hope you have fun making Ants on a Log or Frogs on a Log with your child/ren. If you do make the Frogs on a Log, I would enjoy hearing from you. I'd love to know if you and your child/ren enjoyed them as much as we did.

Thanks for stopping by Storytime ABC'S! Please consider sharing us with your family and friends.

I would also love for you to leave a comment or two. I enjoy "meeting" new friends and talking about family fun!

Have a lovely weekend! And, as always,

HAPPY READING TOGETHER!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Flannel Friday: The Wide-Mouthed BullFrog

Here is my contribution for Flannel Friday this week.


It is one of my all-time favorite Frog stories. I have presented it in lots of different ways over the years ~ and now I can present it as a Flannel Story! Yay!


It is:


The Wide-Mouthed Bullfrog
Here's our lively little Bullfrog as he hop, hop, hops along.
This story can be found in many different versions and formats because it has been around for a very long time! Personally, I use many different techniques when telling this story. Each time I tell it, I try to choose the one that best suits my audience.

The book that I use most often is this pop-up version by Keith Faulkner:

See any resemblance between my felt guy and this big mouth guy?
;o)

When I storytell, I use Keith Faulkner's version of The Wide-Mouthed Frog but I always say "Bullfrog". It is the way I first learned the story and it has stuck with me! :o)

Here is a quick re-cap of the story:

The Wide-Mouthed Bullfrog loves hopping around and visiting with the animals that he encounters along the way, like:

"a blue-feathered bird"

and

"a furry brown mouse".

With each new encounter, the Wide-Mouthed Bullfrog shares that he is indeed "a wide-mouthed (bull)frog and (I) eat flies" and then he asks, "What do you eat?"

Of course, the bird and mouse eat simple, harmless things like "wriggly worms and slugs" and "crunchy seeds and juicy berries". 

BUT, this really is not a simple, harmless tale!

Because... 


Who should the Wide-Mouthed Bullfrog meet next? 

(Cue suspenseful music!)

Aaaaahh! 

It's a big green alligator!

Isn't he cool in all is 3D awesomeness?

And do you know what alligators like to eat?!??!!???!!!

 You guessed it!

They like to eat "delicious wide-mouthed (bull)frogs"!!! 

Watch out for those sharp, white teeth, our little froggie friend!

But no need to worry! Our little froggie friend is pretty intelligent! He quickly sizes up the situation ~ he puckers his lips and makes his mouth as small as possible and says...


"Ooooh. You don't see many of them around, do you?"

And he leaps into the pond with a ...


Thank goodness he was a smart and quick frog!

I love this story and so do the children and their grownups ~ no matter HOW I tell it!

As I mentioned before, I use different techniques at different times.

For example, with the alligator in particular, I sometimes use the pop-up picture in the book. He is so well-illustrated that it is fun to surprise my storytime friends with his snapping white teeth when I open the book at just the right moment.



Other times, I use only my arms and hands to form the jaws of the alligator. When I do this, I encourage my storytime friends to also make their own "alligator" with their arms and hands. Snapping them open and closed. This works out well when I have a surprise storytelling session and don't have the opportunity to prepare too much ahead of time.

I also sometimes use our green alligator puppet:

Watch out for his sharp, white teeth!
I would like to mention one more version of The Wide-Mouthed Bullfrog that I occasionally use for my storytimes ~ it is a musical version!

We have a local music educator, Maryann "Mar." Harmon, who is also a children's songwriter. She has a song on one of her CDs that is based on Keith Faulkner's book. You will find a downloadable link to the song here.

It is a fun, easily remembered song version of
The Wide-Mouthed Bullfrog.
Great for adding a little music to your storytime!


For one of my storytimes this past week, I used my new flannel set with the above song. It was fun!


Oh, in case you missed it, the mouth on the frog is interchangeable!
I place the small mouth on first and then the wide-mouth over it.
When it is time, I remove the wide-mouth to reveal the small one.

My storytime groups have had a ton of fun with Frogs these past few weeks! 


So much fun, in fact, that I still have lots more Frog ideas to share on my Frog ABC'S Blog Hop. I hope you will take a look at the Blog Hop while you are visiting my blog today. And please feel free to link up any Frog ideas that you have enjoyed with your child/ren!

Here are a few ideas that are coming soon to a blog near you:

Froggie Crafts
Wide-Mouth Bullfrog Story Craft with interchangeable mouths
Fly-eating Frog Hat

Froggie Snacks:
Frogs on a Log ~ simple, delicious, and fun!

I hope you have a HOPPING-ly fun weekend! And, as always,

HAPPY READING TOGETHER!

