Friday, August 31, 2012

Saturday Share: A Baby WHAT?!??!!!

I hope that each of you will be able to enjoy a nice long 
weekend with your families and friends.
Stay safe!

I missed posting this for the Flannel Friday Round-up because we have had a super busy week with record numbers at our weekly storytimes. I have been extremely busy cutting out more and more and more dinosaurs! :oP 

Besides all the cutting though ~ I have been creating lots of fun learning activities with dinosaurs. I can't wait to share these Dino ideas with you. I have a couple of Fun Finds, several cute, yummy snack ideas, and even a few simple, inexpensive crafts to encourage your child/ren to use their imagination(s) as they explore the prehistoric world of the Dinosaurs

I always enjoy doing Dinosaur storytimes! Being the Mom of four boys, I had to learn about these awesome creatures over the years ~ each of my boys was obsessed with them at one time or another! But, apparently, they were not alone in this obsession! Over the years, I have notice that my boys are not the only ones who LOVE these strange creatures who just seem to never lose their popularity! 

Both boys and girls adore Dinosaurs!

Since I missed the FFRU, I am going to go ahead and do a Saturday Share this week. Here is a quick idea for some silly singing and puppet play. It is an easy, inexpensive craft to make and it is tons of fun to show the little ones. 

It is an egg puppet that hatches into a... 

Hmmm, I think I'll make you wait  for the BIG reveal in the song. (Yes, it is a dinosaur but can you guess which kind?!??!!)

The little ones think it is magical when the egg begins to hatch! 

Here is the song that I use with my puppet:

I'm Bringing Home a…
(Sung to: “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”)

Look what I found!
(The words in green are spoken.)

I'm bringing home a round, gigantic egg.
Won’t my mommy jump up on the bed?
I'm bringing home a round, gigantic egg.
Crack! Crack! Crack!

Uh, oh! It’s hatching!
 (Open the egg slowly)
And it’s a baby dinosaur!

I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur.
Won’t my mommy hide behind the door?
I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur.
"Roar! Roar! Roar!"

Oh, look!
 (Take the dinosaur out of the egg.)

It’s a Book-a-saurus!
(Did you guess?) 

I'm reading lots of books to my dinosaur.
Won’t my mommy love that more and more?
I'm reading lots of books to my dinosaur.
"More! More! More!"

We love books!

My inspiration for the baby dinosaur once again came from a sticker. The sticker set is so old that I have no idea where I bought them ~ probably a teacher store or catalog ~ years and years ago. The Stegosaurus sticker was always my favorite so it became my "Book-a-saurus" for this craft.

As you can see from the picture below, I enlarged the baby dinosaur quite a bit! I enlarged it on the copier. Then I traced the outline to use with my cut-paper technique. It is a simple and effective technique! All you need to do it for yourself is ~ construction paper in different colors, a pattern, scissors, and glue. Add a popsicle stick and ~ viola!  ~ you have a puppet!

The egg part of the craft is a little more involved. It is simple enough to do but it does have a few steps involved. Contact me at if you are interested in the directions.

At the end of our storytime, I had my storytime friends go on a Dinosaur Hunt in the library. They each found a smaller black and white copy of the Book-a-saurus to take home and color. I also provided them with a completely put-together egg to be decorated any way they wanted and a popsicle stick to make their dinosaur into a puppet.

Besides being a fun puppet to sing and play with, I told the families that each "Book-a-saurus" needed to be read to every day. I gave them 7 star stickers each and told them to add a sticker to the egg each day that they read to their new friend. Once they have added 5 to 7 stars, they can bring the egg back to the library and receive a special dinosaur prize! The adults loved this idea. It is a great way to encourage the families to read each day! ;o)

Well, that's it for my Saturday Share. If you make your own "Book-a-sarus", I would love to hear about it and see a picture or two. 

Have fun!

And, as always,


Friday, August 24, 2012

Flannel Friday: Apple Surprise!

My apologies, in advance, for the very simple post this week!

I stayed home from work today with a sprained ankle. Seems like the perfect day to stay in bed, right?!??!!

Well, being a Mom doesn't allow for sprained ankles so I didn't get to put my ankle up until this afternoon. When I finally settled onto my bed to put my feet up, I thought I would finish my Flannel Friday post ~ only to discover that my laptop has a virus! Uuuggghhh!!!

I've given up on waiting for the virus scan to finish ~ it has been hours. :o{ I have decided to try posting a blog post from my IPod.

I actually found an App for that! ;o) So here we go:

This week I made a bright red apple puppet for my upcoming Fall storytimes.

Eeeew! The apple has a brown spot inside. Oh, wait! What is that brown spot?

It's a worm!

