Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flannel Friday: There was a Little...

It's cold outside!

Well. maybe not that cold here in Florida 
but definitely where this week's Flannel Friday friend lives...

Ooooh! A cute little ice bear

polar bear ~
as they are more commonly known.

This one is made from white felt, black embroidery thread for the details on his ears and tail, and a small black bead for his eye. I backed him in stiff black felt so that I could cut the intricate details of his legs and head. He was very quick and easy to create.

For my Polar Friends Storytime, I decided to make this little ice bear to use with the rhyme that I shared last year featuring my penguin friend...

The penguin flannel set was one of the very first felt sets that I made after joining the Flannel Friday group last January. It is "There was a Little Penguin". 

This week, I am changing it to:

There was a Little Ice Bear
(a polar bear version of "There was a Little Turtle")

There was a little ice bear
Who sat on some blocks.
He swam in the ocean 
And he climbed on some rocks.

He snapped at a seagull.
He snapped at a seal.
He snapped at a fish.
What a meal!

You could also do it as " there was a little polar bear". I have used both names at different times with different groups of children ~ depending on the circumstances.

Since we were talking about Polar Friends at this storytime, I brought a globe with me so we could briefly talk about the North and South Poles. 

I mentioned that while you might see penguins and polar bears together in books, they don"t actually live together in the real world. This was a surprise to many of the adults! I guess anyone can learn something new in a Family Storytime. ;o)

I am trying to keep this Flannel Friday post short and sweet so I am going to stop here. I will have more Polar Bear rhymes, fingerplays, and songs soon. Most of them, I have used for more years than I care to count so I don't have any credits to give for them. They are tried and true and lots of fun so be sure to check back soon.

And, as always,


For all you Flannel Friday-ers, Sarah is hosting our Mushy Gushy Round-Up for Valentine's Day ideas this year. I hope you will all head on over and take a peek at the fun.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Quite a Flannel Friday: Melting Snowman


We had our all day Summer Reading Workshop today ~ so I'm a little late.

My "Melting" Snowman

I know!  I know!
He looks just like an ordinary little guy.
But he is NOT!

He is actually a ton of fun to play with and simple enough to make with a large group of families. 

I can confidently say that because this is our Storytime Craft for last night's Family Storytime.

We made our "melting" snowmen to go along with several of our snowman songs and fingerplays ~ like this traditional one:

I'm a Little Snowman
(Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot")

I'm a little snowman
Short and fat.
Here is my tie 
And here is my hat.
When the sun comes out,
I'll melt away.
But I'll be back.
Another day!

Isn't he cool?!??!!

For the little ones ~ and even the adults ~ it is like magic! 

He rolls down and up with ease due to some well-placed brads.

I heard a whole wave of ooooh's and aaaah's as I did it the first time. Then we had to do it over and over and over again to satisfy everyone's curiosity. :o) 

When I announced that everyone would be creating his/her own to take home, the room erupted into screams of "YAY!" and there was lots of jumping up and down with excitement. It made my heart smile to see them so excited!

If you would like directions for making this cool craft, please contact me at or check out below who and what inspired me to make my "melting" snowman. It was a post about "telescoping" cards ~ using circles ~ that I came across recently. The post I read was not about making a snowman but it does have a video tutorial that shows the steps to make a "telescoping" card. Barb's video was all I needed to get excited about "telescoping" crafts. It didn't take much for me to tweak her circle card into a snowman! And I have several more ideas for "telescoping"!

***Special Note: There have been some discussions on-line and in my personal life recently about giving credit to others for their ideas. As far as I am aware, none of the discussions involve the Flannel Friday group but I feel that the topic of the discussions does apply. One of the first things that impressed me about this group is how often credit is given back to other participants. I think we, as a whole, do a very good job of that. Kudos to us!

I totally agree with the concept of giving credit for ideas and even for giving credit for that mystical little thing called inspiration. It is a positive concept! And well worth the effort to do!