Flannel Friday information for this week:

I am the host for this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up. It is my very first time to host and I am having lots of fun today! You will find the FFUP here when it is posted.



Talk about storytime and flannelboards at the Flannel Friday Facebook Page.
Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the #flannelfriday hashtag. (You don’t have to be on Twitter to check this out.)

And, last but not least, if you’re a contributor, there is an awesome blog button from Melissa and you can grab it from the right hand menu at Mel’s Desk!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flannel Friday Round-up: April 27, 2012

Drumroll, please!



This week's Flannel Friday Round-Up is ready to be unveiled!

And what an AWESOME group of posts we have this week! Everyone has done a beautiful job!


First, Jane at Piper Loves the Library has a before and after flannelization of one of my favorites, Little White Duck. Her original flannel looks wonderful ~ even after 25 years!
This is the before ~ now you really have to see the after!


Sandy at Storytime Sparks as a fun May Basket rhyme and a new creative take on Monkeys in the Tree for Arbor Day. I love the counting up and then counting down again!


Lisa at Libraryland shares the new storytime favorite, Pete the Cat. She even gives a sneak preview of Pete's new book that is coming out in May. How cool is that?


Sarah at Read, Sarah, Read shares an interactive storytime based on one of her favorite books, Trashy Town. I know my storytime friends will love her "trash" ideas!


Okay, most of you know how much I LOVE rainbows! So this next post had me from the get go! But ~ I never thought about how to make a "Kitten Rainbow" before, have you? Well, if you haven't either then we are all in luck because Miss Courtney at Miss Courtney Meets BoBo has some very colorful kittens for us. And she has a rhyme and a story about them, too.





Katie at Recipe for Reading has "an oldie but a goodie" for us! Her little ducks are adorable! Plus she shares a link to some colorful dinosaurs, too.


Lucy at In the Children's Room has bravely shared what she calls a flannel "flop". I'm sure we all have had one! And as Lucy says, " ...when that happens you focus on the positive, figure out what you can learn from the experience and move on." I admire the way Lucy learns and moves on even if I don't completely agree with her definition of  a "flop". :o) Her dragons looked good to me! I think sometimes we are harder on ourselves than we need to be...


Katie at Storytime Katie has some real puppy-attitude going on with her totally adorable puppy puppets. Each one has his/her own personality. 
Aren't they precious?
Monica at Ram Sam Storytime has an Earth Day storytime that features a rhyme about Five Little Worms and the work they do to make "dirt from their garbage lunch". Don't you just love those eeewy, yucky, wiggly worms?  The kids sure will! ;o)

Andrea at Rovingfiddlehead Kidlit has a Flannel Friday-inspired post about some very colorful and unique socks. She also mentions several fun books about socks including a newer one by Bob Shea.

Michael at Guybrarian has a super creative storytime prop that is unbelievably cute! His Rabbit in Carrot creation was conceived when he could not find the one he was looking for. I honestly doubt that the one he was looking for could be any cuter than the one he made! And accompanying rhyme just adds more cuteness points!
I love this rabbit!

Sharon at Rain Makes Applesauce shares a singing chick. What's not to love about a singing chick? Well, you'll have to ask Fox, Wolf, and Bear! I'm sure they can tell you. ;o) Be sure to take an extra long look at Bear. He is a character!

Sarah at Read It Again! shares a colorful "Things That Go" version of Bill Martin's Brown Bear, Brown Bear. She also shares some very good words of wisdom that were inspired by this little guy:




Linda at Notes from the Story Room is kind enough to share some ideas for class visits to the library. She mentions ways to keep the children's attention and she talks about the importance of changing things up from year to year. 

Seth at The Voices Inside My Headphones has some awesome advice for running a Legos Club. He openly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks, Seth!


Kari Ann at My Storytime Life is sharing an exhilarating ride with horse and his animal friends through the medium of a Box Story based on Clip Clop! So much excitement!



Danielle at A Bad Case of Books has created some very cute baby kangaroos along with a Mama kangaroo with a pouch! So fun!

Meghan at Busy Crafting Mommy shares several flannel ideas for a balloon and kite storytime. She also included a very creative "string" story based on the book, Someone Bigger. I really love how it is interactive and gets the children involved in the storytelling!




Mollie at What Happens in Storytime has an early Mother's Day gift for all us Moms! I always enjoy how she sneaks in the letter recognition and early literacy skills by doing a fun song. Great idea!

Shawn at Read, Rhyme & Sing is also sharing some ideas for a Mother's Day storytime. She recommends two wonderful books ~ the second one is a personal favorite of mine! I always loved getting bear hugs from my own four awesome boys! Still do actually! Hugs are the BEST!

