Saturday, November 30, 2013

Flannel Friday: Gingerbread Friends ~ Fun and Games!

Happy Flannel Friday!

Recently, we decided to add what we call a Stay and Play time to our Read, Sing, Play Toddlertime every Tuesday morning. I had wanted to do this for years but my former boss never approved the idea. I was a little hesitant to ask my new boss but finally decided to take the chance. I am so glad I did! She loved the idea and we started the very next week. 

Since then, I have been garagesale-ing to find age-approproate toys and learning activities for our storytime friends. I have also been creating lots of activities of my own ~ mostly out of felt!

This week's Flannel Friday contribution is the new learning activity for this week's Stay and Play

The learning activity is made from a Fun Find that I picked up for a song last year after Christmas. (If you are unfamiliar with what I call a Fun Find, just click here for an explanation.) 

The Fun Find was felt kits for making Gingerbread Boys and Girls.

I picked the kits up for a couple of dollars a piece and they made 16 Gingerbread kids each! Once I opened them, I decided to do a little tweaking to be able to use my Gingerbread friends with my younger storytime friends.

First, I embroidered the mouths with red thread, then I added eyes by finding little black brads and little pink felt circles were glued on for the cheeks. 

Next, I decided to add buttons, bows, and numerals in the colors of the rainbow. Each Gingerbread Boy pair would be able to be matched up by color and by numeral/number of buttons. (The buttons were brads in each color ~ a little bigger than the eye brads.) I also added white felt icing to the arms and legs.

Once each Gingerbread boy was decorated, I glued them to some brown felt so that I could cover up the brads and embroidery threads. This served two purposes: it made the "cookies" safer for the little ones to play with and it made each cookie the same from the back. You'll see why this is important in a minute.

Here are all the Gingerbread Boys ready for the Fun and Games:

There are tons of things I have planned for these cute little guys but the one activity that I wanted to share with my families this week is the Gingerbread Friends Memory Game

I will be encouraging my storytime parents to use the Gingerbread Kids just like cards in a Memory Game. They will turn all the cookies over to the plain side when they place them in rows on the flannel board or floor. Then they will take turns turning over two at a time with their child as they try to find the pairs. As mentioned before, this can be done by matching colors or by naming the numeral and finding the cookie with the right number of buttons.

Since I was able to buy several kits for such a low price, I have been able to make quite a few sets of both Gingerbread Boys and Girls. 

This will allow several parents to play Gingerbread Friends Memory with their children at the same time. 

For my other friends, we will have our new kitchen play area set up for making cookies! Complete with bowls, spoons, measuring cups, rolling pins, cookie cutters ~ AND Gingerbread Playdough!

The playdough is homemade so it is easy to clean up and completely edible. It is edible and smells delicious but I didn't say it tasted good! LOL

Here is the no-cook recipe that I like to use:

Gingerbread Playdough

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water

Mix together and knead until smooth.
Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Each family will be able to take home a small baggie of playdough to continue the fun and learning at home.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Flannel Friday Round-Up: Friday, November 29, 2013

Are you ready for this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up?

Drum roll, please!

To start us off this week, Kathryn is getting the jump on Christmas with her sweet, little Gingerbread Men on her blog, Fun with Friends at Storytime. She has several fun, interactive songs and fingerplays to go along with her yummy felt cookies. I love her special glittery sugar cookies at the end of her post.  I can't wait to use Kathryn's awesome ideas!

It is really funny how often Flannel Friday-ers seem to think alike from week to week ~ this week, I also have some yummy Gingerbread Friends to share at my blog, Storytime ABC'S. Mine were created to be used for songs and rhymes during storytime AND for a little learning fun at our new Stay and Play time following our Toddlertime each Tuesday.  I also made Gingerbread Playdough for our storytime friends to play with ~ recipe included! 
These yummy friends can be used for
Color Recognition/Matching and Counting activities.

Though it hasn't quite snowed yet where Shaia at Thrive After Three lives, she is still wearing all of the cute, colorful clothes she made for a rebus-reading of The Jacket I Wear in the Snow. I know her storytime friends must have loved being able too help "read" the story! 
A rebus flannel set ~ what a clever idea!

Anne at So Tomorrow was inspired to create a flannel set based on one of her favorite books published in 2013, Windblown by Edouard Manceau. She was inspired by a past Flannel Friday post which she shares a link to in her post. I always enjoy seeing different versions of the same book, song, or rhyme.

