Friday, July 27, 2012

Pirate ABC'S Blog Hop


Flannel Friday: Guest Post ~ Who Am I?

Julie is back again this week with her second Guest Post for the Flannel Friday Round-Up

Welcome back, Julie

If you would like to read a little about Julie's background, you will find it in her first Guest Post here.

Now for Julie's contribution (in her own words):

Hi again I'm happy to be back again this week! At my preschool we do many things based on science. This week I share with you a guessing game we do at circletime. It is Who Am I? I put up animals homes on the flannel board and read a clue then the children tell me which animal lives there. We have fun with it!

Who Am I?
These are the homes.
I live in a house that is shiny and round.
I'm always at home and I don't make a sound.
Who am I?

I live in a hole way up in a tree.
I chatter and scold and eat nuts conastantly.
Who am I?

I have eight long legs and eight tiny eyes.
My home is all sticky - a silky trap for flies.
Who am I?

These are the animals.
I live on a lily pad, I eat lots of flies.
I've got long hind legs and big bulging eyes.
Who am I?

My home is a nest made of twigs, straw and strings.
I chirp happy songs and fly high on my wings.
Who am I?

I take my house with me wherever I go.
I leave shiny trails and I move really slow.
Who am I?

We have more homes and animals but I only do 6 at a time. I teach 3 year olds and 6 is a good number for them. When the children name the correct animal I place it on its home.

The goldfish in his home.
The pieces are made from pellon which is thin and makes tracing the shapes very easy. It sticks to the flannel board, too. This set was made years ago. It still looks pretty good. :)

Thanks to K for letting me guest post again. I like being able to share because I get many good ideas from this group!

Thank you, Julie, for sharing this week! I love this science-based guessing game! Thank you for sharing it.

Last week we had a comment/question for Julie on her Guest Post and I wasn't sure whether or not Julie would see it. She didn't see it and was unaware of it until I mentioned it to her. I asked her this week how she wanted to handle comments/questions and she said ~ that since she is not a blogger yet, she would prefer to get comments/questions through email. Also, she can do email at work during her planning time but is not allowed to access blogs. Connecting through email works best for her, at this time. 

If you have a comment, please feel free to leave it below and I will copy it and email it to Julie. If you want to contact Julie directly, she is fine with me giving out her email upon request but prefers that I not list it on the blog. Please contact me at if you would like to contact Julie directly.

Amanda is hosting the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week, You will find it one her blog, Toddler Tales.

If you are interested in learning more about the Flannel Friday group, please check out the website here.

If you would like to contribute to a future Flannel Friday Round-Up but ~ like Julie ~ you do not have a blog yet, please contact me at 

We can figure out ~ together ~ how to best share your ideas with the group.
I really enjoy hosting Guest Posters. I hope you will consider being one!

Flannel Friday: Aaaaaarrrrreading!

Ahoy there! It be Friday already, me hearties!

Are ye ready for some REAL PIRATE FUN for this here Flannel Friday Round-up?!??

Come on ye lily-livered booklubbers! Grab ye eye patches and ye squacking parrots! 
~ Let's get to hunting for our literacy treasures! ~ 
Do some diggin' in this post and ye'll find a few excitin' pirate adventures that will liven up 
any landlubber's storytime!


Pirates are a very popular theme at our library! In fact, it is our most requested theme for our Summer Reading Programs and our outreach programs, too. We have even had to come up with a few pirate storytimes for our youngest patrons because the parents were asking why there wasn't one for the babies and toddlers. :-/ 

It took a little digging (Sorry! Couldn't resist!) but we did eventually find a few age appropriate books (even for the babies!) and we have created a number of age-appropriate songs, activities, and crafts. It has actually become my favorite storytimes now!

Since it is a popular theme, I am always on the look out for new things to add to future pirate storytimes and events. Needless to say, I was very thrilled when I joined the Flannel Friday group and found a flannel that is perfect for ALL ages!  I have had it at the top of my TBM (To Be Made) pile since I first found it on Library Quine's website where she shares her version of Pirate Pete. Please click the link above and visit her website. She shares how she layered the pieces to give it more durability and she also shares a link to the original website that has a template for Pete and his eye patches.