And, finally, here's my Flannel Friday contribution. It is a flannel version of one of my all-time favorite frog stories ~ The Wide-Mouthed Bullfrog.



I hope you enjoyed this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up. I have honestly had a BLAST hosting this week! Thank you for the opportunity!

I hope it was okay to use a few pictures just to spice up the list and entice you to click ALL of the links ~ because you never know what is waiting for you at the other end!

Please note: If I used your picture and you prefer that I not, please email me at storytimeabcs@gmail.com and I will remove it from the post.

If I have missed anyone, please accept my deepest apologies and let me know in the comments below so that I can add you immediately!

Have a lovely and relaxing weekend, everyone! :o)


Flannel Friday Round-Up: April 27, 2012

For some unknown reason, this post disappeared into cyberspace and then made a reappearance after I made a NEW post for the Flannel Friday Round-Up. Please click on this link for the 


for April, 27, 2012




It is a Flannel Friday Round-up!


And guess who is the Host for the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week????

ME! ME!! ME!!!

Can you tell that I am excited?!!???!!

 It is my very first time to host ~ so wish me luck!

If you are looking forward to sharing a Flannel or any other fun storytime idea this week, then this is the place to be! 

Share your links ~ in the comment section below. 

As soon as I see your link and "round it up", you will get a response from me. If I don't give you a timely response, then please assume I haven't seen your post yet and do a little "Hey, look at me!" dance. ;0) 

Or try another way to contact me from the list below.

 I don't want to miss anyone so feel free to bug me as much as you want ~ within reason, of course. LOL! 

I will be at work all day Friday but I will be checking here, Facebook, Twitter and my email throughout the day.

Be sure to bookmark this post because this is where the Flannel Friday Round-Up for April 27, 2012 will magically appear ~ sometime late Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. 

The exact time is your guess as good as mine! It will depend on how well my tech-skills hold out and how kind my computer and/or IPad want to be tomorrow.

Hope to hear from LOTS and LOTS of you!

Here's how to contact me:

***Leave your link in the comments below

***Email me: storytimeabcs@gmail.com

***Leave your comment and link on FB (there will be a thread going for this week's FFRU): http://www.facebook.com/groups/flannelfridayfun/

***Tweet me on Twitter: @storytimefun 
             Don't forget to include the hashtag #flannelfriday and my Twitter name

Hope I haven't forgotten anything. Let me know if I have, okay?

Enjoy the rest of your week!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fun Finds: Little Chicks Glove Puppets

Hi, everyone! 


I am very excited to be sharing one of my recent Fun Finds today! 


If you are new to my blog and don't know what a Fun Find is, you can read a little about them here.


I found these adorable little chicks at Michael's a few days after Easter.  Each kit contains everything you need to make 4 baby chicks. I bought each kit for just $0.44! I love it!


 
The craft kit could be split up so that several little ones could make one chick into an individual puppet to play with. All you need is a popsicle stick or small dowel rod for each puppet.





Or the chicks could be made into "glove puppets" like these happy frogs:



The kit has everything in it to create the chicks for both of these ideas ~ except for the glue (Tacky or hot glue); popsicle sticks for the individual puppets or velcro for the glove puppets. 


Quick note: I just want to mention that I have the kits but you can actually buy every item individually if you would like to make these puppets yourself. Or, if you craft a lot, you might already have everything you need!


Supplies List:

Yellow pompoms 
(1 inch or bigger)

Yellow pompoms 
(1/4 inch)

Wiggle eyes
(7mm round)

Orange felt 
(diamond-shaped)

Tacky glue
or
Hot glue gun

Velcro 
(for Glove Puppets)

Popsicle stick 
(for individual puppet)

Directions:
***Fold the orange felt diamond in half and glue to the middle of the large yellow pompom for the beak
***Glue the small yellow pompoms on either side of the beak for the chick's cheeks.
***Glue the wiggle eyes above the cheeks and beak.

Now your chick is ready  for embellishments ~ like feathers or ribbon for a bowtie or anything else you might want to add. 

I took some craft feathers that we had laying around and trimmed one up to glue on top of my chick's head.

 I had several different types of feathers to choose from
so each chick could have a totally different look depending
on which feather is chosen.
Mine turned out to look like a "punk rocker" chick with a mohawk! LOL!

Isn't he cute?
Once the chicks are all glued together and all decked out, you can decide if you want to make individual stick puppets or glove puppets.

For the stick puppet, glue a popsicle stick onto the back of the chick (see above photo)

For the glove puppets, glue a Velcro dot onto the back of the chick's head so that they can be attached to the fingers of a glove.


