Thursday, March 28, 2013

Flannel Friday: Six Bouncing Bunnies

Another Friday has arrived!

And along with it comes another

Since Spring has also arrived, I have been doing lots of Springtime programs which always seem to include some bunny fun, of course! Are you ready for lots of hopping and bouncing?!??! Well, ready or not, here we go!

I love these sweet little bunnies and so did my storytime friends! 
They wanted to play with them over and over again after storytime ~ bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!

Six Bouncing Bunnies

Six bouncing bunnies happy to be alive,
One hopped away and then there were five.

Five bouncing bunnies hopping past my door,
One hopped away and then there were four.

Four bouncing bunnies hiding eggs beneath a tree,
One hopped away and then there were three.

Three bouncing bunnies painting eggs a bright blue,
One hopped away and then there were two.

Two bouncing bunnies chasing butterflies in the sun.
One hopped away and then there was one.

One bouncing bunny looking for some fun,
He bounced and shouted,
"Happy Easter, everyone!"

I tweak this rhyme when I want to do a little color recognition with my storytime friends. For this tweaked version, we first count the bunnies onto the flannel board. Then I ask, "Are they all the same?" 

We discuss how the bunnies all have two long ears, a twitchy nose, and white, fluffy fur. 

"But! they are not all the same! How are they different?"

Once someone points out that each bunny has a different colored tail and tummy, we name each color and make the ASL sign for each color.

 I say, "the purple one hopped away" instead of "one hopped away" and change to a different color for each stanza.

If you have an exceptionally active group of storytime friends, you can encourage them to stand up and hop with each bunny. Soon they will be tuckered out and ready for a sit-down activity. Little tricks like this ~ when deliberately used at certain times ~ will allow you to guide even the youngest and the most active children towards having a longer attention span and towards being able to focus on specific learning experiences during storytime or circletime

You can also do some more hopping with this cute rhyme based on the ever-popular Five Little Monkeys fingerplay.

(The bunnies pictured below are an old set that have been well-loved and often-used. You can tell by the "crazy" look on some of their faces! ;o) They would be simple enough to create with pompoms, felt, and wiggly eyes.)

When starting this rhyme, I have the little ones help me count the bunnies as I add them to the glove. Then I ask them to hold up five fingers and we count again. Once everyone has five fingers held up, we practice bouncing them up and down. Now, everyone is ready to start.

Five Little Bunnies

Five little bunnies hopping down the trail,
One fell down and bumped her tail.
Momma called the Doctor and what did he say?
"No more bunnies hopping today!"

Additional verses:
Four little bunnies...
Three little bunnies...
Two little bunnies...

One little bunny hopping down the trail,
He fell down and bumped his tail.
Momma called the Doctor and what did he shout?
"No more bunnies hopping about!"

Another way to share this rhyme is to make bunny ears and choose 5 children to wear them and be the hopping bunnies. As you count down, just take the bunny ears from one child at a time and have that child sit down. Always a fun way to engage the children!

I have several more "hopping bunny" songs and rhymes but I think I'll stop here to day. If you are interested in the other ones, just email me at storytimeabcs@gmail

Before I leave you, I did want to share our snack, our library search/ take-home item, and the video we watched at last night's Easter Storytime and Pajama Party.

The snack was delicious! It was cheddar bunnies and pretzel bunnies and carrots.Yum! Yum!

Our library search/take-home was a set of rainbow-colored bunnies. Each child had to find a red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple bunny in the stacks. These colorful bunnies could be taken home so that each child could practice the rhymes and play the "Bunny Search" at home with family and friends.

The video we watched was an Easter episode of Wow Wow Wubzy which my storytime families really enjoy!

Happy Easter!

And, as always,


The Flannel Friday Round-Up for this week is being hosted by Miss Mollie Kay on her blog, What Happens in Storytime... If you aren't too tired from all our bouncing, I recommend that you hop on over there for a collection of creative ideas for lots of Early Learning fun!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Saturday Share: It's a Colorful Surprise!

This week, I have a 


for you!

For this Saturday Share, I have several ways to present the rhyme, Six Colorful Eggs.
One way is a flannel board set and another way is with props. Both are fun!

This rhyme promotes color recognition and counting.It is versatile and can be used for lots of different themes. Plus, it is very simple to make!