But! I also know that many people have the same idea around the same time without ever seeing the other person's idea or knowing that the other person is thinking about doing the same thing. That has happened to me several times over just the past year. I have read a Flannel Friday post that is EXACTLY like one that I have been working on for weeks! Neither of us knew what the other one was doing. 

I love that "great minds think alike" and that we have so many "great minds" in our Flannel Friday group!

Another "But!" here:  

But it can be a little frustrating when someone else beats you to the punch. When this happens to me, I try (and hope that I am successful) to have a positive attitude about it. I often write a "what a wonderful idea! note to the other person and try to be happy that other children and other families will benefit from the idea ~ whether or not I was the first person to get that idea out there. I try to make the importance of the idea be about the children, not the origin of the idea.

I also know that there are times when someone sees an idea, likes it, but can't use it at the time. Then weeks, months, even years, later that idea comes to them at a time when they can use it. They may remember that they saw it somewhere ~ or not! I know my mind isn't as good at remembering these things as it used to be! 

Anyway, they may remember that they did see it somewhere but not know where to give the credit. I personally don't fault someone for this. I want to believe that most people, given the opportunity, like to give others credit for their work. So I try really hard to give the benefit of the doubt and trust in Karma. If the person meant well ~ good! If the person had questionable intent then "Uh Oh!" for them.

I am not naive or inexperienced though! I work with someone right now who takes others' ideas and doesn't give credit where credit is due. What do you do about that? I have learned several ways to handle it but that is for another time. Email me if you need suggestions right now though. ;o) I might be able to help by sharing from my vast experiences and frustrations! LOL!

Okay, I didn't mean for that to get so long! Sorry! I just want to be clear that I am giving credit for my inspiration. There may be posts out there that are actual "telescoping snowmen" ~ I couldn't tell you ~ because this particular idea came to me when I saw Barb's tutorial and decided to tweak her circle card into a snowman. :o) 

If anyone has a "telescoping snowman" or any kind of "telescoping" craft, I would love to hear about them and share a link to them! I might just start a Telescoping Blog Hop! Whoo hoo! You know how I love a good Blog Hop!

One last thing before I go, I  just want to mention that my features on this particular snowman were done to go along with my very first storytime post from last year, It Is Snowing All Around! 
I used the snowman from the "Snowflake, Snowflake, What Do You See?" magnetic board set but I tweaked it this year. (See, I am even known to tweak my own ideas! Tweak! Tweak! Tweak! I see a new blog coming to life!)

I gave my melting snowman a green bowtie instead of a purple scarf so that I could use him for a different snowman fingerplay that includes bowties. (Watch for this in an upcoming post. It is fun, too!)

I hope you enjoyed this Flannel Friday contribution! And didn't mind too much that I shared a few of my thoughts about giving credit. They are just my opinion and as people often say, "It's a funny thing about opinions ~ everyone has one!

Please feel free to share your opinion below ~ if you are inclined to do so. It can be about this craft, something fun that you do with a winter/snowman theme, or even your own opinion on giving credit ~  whether you agree or disagree with mine. 

I love sharing ideas and hearing what others think, too!

As I tell my boys: "If I want to be heard then I need to be willing to listen!"

Thanks for stopping by and, as always,


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guest Post: Turkey in the Straw

Happy Flannel Friday!

This Guest Post is another swap from our First Annual Storytime Swap. (I am loving all the cool activities that were shared in our swap! And I am excited to be sponsoring another swap for Flannel Friday's upcoming birthday. Keep an eye out for the details ~ they are coming soon!)

This item was sent from Ann to Lauren, who described it as "very cute" and I agree! Don't you?

Ha, Ha, Turkey in the Straw
by Jean Warren
(Sung to: "Skip to My Lou")

Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha.
Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha.
Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha.
Turkey in the straw, my darling.