But ~ he is a cute worm, don't you think? Well, as cute as any worm can be...

I'll try to post the directions for making my Apple Surprise puppet and the rhymes that I use with it as soon as I get access to my laptop again or as soon as I can sit at my desk computer without my ankle throbbing.

Enjoy your weekend!
And, as always,


I finally found some time to add one of my fingerplays that I use with this puppet.
I hope you like it!


There was a roly-poly worm
Who wiggled all around.
One day he saw a bright red apple
Sitting in the ground.
"Oh! I love apples!" said the worm
And opened his mouth wide.
He munched right through the apple,
And peeked out the other side.

This next one was shared in the comments below by Steff.
Thank you for sharing it with us, Steff!

I saw an apple on the ground.
It looked delicious, all red and round.
I picked it up and took a nibble ---
Oh, my goodness!
There was a worm in the middle!

I do have another rhyme but I need to find it.
I'll post it soon so watch for another update!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Flannel Friday: A Rumble in the Jungle

Hey, it's a jungle in here!


Happy Flannel Friday!

This week, I was inspired during a super quick visit to our Dollar Store. It was a fast in-and-out visit yesterday morning but I happened to notice some adorable jungle stickers. 

They were only a $1.00!

Since my Family Night storytime this week was an adventure to the jungle, I just had to have them! 

But ~ what to do with them?!??!???

When we adventure to the jungle at storytime, I usually do several songs with lots of different jungle animals so I decided to make some magnetic/flannel sets using these cute animals as my inspiration. 

I took a sheet of the stickers and scanned it into Photoshop. Then I used the cropping tool to isolate each animal ~ leaving a border of the green around each one because I thought it was a nice contrast. Finally,  I enlarged each animal to the appropriate size and printed them out on cardstock.
This is what you need to make the flannel set.

Once they were printed out, I cut out each one leaving the nice green border. 

Sorry about the colors 
~ he should be brown and tan with a light green border ~ 
I'm not sure why my pictures show strange colors sometimes. :o(

Here is where I did different techniques ~ one for the magnetic board and one for the flannel board:

To prepare the animals for flannel use, I glued the cardstock to some stiff black felt using Tacky glue. 

The final step ~ I trimmed the black felt to leave a black border around the edge of the green. That really makes the colors stand out! 

Now he is ready to monkey around at storytime!

For the magnetic board set, I simply copied the animals onto the cardstock, cut out each one ~ leaving the green border ~ and laminated them. Once laminated, I trimmed them up again and put a magnet on the back of each one. Here is the whole gang that I made for last night's storytime:

If you are observant, you will have noticed that I did not include all of the animals from the sticker sheet. I was in a crunch for time since I found them at around 1 pm and needed to use them at 7 pm. I made the ones that I knew would go along with my featured book and a few songs that I had planned to sing. I will be adding the rest soon.

If you are super observant ~ which I am NOT! ~ you may have noticed an extra jungle friend. Here's a clue ~ It is one of these two animals:

It is the flamingo! Isn't she gorgeous? 

And she fits right in with a little help from the green border. I found the flamingo by doing a Google search in images. Once I found one that was similar to the other animals, a friend used a cool tool in Photoshop to add the green border. It is the rubber stamp tool. He says it is simple so I will be learning how to do it myself.  (I love learning new things, don't you?)

There you have it! 

Two ways to very quickly take an inspiration (stickers!) and transform it into usable, brightly colored storytime props.

A few ways that they can be used:

First, I used some of them with a fun song ~ The Jungle Walk (resource information coming soon ~ I have used this song for 20 plus years. It is from a record set that a friend gave me when I first started teaching preschool. The set is my absolute favorite music resource for teaching and for storytimes. I am researching on-line for information on it and will share it as soon as I find it In the meantime, you could just read the words. Contact me if you are interested in having them sent to you.) :

"It's a perfect day to walk in the jungle
Come and spend some time.
Look for the animals deep in the jungle.
Look through the trees and vines."

Each new verse introduces a different animal and asks the children to move like that animal. This song is wonderful for movement and for encouraging good listening skills.

The jungle animal sets can also be used for another active song:

 If I Were
(Sung to: "The Mulberry Bush")

Oh, if I were a monkey, 
a monkey, a monkey,
Oh, if I were a monkey
I'd swing around the jungle.
Swing, swing

Oh, if I were a tiny snake,
tiny snake, tiny snake,
Oh, if I were a tiny snake 
I'd slither around the jungle.
Slither, slither

More verses:
Flamingo ~ fly
Zebra ~ trot
Tiger ~ crawl
Giraffe ~ stretch
Hippo ~ waddle
Lion ~ stalk 
Elephant ~ stomp

For a different take on this song, you could make sounds instead of movements such as roaring for the lion, hissing for the snake, etc. If you don't know what an animal sounds like, you could always ask your child/ren. They often have great suggestions! 