Here's my version of 

Pirate Pete and His Colorful Eye Patches

If you follow this blog, you know that I am all about tweaking an idea to make it work for me. So here are a few of the things that I changed when making my Pirate Pete.

Fancy hat! Wish I had a hat like Pirate Pete!
I made my hat in the shape of a pirate hat that was donated by Long John Silver's restaurant. I wanted Pirate Pete's hat to look similar to the children's hats that they would be taking home. I also found some old red ribbon and added it to the bottom on the hat. Then instead of a buckle, I decided to add the skull and crossbones so that we could discuss the Jolly Roger symbol ~ when age appropriate to do so.  

I also tweaked Pirate Pete's face. I decided to give him more facial features like a nose and eyebrows. (My storytime friends always like to call me on a things like no noses so I thought I would avoid an unnecessary discussion. LOL!) 

I wanted to add some more color to his face so I gave him blue eyes and a red mouth. I didn't glue the mouth on because I am considering making lots of different ones for a possible emotions game with Pirate Pete in the future. :o) 

Special Note: Please stay tuned to this blog for an ABC'S Pirate Blog Hop in the very near future!  I have lots of pirate-y ideas to share and I would love for you to link up any pirate-y ideas you have that fit into the ABC'S (Activities, Books, Crafts, and Snacks) Pirate theme. Anyone is welcome to share on any of my ABC'S Blog Hops!

I almost gave my Pirate Pete some hair but I think he is adorable without it. You might want to give him some hair though ~ I highly recommend making him your very own Pirate Pete with a few tweaks. It is fun to make a few changes and see where it leads! 

Besides, we are all different and we like to change our looks sometimes. Maybe that's why Pirate Pete has so many eye patches to choose from. He wants to show is individuality and look fashionable, too!  Take a look at all his choices:
Very high fashion, don't you think? ;o)

Now we be ready to sing a song or two with old Pirate Pete! The first one is from Library Quine

The Pirate Wore a Red Patch
(Sung to" "Mary Wore a Red Dress")

The Pirate wore a Red patch,
Red patch,
Red patch.
The Pirate wore a Red patch
All day long.

The Pirate wore an Orange patch,
an Orange patch,
an Orange patch.
The Pirate wore an Orange patch
All day long.

Additional verses:
Yellow patch
Green patch
Blue patch
 a Purple patch
a Pink patch

I only have the basic colors and pink right now but I will be adding eye patches made with black, brown, white, and possibly some fancy ones ~ like maybe one with a skull and crossbones pattern or zebra stripes or a tie dye one ~ you are only limited by your imagination and your creative talents!

So I hear some of you saying, "What is another song that you can play with Pirate Pete? You promised us songs!"

While making Pirate Pete, I was thinking of other ways to use him AND to bring some print awareness into the fun. I thought about the pirate-y songs that we already sing with our storytime friends and I came up with a way to tweak one. Here it is:

If You're a Pirate and You Know It!
(Sung to : "If You're Happy and You Know IT!")

If you're a pirate and you know it, 
Swab the deck!
If you're a pirate and you know it, 
Swab the deck!

If you're a pirate and you know it, 
You'll love the sea winds blowin'.

If you're a pirate and you know it 
Swab the deck!

For this song, we make the ASL signs for "pirate", "know",  "winds", and "blow" for each verse. We also do what each verse tells us to do ~ like "Swab the deck!", "Pull the ropes!", "Say, 'Aye, Aye, Captain!'",  "Search for land!", "Swim in the ocean!", and, my personal favorite, "Aaaarrr! Read a book!"

As you can see, Pirate Pete likes to change his looks along with his orders! LOL! 

I made the speech bubbles by printing the words out onto white cardstock and cutting out the bubble shape around the words. After laminating, I added pieces of felt to the back to help it adhere to the flannel board ~ but you could add velcro, if you like. 