Six Colorful Eggs!

Six colorful eggs, hoping to survive...
I apologize for the photographs!
They didn't turn out as I had hoped.
AND I don't have the eggs in the right order
but that will get straightened out as we go. :o}

One becomes a red bird, and then there are five.

Five colorful eggs, in a tree outside my door...
One becomes an orange bird, and then there are four.

Four colorful eggs, quiet as can be...
One becomes a yellow bird, and then there are three.

Three colorful eggs, waiting just for you...
One becomes a green bird, and then there are two.

Two colorful eggs, beneath the shining sun...
One becomes a blue bird, and then there is one.

One colorful egg, beneath the bright blue sky...
It becomes a purple bird ready to fly!

Six feathered friends, each made a nest.
Each laid an egg, and you know the rest!

I plan to make nests in each color to add to this set.
But, for now, I will just do the ASL sign for "nest".
Click picture for larger view. 
Click here for Photo Source.

Okay, now for the props way of presenting this rhyme!

I found larger Easter eggs in the rainbow colors for this prop set. Then I made some adorable bird finger puppets out of felt and colorful feathers! 

Click picture for larger view.

When using this set, I will place each bird puppet into the matching egg. Then I will have 6 children come up and hold one of the eggs. When I say the color of an egg, the child holding it will crack it open and pull out the bird. Once the bird is on their finger, they will fly it up and down and all around. I will take the egg and close it back up, set it aside, and bring it back out at the end when each bird lays an egg.
Gently place the bird puppet into the egg.
Be careful not to bend the feathers too much.

I found my inspiration for these awesome puppets here at the I Heart Crafty Things blog. It even has the pattern for you! (I probably shouldn't admit it but I didn't know there was a pattern until I went back to the post to link it here. I saw a picture of the finger puppets in a Google image search and made my own pattern. That is how simple these puppets are!)

After reading the linked post, I have a few tweaks and tips for you:

**I did not use hot glue to add the beak, google eyes, and feathers. I used Tacky glue. If you look closely at the purple bird, you will notice a little white at the base of the bird where the feathers are. It is the glue because it hadn't dried yet when I took the picture. Now that it is dry, it is invisible. 

**I glued the feathers on the bottom side of the bird. I felt like this gave the puppets a little more finished look.

**My wings had a longer strip of felt between the wings. Since my fingers are bigger than a child's fingers, I needed more space there. You may need it, too. ;o)

Versatility is great!

I an very excited about all the versatility I see in this activity! Besides being able to use these two sets for themes such as Birds, Eggs, Easter, and even Colors ~ I am thinking that you can tweak the sets and make them fit for any animal that lays eggs. For myself, I am thinking about making chicks for a Farm theme, frogs for a Pond or Spring theme, or even Snakes for a Reptile storytime. All you have to do is make some colorful felt creatures and tweak the rhyme!

AND! There's more! 

I'm thinking I can tweak the puppet pattern to make butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and who knows what else!

If you make either flannel set, I would love to see pictures and hear about your child/ren's reactions. If you have any ideas for more versatility, I would enjoy hearing about  them! I hope you will share your ideas and experiences with me at

Let the FUN begin!

And, as always,


Friday, March 15, 2013

Flannel Friday: Giving's the Best Thing to Do!

A flannel-ized "Happy Birthday" just for you!

It is Flannel Friday's 2nd birthday!

Whoo hoo!

Let's celebrate!

I missed sharing "What Flannel Friday means to me..." last week so I thought I would share a special song this week. I am sharing it in celebration of Flannel Friday's second birthday because the song is about sharing ~ which is what we do best! 

The song is done by one of my favorite Children's entertainment groups ~ The Learning Station

The song is The Giving Song and is based on the book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Siverstein (1964) which is also one of my favorite books.

 I just love that tree!

This particular song perfectly represents what Flannel Friday means to me!
It makes me smile every time I hear it.
And Flannel Friday makes me smile every Friday with each Round-Up!

"I get a good feeling when I give, 
that's how the whole world should live.
I get a good feeling when I share,
sharing shows that you care!"