Okay, one more:

At the last minute, I decided to use the animals for a little storytelling. I did a jungle version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  Any version of this popular book is always fun and well-received by the children and the parents!

It started out like this:

I went for a walk in the jungle
And what do you think I saw?
I saw a monkey looking at me!
And this is what I said,

Monkey, Monkey, what do you see?
I see a snake slithering by me.

If you would like a copy of the whole story, please send my an email at

Our adventure to the jungle was a BLAST! Thanks to the colorful jungle animals that were soooo simple to make! I hope you enjoyed learning how they were adapted for both the flannel board and the magnetic board. Come back soon for another visit because I will be sharing more ideas on how to use these stickers for other learning activities. AND I will be sharing our craft from last night! He produced lots of ROAR-ingly good fun!

It's a roaring lion!
I chose this particular picture to include because 
of the little one in the background. 
They are really having fun with the magnetic set!
The little guy's expression is priceless!

I hope you have a fun, adventurous weekend!
And, as always,


This week's Flannel Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Mollie at her blog, What Happens In Storytime. Thanks for hosting this week, Mollie!

Curious about Flannel Friday

In the awesome words of Library Quine:

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

And in my own words, 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fun Find: Monster Puppets

Recently while at my local WalMart, I wandered down their Clearance aisle and came across a cool Fun Find.

If you are new to my blog and don't know what I mean by a Fun Find ~ just click here for an explanation. 

I usually do several Monster Storytimes throughout the year but the ones I always go all out on are in October ~ right around Halloween

I delight in finding new ideas to add something extra to my Monster Storytimes so I was excited to find this package of Monster Finger Puppets.

It is a kit that contains four different monster puppets and a set of markers.

These cute finger puppets could be used as a quick, simple craft at a storytime or party. Or they could be fun, unique giveaways or party treats.

I was able to pick them up for $2.00 a box ~ which breaks down to .50 a piece. Not bad!

But ~ I only bought one box for several reasons:

First, there were quite a few boxes of them and I think they will go down in price over the next few weeks. I'm waiting for an even better deal!

Second, I really only needed one box to put in my ideas file. I like the way the puppets are made and, since they are just a black and white print on heavy paper, I could actually create my own. 

I am brainstorming ideas for my own monster puppets. I am thinking that just an outline of the puppet shape with the two holes in it for the fingers would be perfect for the foundation of a very creative craft. I could just set out all kinds of paper or fabric scraps and tidbits like sparkles, stickers, and maybe wiggly eyes ~ then let my storytime friends create their own monster puppets! How much fun would that be?

I enjoy sharing my Fun Finds with you. :o)  I hope you are able to take advantage of a few of them for yourself!

Keep your eyes open for some great Fun Finds as you shop for Back-to-School. I would love to hear about any Fun Finds that you come across. Please share them in the comments below. :o) And be sure to check back for more future Fun Finds from me!

Have a lovely day!

And, as always,

For more finger puppet ideas, check out the links in the Finger Puppet Blog Hop below:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Finger Puppet Blog Hop

This Blog Hop is a place to find awesome ideas for creating your own finger puppets. And to also find resources for unique, fun ways to use those finger puppets for learning activities in storytimes, classrooms, and ~ even in your own home with your own child/ren!

For the purpose of this collection, finger puppets can be made from any type of materials ~ although my favorite puppets are fast becoming the ones made from felt

I have come across directions for making some cute finger puppets that were created from unusual papers or crocheted from colorful yarns. Finger puppets that are made from all kinds of materials are welcome! 

Oh, and store-bought puppets are welcome, too ~ just be sure to share where you found them, please. :o)

The puppets can be individual ones that fit nicely on one finger:

Or they can be ones that are used along with a glove:

I hope you will link up if you have a post about how to make some finger puppets or how to use them for creative learning activities. The more posts ~ the more fun for all of us!

 I also hope you will share this post with anyone who might be able to enjoy sharing finger puppets with a child. There is just something about a little finger puppet that brings a huge smile to a little one's face!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Flannel Friday: Colorful Seastars

It's a stormy Friday here in Florida today. Nice to have the rain and the cooler temperatures but I hope I don't need an ark to get home!

How's the weather where you are?

With it raining outside, it has been the perfect weather to do a little "flannelizing"! This week, I have been working on some flannel pieces that can be used on the flannel board or used as finger puppets. (I love making things that have multiple uses, don't you?)