This activity is the same as the eye patch one, it is only limited by your imagination and creative talents! ;o) I hope you have as much fun as I have had when you make your Pirate Pete. He is a special kind of guy!  

I also hope you will stop back by and share a picture of your pirate. I would love to see him and hear about how you and your children enjoy playing with him.  

Have fun!

And, as always, 


This Flannel Friday has been one of the easiest flannels to make. And it is in my top 5 for one of the most exciting and fun to share! 

Pirates ~ they be in me blood, me thinks!

Thank you, Library Quine, for introducing me to Pirate Pete and inspiring me to create new ways to use him in my storytimes!

For more information about the awesome group, Flannel Friday, please visit the website here.  We love having new people join us! 

If you have creative ideas and cool resources to share ~ but you don't have a blog of your own ~ please contact me at and we can discuss how you can share by being a Guest Poster on my blog. It is easy and you will get ALL the credit for what you share. Check out last week's Guest Poster here.

For a look at this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up, please visit our host, Amanda, on her blog, Toddler Tales. This is her first week to host the Round-Up and I am sure she will do an awesome job.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Not a Flannel Friday: Gray Dolphin, Gray Dolphin, What Do You See?

This week for our Flannel Friday Round-Up, I am sharing one of my oldies ~ but goodies! :o)

It is an ocean-themed flannel set based on the book,

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
written by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

For this week, my story is titled, Gray Dolphin, Gray Dolphin, What Do You See? But I change the title and the first animal in the story if i am focusing on a specific animal in my storytime. For example, if my storytime is about octopi like it was last week, then I name my story ~ Pink Octopus, Pink Octopus, What Do You See? ~ and I start with the octopus.

I have plans to remake the characters for this story out of felt ~ in fact, I made my first felt ocean friend last week ~ Octavia the Octopus!

I am in the process of making some felt ocean friends for Octavia. They will make an appearance in a future Flannel Friday Round-Up. In the meantime, I am sharing my old ocean friends who have been used often and are very well-loved!

They are made from construction paper, laminated, and have a magnet on the back so that can be used on my magnetic board.

Here are my old friends:

Gray Dolphin, Gray Dolphin,
What Do You See?

Gray Dolphin, Gray Dolphin, what do you see?
I see a Red Lobster crawling by me.

Red Lobster, Red Lobster, what do you see?
I see an Orange Crab crawling by me.

Orange Crab, Orange Crab, what do you see?
I see a Yellow Seastar crawling by me.

Yellow Seastar, Yellow Seastar, what do you see?
I see a Green Sea Turtle swimming by me.

Green Sea Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, what do you see?
I see a Blue Whale swimming by me.

Blue Whale, Blue Whale, what do you see?
I see a Purple Jellyfish floating by me.

Purple Jellyfish, Purple Jellyfish, what do you see?
I see a Pink Octopus swimming by me.

Pink Octopus,  Pink Octopus, what do you see?
I see lots of divers swimming by me.

And, of course, the divers are the children in storytime. It is their turn to help tell the story!

Children, Children, what do you see?
We see:
a Gray Dolphin,
a Red Lobster,
an Orange Crab,
a Yellow Seastar,
a Green Sea Turtle,
a Blue Whale,
a Purple Jellyfish,
a Pink Octopus
swimming by us.

We see a beautiful ocean
full of wonderful sea creature all around us!

I use these ocean friends for several other songs, as well. They are very versatile and, as I already said, very well-loved! I highly recommend having a set of ocean friends for all your ocean-themed storytimes or lessons. They can also be used for a Pirate theme, too!

I know you and your child(ren) will have fun with them!

And, as always,

Happy Reading Together!


I am the host for the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week. It is a Blog Hop so you will find the rest of the entries below.

If you are interested in my other ABC'S Blog Hops, you can find them here.

And, for more information about the awesome Flannel Friday group, please visit their website here.

Flannel Friday: Guest Post

This week for Flannel Friday we have a Guest Poster! How exciting!

Please welcome Julie to her first Flannel Friday Round-Up!