The Learning Station
 Literacy in Motion
The Giving Song

Literacy In Motion
Please click on the picture to hear a snippet of the song.
***By the way, The Learning Station will be at the 2013 NAEYC Annual Conference and Expo in Washington DC from November 20th to November 23rd. If you are going, don't miss their performance! I saw them at an ECE Conference in Oklahoma years and years ago. I still enjoy my memories of the fun my friends and I had during their performance. I learned lots of helpful tips and songs that I still use today in my storytimes. This group is awesome!

I wish I could share the whole song with you so that you could smile along with me and feel how special each of you are to me. And how important you are to my storytime friends who all benefit from the sharing that you do each week on our Flannel Friday Round-Ups

Thank you so much for sharing a part of yourself 
with us!

 "I feel good, and it's true, I'm happy to share me with you.
I feel good, how about you, giving's the best thing to do."

The Learning Station
Literacy in Motion
The Giving Song


May we all continue sharing for a very long time!

This week's Round-Up is being hosted by Melissa on her blog, Mel's Desk.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Storytime Swap 2013: Share a Treasure!

Back in December, I tweaked the idea behind Cookie Swapping and offered an unusual opportunity for anyone who might be interested in something new and different

Storytime Swap!

Click picture to visit the post about the first swap.

The first one was hugely successful! 

In fact, it was so fun ~ for the participants and for those visiting our Blog Hop where we shared our swapped items ~ that my inbox has been flooded with requests for another swap before next December.

I thought about several options and decided to offer another Storytime Prop Swap that could be tied into Summer Reading, a program offered at most libraries across the US. (I'll explain more later in the post.) 

This year's theme at my library is Dig into Reading!  Playing off that phrase, here is what I came up with for our swap:

This swap is for anyone who would like to share and receive a storytime prop 

~ a wonderful STORYTIME TREASURE! ~ 

Would that "anyone" be you? 

I hope so! 

We had over a dozen swaps last time. Will there be more this time? I am really hoping to have more! The more ~ the merrier!

The rules for our Share a TREASURE! Swap are very simple.
You may exchange with your Swap Partner any item that you feel has been a fun treasure that you have used while interacting with a child and a book.

Your exchange item could be:


really anything at all that YOU love to use in your storytimes or your classrooms or with your own child to help him/her/them feel connected to books and have fun learning.

This is all about sharing YOUR excitement for one of your favorite books, fingerplays, games, rhymes, dances, songs, creative movement activities, etc. 

What do you consider to be a treasure?

The theme for this Swap is Dig into Reading! so please try to fit your treasure into this topic. As you can see from my examples above, there are many ways to do just that. Anything related to Gardening, Pirates, Dinosaurs, animals that live underground like Worms or Moles, Volcanoes, Eygptian Mummies, etc would be good.  But most importantly:

Be creative! 
And have fun!

The exchange will be set-up like this:

1) Each person will need to contact me before March 24th by email at

(Please be sure to email me a second time or tweet me on Twitter @StorytimeFun or message me on Facebook ~ if you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours. I don't want to miss anyone but we all know that the cyberspace monsters do eat emails sometimes or they end up in a SPAM folder somewhere.)

2) Please include your first and last name, full physical address ~ including zipcode ~ and the type of item you would like to share with a swap partner. ALSO please include the answer to this question: Are you willing to be paired with an INTERNATIONAL partner?  

***We are lucky enough to have a number of participants from other countries but I know the cost may be higher to send items out of country. It is possible to pair partners by country but it is so awesome to share and receive with someone outside our normal area that I don't want to choose that option unless necessary. Please indicate whether or not you are willing to spend a little extra to have an international partner.

3) By March 26th, I will place all names in a hat and draw two out at a time. Those two people will be swap partners. They will send each other the item(s) that they want to share. I chose this way of exchanging so that each pair of partners will be spending about the same amount of money to mail their items to each other.

4) If you would like to participate more than once, please let me know in this first email. The number of times you swap is only limited by your commitment to spend the money necessary to create and mail your items. I personally will probably exchange with several people because I LOVED getting all the surprises in the mail through our last swap! In the end, I wished I had had MORE swap partners!

5) Once partners are paired, I will contact both people by one email with the name and address  of their exchange partner. Contact information will include: name, snail mail address and email address. Then each pair of partners will be free to visit and learn more about each other so that when you share the swap items with your child(ren), you can also share a little about the sender.

6) When signing up for the exchange, please be sure that you will be able  to mail your item before April 5th. That way everyone should be receiving their swap item before anyone's Summer begins.