Turkey in the white snow, ho, ho, ho.
Turkey in the white snow, ho, ho, ho.
Turkey in the white snow, ho, ho, ho.
Turkey in the snow, my darling.

Additional verses:
Turkey in the blue shy, hi, hi, hi.
Turkey in the red barn, harn, harn, harn.
Turkey in the yellow corn, horn, horn, horn.
Turkey in the green tree, hee, hee, hee.

Place all the felt shapes, except the turkey, on the flannelboard. 
Then sing the song with the children and let them take turns 
placing the turkey on the appropriate shapes.

Audience participation! You gotta love that!

In case you have been reading all of the swap posts, you may have noticed Ann's name mentioned many times. She actually swapped 6 times! She did 4 flannel swaps and two prop swaps. Just imagine all the fun that her preschool class is going to have with their 6 new activities. :o) 

Thanks for swapping and sharing, Ann!

Guest Post: The Vegetable Song

Here is another Guest Post from Tami. She particpated in two swaps during our First Annual Storytime Swap. This one was swapped with Ann.

Tami says:
"I am always looking for "filler" and came across this cute song for eating vegetables! It was on ChildFun website under Vegetable Activity Theme."

The Vegetable Song

(Sung to the tune of: "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star")

Carrots, peas and broccoli,
Vegetables are good for me.
For my snack and in my lunch,
Veggie sticks are great to munch.
Carrots, peas and broccoli,
Vegetables are good for me.

"I had found the carrot pattern some time ago and wanted to use it, but after I got to thinking about it I wasn't sure the kids would actually recognize it. 
So, I included carrot sticks and the little carrot "nubs" just in case. Either can be switched out."

"The brown is my little "dirt pocket" which holds all of the pieces."

I love this rhyme and the little dirt pocket. 
So fun!

A special thanks to Tami for participating twice in the Storytime Swap and for sharing her ideas with all of us on this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up.


Guest Post: Five Red Foxes


This week I have a Guest Post from Tami. She is sharing the swap item that she sent to Katie B. during our First Annual Storytime Swap.

Here is what Tami has to say:
"I saw a fox made out of origami paper that had red on one side and white on the other. When it was folded it made the "cheeks" of the fox. So cute! We made them out of construction paper and handed them out on a straw at storytime. Such fun and so easy!

I decided I needed a sturdier version - so these for Katie are out of felt. Could easily be used for other fingerplays or just one fox story."

Aren't they adorable?

(As found on Storytime Sparks blog)

Out in the woods under the sun,
Up ran a red fox and that made one.

One red fox under a sky so blue,
Up ran another and then there were two.

Two red foxes sitting by a tree,
Up ran another and then there were three.

Three red foxes trotting by the shore,
Up ran another and then there were four.

Four red foxes watching a beehive,
Up ran another and then there were five.

Five red foxes sunning by the shore,
One went swimming and then there were four.

Four red foxes underneath a tree,
One chased a squirrel and then there were three.

Three red foxes looking for something new,
One found some berries and then there were two.

Two red foxes having so much fun,
One chased a butterfly and then there was one.

One red fox enjoying the bright sun,
It ran home for supper and then there were none.

Pieces you need for a felt Red Fox:

Thank you, Tami, for participating on the Storytime Swap and for sharing these cute little felt foxes with us on the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week. 

I always love to share a rhyme that is a count-up as well as a count-down rhyme. It is good for counting practice. :o)

I will definitely be making these for my storytime friends! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Flannel Friday Round-Up for January 11, 2013

Are you ready for the second Flannel Friday Round-Up for 2013?

I know I am!

Oh, by the way, this is my



I am excited to be hosting the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week ~ especially since this is a milestone post for me. 

I can honestly say that Flannel Friday is the reason that I have had more fun in my storytimes this past year. You guys inspire me to be a better storyteller!

Each week, I love reading everyone's creative posts and I am always inspired by each of the exciting and colorful ideas! Thank you so much!

Now, let's get this Round-Up started!