Julie is a preschool teacher who found Flannel Friday through my blog a few weeks ago and she says she has been following Flannel Friday each week since. :o) She contacted me through email last week to request the Octopus Finger Puppet pattern that I shared in our last Flannel Friday Round-Up.

Through our emails, we started chatting about teaching preschool and all the fun learning activities that we each liked to use in our classrooms and at our storytimes/circletimes.

Julie had such wonderful ideas that I asked if she had a blog and would like to join the FFRU. She responded back that she did not have a blog ~ yet. That is when I remembered that awhile back I had hosted a Guest Poster. I offered to host Julie this week. She loved the idea! So she sent me a few pictures and a short description of one of her favorite fingerplays.

Without further chit-chat, here is Julie's wonderful contribution to this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up (in her own words):

"Hi. I'm Julie. I teach 3 year olds at a sm private preschool. My students love when I use my flannel board. I'm very excited to find your group for that reason. Thanks for letting me join this week. Special thanks to K for making this possible! Here's a rhyme that we do together. It's good for counting. Good for teaching science, too.

Five Little Seeds
Five little seeds,
Five little seeds.
Three will make flowers,
And two will make weeds.
Under the leaves,
And under the snow,
Five little seeds are
Waiting to grow.
Out comes the sun,
Down comes a shower.
And up come the three,
Pretty pastel flowers.
Out comes the sun,
That every plant needs,
And up come two,
Funny old weeds.

When we do rhyme I put 5 felt seeds on the board. Count to 5 after saying five little seeds the second time. When we say 3 will make flowers we hold up 3 fingers on 1 hand. When we say 2 will make weeds we hold up 2 fingers on other hand. I have felt leaves & felt snowflakes that I place on the board for the next 2 sentences. Count the 5 seeds again. Take away leaves & snowflakes & add felt sun & felt rain cloud. Takeaway all items on board & put up 3 flowers counting 1, 2, 3. Return sun to board & add 2 felt weeds.

My flowers:

They're not made of felt like my other pieces for this rhyme. They're made from fun foam. They came from kit for making princess tiaras. I had left overs & made them adding a felt circle on the back for the flannel board. 

I don't have a picture of other items because they're in with other flannel sets. I reuse my flannel pieces when I can. I dug out the flowers to share how I made them. You can't see the felt on the back in the other picture. I used black felt because my flannel board is black. This picture you can see.
All foam pieces had sticky on the back. Very easy to put together! I hope you like the rhyme & flowers. Thanks for letting me join this week. Maybe I can join again next week."

Thank you, Julie, for sharing this week! I love your idea of using your leftovers from craft kits. And the flowers are beautiful!

I am hosting the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week, You will find it here.

If you are interested in learning more about the Flannel Friday group, please check out their website here.

If you would like to contribute to a future Flannel Friday Round-Up but ~ like Julie ~ you do not have a blog yet, please contact me at 

We can figure out ~ together ~ how to best share your ideas with the group.
I really enjoy hosting Guest Posters. I hope you will consider being one!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flannel Friday Round-Up for July 20, 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! I get so inspired by all the fun ideas!

This is my second time to host and I am looking forward to introducing a new way to post your contributions. Over the past few weeks, other hosts have used "linking tools" to allow you to "link-up" your ideas. I LOVE the link-ups because I find them much easier to use ~ and, since I like to visit everyone's post each week, I love that I can do it so much quicker with the link-ups. Does anyone else find it faster to visit the blogs through the link-ups?

I have been using a different linking tool on my own blog for a few months. It is Linky Tools. I use it for my Blog Hops (I hope you will check them out and link up any of your past or future posts that fit the theme of the Blog Hops). Linky Tools allows the participants in  the Blog Hops to link a photo from their site. I love this thumbnail option because you can quickly see if an idea is what you are looking for. It is very Pinterest-y! 

Plus, I am a visual person so I just enjoy looking at all of the pictures. ;o)

There are several really cool benefits to using Linky Tools for groups like Flannel Friday. I won't get into them here but I will try to explain a few in my Flannel Friday post this week. For now, let's get this Round-Up started! 