Here is another example of Flannel Friday-ers thinking alike ~ Sharon is also sharing one of her favorite books from 2013! She shared her favorite in an "unconventional Flannel Friday post" on her blog, Rain Makes Applesauce. I love unconventional posts, don't you?!??! The book that Sharon has fallen in love with is Moo by David LaRochelle. Have you seen it yet? I actually have it in my TBR pile at work and now I can't wait to read it on Monday ~ thanks to Sharon!!!
Moo - zoooom!

Jane at Piper Loves the Library has "a biggie with a little bit flannel". You definitely do NOT want to miss it! It is a super fancy party to celebrate National Picture Book Month! I'm so sad that I wasn't able to dress-up and attend  but I'm sooo sooo happy that Jane is sharing her "red carpet" fun with us through words and pictures. 
You are a Rockstar Librarian, Jane!

Sue at Let the Wild Rumpus Start is sharing her "quick and easy" felts for the book, There Was a Bold Lady Who Wanted a Star! She says "quick and easy", I say "WOW!" She hand drew her pieces with puffy paint! Plus she made them reversible!!! I am impressed!
All the items that the Bold Lady collected along the way.

Katie at ¡Es divertido hablar dos idiomas! has gone above and beyond with her Cats/Gatos-themed bilingual storytime plan. She shares bilingual books, songs, and an adorable flannel based on the book, Cookie's Week/La Semana de Cookie. All the work is done for us! She has provided a ready-made storytime that anyone could present in both English and Spanish.
Uh-oh! Cookie better be careful!

  1. I hope everyone has had a very

And, in honor of the holiday, I thought it would be nice to add a special feature to this particular Round-Up ~

~ Posts from the Past ~

Kathryn brings us a "blast from the past" with a flannel that she feels like could be tweaked into a Christmas gift rhyme. It is A Gift for Mommy! Too cute!

Anne is sharing a past post in honor of all the snow they've been getting in Michigan already.

And as one last example of Flannel Friday-ers thinking alike, I have chosen my "Not Quite a Flannel Friday ~ Melting Snowman" post from this past January to share. We aren't having any snow here in Florida (surprise, surprise!) but I have been receiving lots of snow pictures from my son and his fiance in Michigan. ;o)

Thanks for stopping by this week!
Hope you enjoyed the 
Flannel Friday Round-Up 
as much as I enjoyed hosting it!

Next week's Holiday Round-Up will be hosted by Mollie at What Happens in Storytime.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Flannel Friday: Monster Mania Fun!

Happy Flannel Friday!

It is time for a little
No, not the game!

Flannel Monster Mania 

To start us off we have a very friendly monster who adores polka dots!

His name is "Baby Moe". My Storytime Friends loved him!
But wait!

I don't see any polka dots. 
Do you?

Well, that's where our Storytime Friends come in on this one.
They each have a small felt circle of different colors. 
They bring them up and add them
 to our friendly little guy as he asks for each color.

Here is the rhyme to share with your Storytime Friends:

I'm a Little Monster
Isn't he sweet with his red polka dots?

I'm a little monster friendly and bright.
I won't give anyone a fright.
I love polka dots but I have none.
So step right up and give me red ones.

I'm a little monster friendly and bright.
I won't give anyone a fright.
I love polka dots but I only have some.
So step right up and give me orange ones.

Continue until each color has been added,
then sing the last verse:

With all his colorful spots added,
he is now ready for the Monster Mash Party!

I'm a little monster friendly and bright.
I won't give anyone a fright.
I love polka dots and I have lots.
Thank  you for my colorful spots.

The idea for a cute polka dotted monster and the words to the activity were originally found here on a past Flannel Friday post. And I have seen the words shared on another site (which I can't find at the moment) where they were presented as a piggyback version of "I'm a Little Teapot". 

I decided to make my own monster and to just tweaked the song a little ~
as I am known to do! 

I just changed a couple of things ~ including the last verse ~ and I recited it as a rhyme rather than singing it.

We also had some familiar monster come to visit us at our Storytime.

Elmo, Telly Monster, and Cookie Monster!

First we did a count-up rhyme and added each monster friend to the board one by one. Then we did a monster-version of "Five Little Monkeys" with just our three friendly monsters (count-down song). This fun song lead into our second book of the evening which is fast becoming one of my favorite monster books. It is:
Nighty Night,
Little Green Monster
by Ed Emberley

A felt version of this awesome book is coming soon!

We ended our monster-ific evening with a grrrrr-licious snack and a chance to make our own friendly monsters to take home and play with:

Monster puppet craft and songs to be posted soon!

Thanks for stopping by again this week. Don't forget to check out the rest of the Flannel Friday fun by visiting our host this week, Lisa, at Libraryland.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! And, as always,


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Not a Flannel Friday: Super Friends to Save the Day!