This week I am collecting everyone's contributions into a Blog Hop. (You can check out a couple of past ones here and here.) 

I have been hosting Blog Hops on my blog for quite awhile because I have found them to be a fun, simple way to organize storytime ideas in an easy to access format.

I also find Blog Hops to be much quicker to use. And since participants link a photo from their own site, you can easily see if an idea is what you are looking for. 

It is very Pinterest-y

Two ways to participate:

*** If you prefer the usual way of participating, just leave your link in the comment section below. I will add you to the Blog Hop as soon as possible.

***If you prefer to link yourself, then click on the "click here to enter" link below. It will open a window where you will be asked to follow these 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. 

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.

Remember: 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 ~


Today is my blog's First Birthday!

Whooo Hoooo!

When I first started my blog last January, my only goal was to keep it going longer than my last attempt at a blog. :-/ I think that blog lasted maybe a month or two so I can proudly say that I met my first goal! ;o)

As the year progressed (and I made it past the second month), I decided to give myself another goal. This goal was centered around a very special group ~ Flannel Friday ~ because they were actually the reason I was sticking with my blog this time. 

My second goal was to try my best to post at least once a week

To help me with this goal, I made a commitment to get more involved in Flannel Friday by posting to the Flannel Friday Round-Up each week and by volunteering to help the group in any way that I could. That led to me hosting a Round-Up or two.

It also has led to me becoming a Pinterest Pinner for the first few months of 2013 and taking a turn as the Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother later this  year. I am very excited and can't wait to be a FFFG!

I have shared all of this to say:


My blog is still here today thanks to all of the wonderful creative people who make Flannel Friday such a welcoming and helpful group.I want to encourage all my visitors to check out their website and their Pinterest boards. You will find lots of fun ideas!

I also want to say a very special "Thank You"
to all of my readers!

Your support has been AWESOME ~ beyond my wildest dreams! And I feel very blessed to have "met" each of you along my blogging journey!

I really don't think my Storytime ABC'S blog would still be here without everyone's encouragement and inspiration! I am very appreciative!

To celebrate my first year, I will be doing a Giveaway!

To enter, please comment below or send me a quick email about which post from 2012 was most useful to you. Please include your name and a contact email address. I will send you a confirmation email so that you know that you are entered in the drawing.

 I will do a drawing on January 31st.

Okay, now it's time for the Happy Birthday dance! 
Won't you sing and dance with me?

And here is to another year of :


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Guest Post: The Cats of Roy G. Biv

Today, I am sharing another special Guest Post from our recent First Annual Storytime Swap. :-)
***Learn more about the Storytime Swap by clicking  here for the original invitation post and here to see other items shared in this swap.

***If a swap is something that you would enjoy participating in, please feel free to contact me at

Planning is underway for another swap.
It will be soon!
 And it is in honor of Flannel Friday's birthday!

Okay, back to this particular swap. 

The featured item in this blog was sent from Margaret Ann to Monica

Margaret Ann says that she made "14 hand-cut cats in different colors. They measured approximately 3 1/2". They are numbered with fabric paints." 

So many colorful cats!

She also sent along an original poem!

"The Cats of Roy G. Biv"

I have a red cat.
We went to dine at half-past nine,
Me and my red cat.

I have an orange cat ...
I have a yellow cat ...
I have a green cat ...
I have a blue cat ...
I have an indigo cat ...
I have a violet cat ...

Last verse (all cats go on the board) :

I have a RAINBOW of cats.
We went to dine at half-past nine,
Me and my rainbow of cats.

I love the simple shape of the cats. It is perfect for a flannel set that can be passed out to the little ones so that they can bring them up to the board at the appropriate time. So many wonderful possibilities for this set of delightful kitties!

Thank you to Margaret Ann and Monica for participating in our First Annual Storytime Swap. It has been a wonderful experience due to all of the creative participants!

I am really looking forward to our next swap! How about you? I hope you will consider joining us!