To add your post to the Round-Up, click on the "click here to enter" link below. It will open a window where you will be asked to follow several steps:

1. Add your blog post's url. Please remember to link to your specific post ~ don't post the url to your blog's main page. 

2. Give your post a title. You may use only 30 characters so choose wisely. 

3. You can skip this step. It asks for your name and email but it is not necessary. If you do choose to enter your name and/or email, it will not show in the link-up.

4. This is the fun part! Add a photo from your blog post. First, decide if you want to crop your own picture or use autocrop. Next, click on "From the Web" button. This will open up a window that will display pictures from your blog. Click on the one you want to use.

Viola! You are done! And it is time to click through all the other posts. :o)

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.

If you want me to do the linking up for you, just leave your post's link in the comments below ~ exactly as you would in past Round-Ups. I will add you to the list. 

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 ~

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flannel Friday: Once I Saw an Octopus

It's Friday!

And this week, it is time for some

Fun in the Ocean!

Since moving to Florida, I have really come to enjoy doing storytimes about the beach and ocean animals. They are really fun topics and it is very easy to find books and activities about all kinds of ocean animals. 

Today, I want to share some ideas for one of my personal favorites ~ the Octopus!

Let me introduce you to ~

~ Octavia the Octopus ~

Isn't she sweet?
And she even has a couple of surprises for you!
I created Octavia out of light pink and bright pink felt. I cut her head and tentacles out of light pink and then I cut more tentacles out of the bright pink. I added her mouth with bright pink embroidery thread. Then I added her eyes using a small blue sequin and a larger silver sequin sewn on with blue thread. Next, I added three silver sequins to each of her eight legs using bright pink thread.
I'm not sure why the color is so off in this picture. :o(
The sequins are silver...

Before I describe how to put Octavia together, I need to share her first secret:

She is reversible!

How cool is that?!??!!
I made Octavia reversible because I wanted to use her with the rhyme, An Octopus is Sleeping (words provided below). I enbroidered her closed eyes with black embroidery thread. She looks like she is dreaming peacefully, doesn't she?

I attached the dark pink tentacles to the inside of the light pink ones. Then I sewed the head(s) together along the outside edge. I left the lower part of the head (right above the tentacles) open because Octavia is a:

Finger Puppet!

To use her as a finger puppet, you just slip your finger up between the tentacles and she is ready to swim all around!

Here are two rhymes that I use her with :

An Octopus is Sleeping

An octopus is sleeping
At the bottom of the sea.
(Show the side of the puppet with the eyes closed)
Her eyes are closed up tightly,
She can't see you or me.
(Shake your head "no")

But if she senses danger,
Her eyes will open wide.
(Turn the puppet to show the side with the eyes open)
Then she'll quickly swim away
Back to her den to hide.
(Swim the puppet behind our back)

Once I Saw an Octopus

Once I saw an octopus,
In the deep blue sea.

I called "Hey there, Octopus!
Won't you swim with me?"

Then out came her tentacles,
So very long and straight.

One and two and three and four,
Five and six and seven and eight.

My storytime friends love these rhymes!  I think your little one(s) will love them, too. :o)


Along with the fun rhymes, I think you and your child(ren) might enjoy sharing a few of these books about octopi to learn more about this interesting ocean animal:

Octopus Under the Sea
written by Connie Roop

Tickly Octopus
written by Ruth Galloway

An Octopus is Amazing
written by Patricia Lauber

Jolly Olly Octopus
written by Tony Mitton

While learning about octopi, you might also enjoy making an octopus hat with your little one(s). My storytime friends were very creative when making their octopus hats at this week's storytime. Here are a few of their creations:

*I will be posting instructions for the Octopus Hats very soon. They are simple and inexpensive to make. :o)

I hope you all have a relaxing weekend and, as always,


This week’s Flannel Friday Round Up is hosted by Katie at Storytime Katie.

Interested in more?