It's October already!

Can you believe it?!??!

Well, that means one thing ~ Halloween is just around the corner!
It also means that it is time for our new Storytime theme ~ 

Let's Pretend!

This year I decided to change up my October storytime offerings and do a month long theme all about dressing up and playing pretend. When I mentioned this idea to my storytime friends back in September, several of them mentioned Superheroes as a favorite dress-up theme. So... that is how our first week of October became our:

Super Friends to Save the Day!
Storytime and Game Night

I had more fun than I ever imagined while preparing for my first ever Super Friends Storytime. And I look forward to sharing all the super fun activities, songs, rhymes, and books we shared this week but, for now, I will share only one. It is a bright and colorful Super Friends version of the book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle.  It also has a little tweak to it based on the book, The Amazing Adventures of BATHMAN!, by Andrew T. Pelletier:

Our first Super Friend to be placed on the magnetic board is a my version of Bathman ~ 
with his super special glow-in-the-dark goggles on!

Super Friend, Super Friend, 
Who Do You See?

Super Bathman, Super Bathman,
Who do you see?
I see Red Glitter Girl looking at me.

Red Glitter Girl, Red Glitter Girl,
Who do you see?
I see Dr, Orange Lava looking at me.

continue with:
Yellow Lightning Boy
Green Slime Guy
Blue Astro Kid
Purple Power Princess

finish with audience participation:
Purple Power Princess, Purple Power Princess,
Who do you see?
I see lots of Super Friends looking at me.

Super Friends (children in the audience), Super Friends
Who do you see?
We see:

Super Bathman
Red Glitter Girl
Dr, Orange Lava
Yellow Lightening Boy
Green Slime Guy
Blue Astro Boy
Purple Power Princess
Looking at us!

It's a Super Friends Party!

I'll be back soon to share the rest of our awesome Superheroes Storytime and Game Night ~ including Super Power snacks and Superhero Challenges ~ but, in the meantime, since this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up  is our 2nd Annual Halloween Extravaganza I thought I would shar a few links to my past posts that are Halloween-related:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Flannel Friday Round-Up: Halloween Extravaganza ~ 2013

This week we have a 
Special Flannel Friday Round-Up!

It is our 2nd 
Halloween Extravaganza!

There are lots of creative and fun ideas to share this week, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and start click-click-clicking!


Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Story Time is sharing a "not-so-scary" scarecrow with us. He is as cute as the buttons on his face! There is a "Let's Build a Scarecrow" rhyme and a link to one of my favorite scarecrow songs, "Dingle Dangle Scarecrow". Be sure to click the link!

Lisa at Libraryland was inspired by a past Flannel Friday post to do her own version of "Brown Bat, Brown Bat". Lisa's pieces are bright, colorful, and simple to make ~ especially if you have the diecuts. Her black cat is my favorite!

Bridget at What is Bridget Reading? crocheted some sweet Sesame Street-style monsters with pom pom noses! She includes four counting rhymes (two are "library-style") and a bonus flannel board set. She is a talented lady!

Christine at Felt Board Ideas presents us with her nighttime version of "Five Little Fluffy Owls". Her night sky background just adds to the beauty of her felt pieces! 

Tara at Storytime with Miss Tara and Friends also has owls to share this week ~ along with several other woodland creatures. Her flannel is based on "One Little Owl" which is a different kind of counting song. So cute! Tara is a librarian after my own heart ~ she does sign language with her storytime friends, too. I love it!

Anne at So Tomorrow has written a Draw and Tell Story for her storytime friends. It is "The Pumpkin Patch" and she has included the words and drawing instructions. If you have never tried a Draw and Tell story before, this one just might be the one to start with.

Linda at Notes From the Story Room is also sharing an original Draw and Tell story this week. Her story is "Shadows on the Moon" and Linda also includes the words along with drawing instructions so that anyone can easily replicate her surprise picture. It is always fun to see if storytime friends can figure out the picture before the end of the story.

Shaia at Thrive After Three was inspired by a post from last year's Flannel Friday Halloween Extravaganza to paint her own gorgeous version of "10 Timid Ghosts". I am completely impressed with Shaia's artistic talents and her creative genius of using a canvas board for her background. What a fun idea! This is definitely being added to the very TOP of my TBM (to be made) pile for my Giggling Ghosts storytime in two weeks.

We have another ghost story from Storytime With the Library Lady! Perfect for an Halloween Extravaganza! It is a LARGE version of the book, The Ghost's Dinner, cleverly made from poster board. It is a huge folder story!