 I recommend gluing the "hook" part of the Velcro onto the chicks and the "loop" part onto your glove ~ if you are making a glove yourself.

This is a garden glove that was purchased when it was on sale.
It has been laying around so we re-purposed it. LOL
Any type of glove can be used when making your own. I always look for inexpensive gloves that fit my hand snuggly, so that if a child wants to play with it, the glove won't be too huge to fit the child's hand. If you are making a glove for your child, I recommend buying the stretchy knit gloves that you find at WalMart every winter. :o)

I actually have several different types of gloves that I use at my storytimes. Here are three of them:

The tan glove is the oldest. It was store-bought in a set with several different kinds of puppets ~ I believe they were fairytale sets like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It is made of fur and has "looped" Velcro on the fingers. I like it because it can go on either hand.

The blue glove is actually my favorite. It is also store-bought and puppet sets can be purchased to go with it. It is made from a felty kind of material ~ so anything I use on the flannel board will stick anywhere on the glove ~ not just on the fingers. It is also interchangeable for either hand. I like using it when I have fish or birds as my puppets.

The blue and white glove is one of our homemade gloves. It was laying around so we re-purposed it :o) by gluing Velcro dots on each finger. I love using it with fruits and vegetables or flowers when I do a gardening theme.

Well, there you have it! A couple of cool puppet ideas made from my recent Fun Find. I think  we will be having tons of fun with these puppets at our upcoming Farm Storytimes! I hope you have lots of fun if you make some of your own.

Or... how would you like a chance to win everything you need to make your own "Five Little Chicks" glove set?

Keep reading and I will soon explain how to enter a drawing for the set...

First though, here are a few books and fingerplays that you can share with your child(ren) along with the chick puppets:

Dora's Chicks
by Julie Sykes



Five Little Chicks
by Nancy Tafuri

This first rhyme is perfect for the glove puppet! Just add a MotherHen puppet at the end and you have a really fun learning activity to do with your child(ren).
  

Five Little Chicks
(Count-up Fingerplay)

Said the first little chick with a wiggly squirm,
"I wish I could find a fat juicy worm."

Said the second little chick with an odd little shrug,
"I wish I could find a fat yummy slug."

Said the third little chick with a sharp little squeal, 
"I wish I could find some bugs for my meal."

Said the fourth little chick with a sigh of grief,
"I wish I could find a little green leaf."

Said the fifth little chick with a faint little moan,
"I wish I could find a wee gravel stone."

"Now, see here," said the mother from the green garden patch,
"If you want your breakfast, just come here and scratch!"

This next chick rhyme is a TRUE fingerplay. Before I start the fingerplay, I always have the children use their fingers to count to ten with me. ;o)

Ten Fluffy Chicks 

Five eggs and five eggs
   (Hold up five fingers and five fingers.)
That makes ten.
   (Wiggle all ten fingers.)
Sitting on top is the Mother Hen
   (Lock fingers together, knuckles up.)
Crack, crack, crack, what do I see?
   (Clap hands. 1-2-3)
Ten fluffy chickens as yellow as can be.
   (Hold up ten fingers again.)

Okay, one last rhyme ~ for the little chick stick puppet. :o) This is actually a piggyback song which means it is sung to a familiar tune ~ "I'm a Little Teapot".


I’m a Little Chick
(Sung to the tune of:  “I’m A Little Teapot”)

I’m a little chicky.
Yellow and soft.
I was born
Inside a hay loft.
I play all day
And cheep, cheep, cheep.
Now back to the barn
To go to sleep!



There are lots of other exciting Activities, Books, Crafts, and even Snacks (ABC'S) that you can enjoy while sharing the world of Eggs and Chicks with your child(ren). Please visit my Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop for more ideas. You will find it by clicking the button below:

Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop


Now for the 
Five Little Chicks Glove Puppet Giveaway!

To be entered in a drawing for a chance to win, please make a comment below. (One entry per person.) 

You can comment about your favorite Egg or Chick book that you read with your own child or at your storytimes or in your classroom.
  
You can comment about the kinds of themes or activities you would like to see on my blog in the near future.

You can even comment about the weather you are having in your neck of the wood. LOL!

Actually any polite comment will do! 

I love making new "friends" and getting to know other people who enjoy sharing books and learning activities with young children! I can't wait to read what you have to share!

Have a lovely evening! And as always,

HAPPY READING TOGETHER!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop

It is time to start a new Blog Hop
YAY!

Can you guess what it's about?


Yep! You guessed it!