For the multi-purpose flannel pieces, it is back to the ocean this week ~ one of my favorite places! ;o)  Oh, what is that there on the sand?

A bright, colorful sea star!

Isn't he wacky and fun??!??!

I also made 4 other sea stars from bright colored felt:

***Special Note: My inspiration for these cute sea stars came from this website. As usual, I tweaked mine to fit my needs ~ I made mine smaller since I wanted 5 to fit on my hand together. Mine measure 2 1/2" by 2 1/2". I will be making the other two puppets on this site in the very near future. :o)
The sea stars are kind of tiny because I wanted them to fit neatly on my fingers. It was a little more difficult to cut them out so I used a cool trick that I learned from the Flannel Friday group. Kari Ann made a wonderful video that shows this cool trick and a few other ideas, too. I recommend watching her video here. Thanks, Kari Ann!

The trick is to take your pattern and tape around the edges. This will hold it in place as you cut the felt. It makes cutting out small pieces and detailed pieces so much easier! Awesome tip!

I cut out two seastar shapes from each color. 

Then I cut out white ovals for the eyes ~ using the tape trick.

I sewed on the ovals with black thread because I added a black bead for detail.

I also sewed the mouths out of bright pink thread. Making each one different so that each sea star had its own little personality. ;o)

So fun and adorable!
The blue sea star has all his details. I am still working on adding details to the other ones. They should be finished this evening and I will share a picture of the final look when they are ready.  :o)

As I mentioned before, these sea stars can be used on the flannel board or on your fingers as puppets. However, that is not the end of their versatility! They can be used as sea stars for an ocean-themed storytime. They can be used as stars for an outerspace-themed storytime. But that's not all! They can also be used for a color recognition activity and for a counting activity! 

Here is one of the rhymes that I will use these colorful sea stars with:

Five Colorful Sea Stars

One little sea star so bright and blue,
Along came a green one, then there were two.

Two little sea stars, all that I could see,
Along came a yellow one, then there were three.

Three little sea stars on the ocean floor,
Along came an orange one, then there were four.

Four little sea stars, wiggly and alive,
Along came a red one and that made five!
1 - 2- 3 - 4 - 5!

Thanks for stopping by for another Flannel Friday! If you love ocean animals and finger puppets, be sure and check back over the next few weeks because I will be adding more to go along with my Octavia the Octopus and these colorful sea stars. I'll soon have an ocean full of finger puppets!

This week the round-up is being hosted by Erin at her blog, Falling Flannelboards.

Enjoy your weekend!

And, as always,


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Storytime Snacks: Yummy Moons and Stars

Sometimes snacks for a storytime theme can be found in unusual places ~ when you aren't even looking! ;o)

Awhile back, I found some cute fruit-shaped marshmallows (jumbo size!) at Wal Mart

Aren't they fun?
I thought my storytime friends would get a kick out of their fruit shapes and bright colors so I picked them up. I was thinking I could use them for a garden theme or a food theme. I never even thought about using them for an outerspace theme. But that is just what I did!

This past week, I used the yellow and orange marshmallows from this package to represent crescent moons in our Adventures with Ernie storytime series based on the book:

I Don't Want to Live on the Moon
written by Jeff Moss

After doing a song entitled "Moon Play" during our Family Storytime, I wanted to reinforce the name and shape for the Crescent moon phase. In the song, the children are instructed how to make 4 different moon phases with their hands and "float them in the sky". For the crescent moon phase, they are instructed to cup one hand like a "C".

 Well ~ guess what! The banana and orange shaped marshmallows were perfect for reinforcing the shape of a Crescent moon!

I didn't have enough marshmallows for all of my space adventures storytimes  so I came up with another snack that is also yummy and fun while helping to reinforce a different moon phase.

In a small plastic cup, I combined a little star-shaped cereal (Dora the Explorer cereal)

with a donut hole covered in powdered sugar.

While both of these snacks are good for reminding the little ones about the different phases of the moon, they are a little heavy on sugar. :o{ 

If you are looking for a more nutritious way to learn about the moon during snacktime, you can always try cheese and crackers. (Picture coming soon.) 

It is very simple to cut out different shapes from your cheese and serve them on round crackers. I recently bought star-shaped cookie cutters and have used them several times already ~ and I haven't even made cookies with them yet! ;o)

No need no round cookie cutters ~ at least not at my house. I just use a trick I learned from my Mom. She always looked around her kitchen for a glass to cut out round cookies or biscuits. This trick worked for her and is now working for me ~ I always seem to find the perfect size glass for what I need!

Well, there you go! I have shared a few ideas for simple, yet yummy snacks for any space adventure. I hope you get a chance to try one or two with your child/ren as you explore the moon and stars and beyond...

And, as always,