Leah at Time for Storytime  combines felt and puppetry (I adore that combination!) to tell the story of "Mouse's Halloween House". She mentions several Flannel Friday friends who inspired her this week. With her winning combination of felt and puppetry, i think Leah will be inspiring a few future Flannel Friday post herself!

Katie at Storytime Secrets is such a dedicated children's librarian that she has shared her original Halloween-themed idea ~ even though she is "officially no longer employed as a children's librarian". Her "Knock! Knock! Trick or Treat!" flannel board rhyme is a must-havee for anyone doing a Halloween theme for even the youngest storytime friends. It is adore-ably simple with just the right amount of spooky fun! Thanks for sharing this week and enjoy the new adventures ahead of you, Katie!

Sue at Let the wild Rumpus Start is going a little bat-ty this week with five smiling bats! She shares "Five Little Bats" which can be sung to the familiar tune of "Six Little Ducks". 

Sue at Let the Wild Rumpus Start has also gone above and beyond with another contribution this week! I am totally, completely in love with her original rhyme, "That's a Costume". Besides addressing a very timely topic, Sue has creatively presented it in an age-appropriate format. Very child-friendly! I am sure her storytime parents appreciate this gentle little reminder that this time of year is all about pretending. Sue.gets my vote for Super Librarian this week!!!

Speaking of Super Librarian, that is just who I was this week for our Superheros Storytime and Family Game Night. For this month in our Thursday Night Family Storytimes, we are following the theme of "Let's Pretend" and we kicked off the month with Superheros! Check out my colorful Superhero version of "Brown, Brown Bear, What Do You See?". It is a magnetic board set and is titled, "Super Friend, Super Friend, Who Do You See?" My storytime friends became "storytellers" as they helped me tell the story with the help of our Super Friend magnetic pieces. I hope you like it!

Katie at Storytime Katie is doing a little pretending of her own with two awesome astronaut finger puppets. Katie confesses that she always wanted to dress up as an astronaut. Who hasn't, right? Let's all blast off with Katie and her awesome astronauts for some exciting sace adventures!

Jenna at Stories with Ms Jenna has created some adorable little kittens to help her tell the ever popular rhyme, "The Three Little Kittens". She even includes a Mommy cat, a clothesline for drying the mittens, a pie, and a mysterious little mouse. Hmmm...

Meg at Miss Meg's Storytime is sharing her fun, colorful version of "Old MacDonald". And she even includes a printable link to the clip art she used! This flannel board is perfect for adding a little print awareness to a very popular song. Great idea, Meg

And that concludes our

2nd Annual

Flannel Friday 
Halloween Extravaganza!

Want to find out more about the AWESOME Flannel Friday Family?

Find out all about Flannel Friday on the our very own website. Features include past round ups and host schedule and how to participate.

Scan the Flannel Friday posts on Pinterest

Discuss storytime and flannelboards on the Flannel Friday Facebook Page or on Twitter with the hashtag #FlannelFriday.

See you next week when our host will be Lisa at Libraryland!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Share: B-I-N-G-O and More!

I missed posting for the Flannel Friday Round-Up yesterday.

So ~ it is time for a 

Saturday Share!

This week I am sharing an oldie but goodie! 

My dogs are made from cardstock and laminated with magnets on the back.
The tags are diecut circles with diecut letters, also laminated.
They are taped on with double-sided tape for easy removal.

There was a farmer had a dog
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o!

With each additional verse, remove a tag ~ starting with the B ~ 
and revealing a dog paw underneath.

Have the children either clap or say "woof!" for each paw revealed.

Final verse:

There was a farmer had a dog
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o!

Fun, isn't it?

Okay, that is the traditional song but ~ you know me ~ I have to tweak it! 

Counting Dogs

I know some dogs who love to play
And counting is their game-o
And counting is their game-o.

Oh, no! One puppy lost his tag! How many still have tags?

That's right four. 
Let's sing about those four dogs and 
when we get to the fifth dog, let's say "woof".

I know some dogs who love to play
And counting is their game-o.
And counting is their game-o!

Continue until once again you are having the children say, 
"Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof!"
Then end with,
"That's the end of their game-o!"

I have found that Bingo is one of those songs that just invites audience participation without much effort on my part. All ages love to join in singing and clapping! 

It is a fun way to encourage letter recognition and, now with the tweaked version, it can be used to encourage number recognition as well. All with the same set of magnetic pieces!

Do you have a special way that you tweak Bingo? 

I hope you will share your version in the comments below!

Have a lovely Saturday evening and, as always,