Eggs and Chicks!

Quick note:
My first Blog Hop ~ Frog ABC'S Blog Hop ~ has been well received and we have over 20 links now. Whoo hoo! I had several people contact me about wanting to link up but not having the time to do it yet. The time was extended. :o)
Also, I can always add after the deadline has passed.  So if anyone writes a post about frogs or comes across a cool idea about frogs after the deadline, please send me a message. I can be contacted at storytimeabcs(at)gmail(dot)com for any questions or issues.

ABC'S (Activity, Books, Crafts, and Snacks) Blog Hops are excellent for "resource-building" whether you are:


  •    a parent looking for something fun to do with your child as you spend quality time together
  •    a preschool teacher looking for exciting new learning activities for your classroom
  •    a children's librarian looking for new ideas to add to your storytime repertoire
  •    a leader of a Mom's group looking for a simple easy ideas to share with your group
  •    actually anyone interested in Early Literacy and Early Childhood Education
And besides being a good resource, Blog Hops are just plain FUN!

So, let's get started:

Eggs and Chicks Blog Hop!

 Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop

That means we will be collecting all kinds of resources that are about eggs, chicks, hens, farms, etc.

To get us started, I am going to share a few resources from the different areas that my blog covers.

Activities:
(Includes: Learning Games, Creative Movement Activities, Songs, Dances, and so much more!)

This is a Green Eggs and Ham Relay that we did at a
recent Dr. Seuss Party at our library.
You might be thinking, "What?!??! That is a Dr. Seuss idea. Why is it included in the Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop?"

Well, it does include eggs and it is easily tweaked for our upcoming Farm Storytimes at our library. I will be sharing more information about it in the Blog Hop once I have the post ready. It is lots of fun so you will want to keep and eye out for it!


Books:
(Please feel free to include any recommendations for Children's books 
~ new and classic and in-between 
I love learning about new versions of an old classic, don't you?

This is a fairly new book about a colorful egg.
I am looking forward to sharing ideas about it soon.

Crafts:
This is one of my latest Story Crafts:
My Hatching Egg
!


It that was inspired by a pin on Pinterest
and a recent craft shared by a fellow librarian.

Snacks:
A yummy Cheese Chick!

That is an example of the types of things we will be sharing on  the Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop. Please don't limit yourselves to just these categories though. Anything you post yourself or you find on the internet that is related to learning about Eggs and Chicks is fine to link up. I am really looking forward to exploring what is shared!

I'll mention one more type of post that I personally LOVE!

 I call them:
Fun Funds:
(Any awesome purchase that can be turned into a learning activity, craft, or snack 
or just any item that can be re-purposed for a little fun with your child!)

I found this Fun Find at a local Michael's right after Easter .
She was 70 or 80% off!

I'm thinking about ways to use her in a learning activity.
It will probably be a counting one. :o)

Okay, enough of me sharing already! We need to get to the nitty gritty of the Blog Hop so you can share, too.

Here's what to do:
  • Write a blog post showcasing any activitybookcraft, snack, or other idea about Eggs and Chicks or link to one that is already posted on your blog. You can share a flannel or magnetic board set that you created for a song or fingerplay about Eggs and Chicks. You can share an old classic children's book about Eggs and Chicks that you love to share at storytime or bedtime with your child or brand new book about Eggs and Chicks that you are adding to your "must read" list. You can share your latest craft that you created yesteday or a yummy snack that you found on Pinterest and decided to try last week when it was rainy outside. You can even share a website that shows hatching eggs, if you like! Anything about Eggs and Chicks will do! It is all up to you!
  • Next, add your link to this post by clicking on the "Click here to enter" link at the bottom of the page and following the instructions. Make sure you link to your specific blog post, not to your homepage, and choose a picture and give it a caption.
  • And the final step to making this a successful Blog Hop that benefits everyone ~ please click on "Get the code here" and follow the steps to adding the Blog Hop to your post. This step is what actually creates the links between all of the participating blogs so that a visitor to one blog will be able to visit any of the other blogs with just a click. Please don't forget to link-up! Another benefit to this step is that you will quickly see when another blog has linked up and you will be able to check out their contribution. That means less time blindly searching for new Eggs and Chicks ideas for your next storytime at your library or circle time in your preschool class or playdate with your Mom's Group or your child's best friend.
And it is as simple as that!

Have fun!

 Be sure to grab the Eggs and Chicks Blog Hop button if you link up.
Just grab the code from the sidebar on the right.
Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop
Isn't it cute? ;o)
Oh, and I added an Eggs and Chicks ABC'S Blog Hop board on Pinterest. Check it out here.