I hope you are as excited as I am about the chance to have 
new Storytime 
for Summer Reading!

Believe me, this more FUN than you imagine!

I am hoping to hear from lots and lots of you very soon!

Don't miss the FUN!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Let's Celebrate Books ~ Dr. Seuss Style! Part 2

Last year about this time, I started a post about some silly and fun Dr. Seuss-inspired activities to do with young children. I fully intended to keep adding to the list but ~ as it often does ~ life interfered and I didn't get a chance to add more ~ 

Until now!

Using the same format as my previous post, I want to share what we did at this year's Seuss-tastical Family Storytime and Game Night last night.

Here is the flannel-inspired portion of the evening. It was a very popular activity!

Ten Apples Up On Top!:

"Look! Ten apples on us all!
What fun! We will not let them fall."

Apple Counting

This is a fun counting game with a little addition thrown in ~ if you like. :o)

Chose a character and add him to the bottom of the board. 

Roll the dice and count the felt apples onto your character's head on the board. How many do you need to make 10? Can you roll the correct number? 

Roll again and add the apples. How many do you have now? Count them together.

Let your friend have a turn. Let him pick a character and add it to the board. He'll roll and count ~ and repeat!

Who has more apples up on top? Who was the closest to ten without going over? 

You will need:

Ten Apples Up On Top! book
12 felt apples in each color: red, green, and yellow
Felt characters from the book
Large foam dice
Flannel board

I made all my pieces for this game out of felt. The apples were diecut but they could easily be cut by hand. I will have to add a picture of the characters since I just realized that none of them are in the pictures above. :o( Sorry about that oversight.

After watching the excitement over this activity, I am considering the idea of making a tabletop version of this game that can be borrowed from the library along with the book. Maybe a STEM activity for checkout?!??!! 

Many of the children kept coming back to this activity. They LOVE the flannelboard! I think they would enjoy having a chance to play with the felt apples at home.

Wacky Wednesday:

"Then I looked up. And I said, "Oh, MAN!" 
And that's how Wacky Wednesday began."

Wacky Look and Find

It wasn't Wednesday but we had lots of fun searching for all of the wacky things happening in the scene depicted on our poster. The verbal interaction between the adults and the children was very interesting to hear! Many funny comments and lots of wonderful new vocabulary! 

This activity can be done several ways: 

First, the adult and child can just look at the poster together and find as many wacky items as possible.

Second, you could make a rebus-style clue sheet that shows a few items like a fish or a worm. The families can then color in the items that they find together. Once they find a certain number of picture clues, they can turn the paper in for a prize.

You will need:

Wacky Wednesday book
White posterboard
Black marker
Crayons or markers
If you choose the second option:
Copies of clue list 

For my poster, I chose about 14 wacky things from the book and created a scene. I drew them off in pencil and then outlined everything with a black Sharpie. I chose to use crayons to add color because it was simple and quick.

I am not very artistic but the simple drawings from the book were pretty easy to re-create. If you prefer, you could scan a page from the book and increase the size before printing it out.

Getting up close to the wackiness so  they can see it all!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish:

"Say! what a lot of fish there are!"

Colorful Fish Roll

There are lots of colorful fish in the pond! Let's do some color matching and see how many pairs of fish we can match with just one roll of the dice.

This game was put together with a few things I had around the house. The "pond" was an inexpensive, plastic blue platter that I believe I bought at Wal Mart for under $2.00. The cup was a Dr. Seuss-themed cup from the $1.00 aisle at Target last year ~ but you can use any cup you have at home already. And the colorful fish dice were from a game that I recently purchased at JoAnn's. There were 16 dice in the game so I split them up and made two games. 

If you don't want to purchase the dice, it is possible to make up your own. 
Very simple to do!
 I have two options to share for making your own die. I will link the post here when it is ready. :o)

Roll and match!
A simple way to work on recognizing colors and naming them.

What You Will Need:

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish book
Blue plate (plastic)
Set of 8 dice with different colored fish on each side

We played the game by placing all the die into the cup, shaking them around, and then rolling the die out into the "pond". Next, the child placed two fish of the same color together making a pair and naming the color. After making all the pairs, count them. The next person then takes their turn to see if they can make more pairs.