Find out about Flannel Friday on the dedicated website. Features include past roundups, host schedule and how to participate.

Scan the Flannel Friday posts on Pinterest.

Search for flannels and storytime ideas at Mel's Desk.

Discuss storytime and flannel boards on the Flannel Friday Facebook Page.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Flannel Friday: Whooo Whooo?


was ready for

Flannel Friday?

I sure wasn't!

Whew! What a week!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday. It was kind of strange to celebrate the 4th of July in the middle of a work week, wasn't it?

It kind of threw me off and it just doesn't feel like Friday to me today but I guess it is. :o}

I need to take a quick look around to see what I can share this week for Flannel Friday ~ since it snuck up on me!

Hmmmm... let me see.

Oh, here we go! Even though I usually save my Owl theme for the Fall, I recently found something that is getting me excited for my next Owl storytime.

Today is just as good as any to share my FUN FIND with you.

If you are new to my blog, you might be asking yourself, "What's a FUN FIND?"

You can find your answer here. But once I share a little more you will probably figure it out. ;o) 

While visiting my local Michael's (which I do quite often!) ~ I found the cutest little birds on the clearance aisle. They were:


But not just any old Owls!

They were cute little Owl HATS!

Isn't he adorable?
I found several of the owl hats but a few were missing pieces like a beak or a wing. That was okay because the missing pieces would easily be replaceable with a few pieces of scrap fun foam. Besides ~ I really just wanted one of them for a pattern.

I had plans racing through my mind for making five owl hats to go with a fun counting rhyme about owls. Plus, I wanted to make the owls all different colors so we could practice our color recogntion and ASL color signs.

These cute owl hats were perfect for this activity.

And the icing on the cake was the price!  

They were only .25 each!

Definitely a bargain!

A real Fun Find!  

I bought all the hats I could find for that price! :o) I used one of the owl hats with missing pieces to make a pattern for my own felt hats. It peeled apart pretty easily which then allowed me to trace around the pieces to make the pattern. Then I cut the pattern from felt and glued it together using Tacky glue which seems to hold the best for me.

The process was quick and easy!

Here is one of my felt owl hats:

Isn't she adorable, too?

With five owl hats in different colors, I will be able to share an awesome Color and Counting Rhyme with my storytime friends. I will choose five friends to come up and help act out the rhyme while everyone else helps by doing the ASL signs for the words that we know ~ such as owl, moon, tree, numbers one through 5, and all of the appropriate colors.

If the group is small enough, I will repeat the rhyme until everyone who wants to be an owl can have a turn.

Five Colorful Owls

One blue owl when the moon was new,
Along came a green one and that made 2.
1 - 2

Two little owls perched high in the tree,
Along came a yellow owl and that made 3.
1 - 2 - 3

Three little owls flew past the barn door,
Along came an orange owl and that made four.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Four little owls sitting side by side,
Along came a red owl and that made five.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

Five little owls hooted, "Whoo, whoo, whoo,"
And they all flapped their wings and away they flew.
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1

There are lots of fun songs and fingerplays about owls so I am sure I will be sharing some more ideas for an owl theme in the coming months. I also have plans for an owl snack or two! So ~ if you are like me and you love owls ~ be sure to check back again soon.

Maybe I will even have a picture of the tiny barn owl that lives in my backyard here in Florida to share with you. Very sweet!

In the meantime, you might enjoy exploring these interesting owl books with your little ones:

Owl Babies
written by Martin Waddell

WOW! Said the Owl
written by Tim Hopgood

Little White Owl
written by Tracy Corderoy

Thanks for stopping by today. :o) I hope each of you has a nice, relaxing weekend!

And, as always,


The round-up for Flannel Friday this week is being hosted by Mary at her blog, Miss Mary Liberry.

***Special Note: By the way, I will be offering my storytime friends an opportunity to make their own owl hats out of cardstock. They will be able to choose the color of the owl that they want to be. If you would like to make your own owl hats using the same pattern, please email me at and I will share the template with you. Just put "owl hat template" in the subject line of your email so that I don't miss it.