Have a lovely week!

And, as always, 


Friday, January 4, 2013

Storytime Swap 2012: Cookies, Shapes, and Colors Galore!

I had the privilege of participating in two different swaps for the First Annual Storytime Swap. (Find out about the swap here and see more items from the swap here.)

For my first swap, I shared this fun activity set with Amy: Shapes + Colors Memory Game.

I found the idea on one of Amy's Pinterest boards. Since she had it pinned, I figured she liked it. :0)  So I crossed my fingers ~ hoping she hadn't made it yet ~ and I went for it! 

I made the set exactly like the one from the original blog post. It was made from felt and wooden disks. Then I searched a few stores to find a drawstring bag to hold the wooden felt set. 

Wooden set with drawstring bag

After making the wooden set, I decided to make a couple of all-felt ksets for Amy to use during storytimes. I thought they could be used with songs, fingerplays, and even as the memory game on the flannel board.

Felt set

Here are the directions for both the wooden set and the all-felt set:

First you will need circles:
The wooden circles are 1 1/2". Twelve circles per set.
The felt circles are 2". Twenty-four per set.
They are diecut from tan felt and two are glued
together to 
make them sturdy enough for
repeated use by little ones.

Next, you will need 6 basic shapes ~ I used circles, squares, stars, hearts, rectangles, and triangles. The shapes are cut from colorful felt ~ I used rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. 
You'll need 2 of each shape for each set.
I used diecuts for some shapes and free-hand cut the others.
The sets (whether they are wooden or all-felt) are glued together with Tacky glue.

Wooden set
Felt set

And that's it. Very simple and quick to make!

Wooden set
(see above for felt set)

Once the sets are dry, they are ready for a fun game of Cookie Memory.

Place all cookies ~ shape side down ~ on the flannel board.
Have a child turn over two cookies.
If they don't match...

Turn the cookies back over on the board.
Then have another child turn over two more cookies.
If they match...

Then the child keeps the cookies and
another child comes up to choose
two new cookies.
That is just one activity you can use these sets for! They are very versatile and can be used for all kinds of shapes activities, colors activities and cookies activities. 

For example, here is a cookie rhyme that most of us know ~ with a little tweaking, of course:

Five Little Cookies

Five little cookies in the bakery shop.
You know the ones with the shapes on top. (whisper)
Along comes a child with a penny to pay.
He bought the red heart and took it away.

To start with, I have my storytime friends help me count out the five cookies as I place them on the flannel board. 

Then we talk about how they are all the same ~ they're round, they're the same size, they're all tan in color. 

Usually while doing this, at least one child will say, "But, they have different stuff on them." If not, I will ask them what is different about the cookies and we proceed to name and sign all of the colors and shapes. 

Now, we are ready for the rhyme! (All of the same & different, colors, and shapes discussion only takes a few minutes and really packs a ton of learning into a short amount of time. It is well worth the effort!)

As we do the rhyme, I will usually replace "child" with someone's name and that child comes up and takes the correct cookie off the board.

How about a few shapes and colors activities to use with these cute and versatile felt cookies?

For this next activity, I pass out a cookie to each child. I have them look at their cookie with their adult and talk about what color and shape is on their cookie before we do our interactive songs and rhymes.

The first one is a following directions one:

Put Your Cookie in the Air

Put your cookie in the air, in the air.
Put your cookie in the air, in the air.
Put your cookie in the air
And wave it right up there.
Put your cookie in the air, in the air.

Put your cookie way down low, way down low.
Put your cookie way down low, way down low..
Put your cookie way down low
And make it touch your toe.
Put your cookie way down low, way down low.

Put your cookie way up high, way up high.
Put your cookie way up high, way up high.
Put your cookie way up high,
And make it touch the sky.
Put your cookie way up high, way up high.

Put your cookie on the ground, on the ground.
Put your cookie on the ground, on the ground.
Put your cookie on the ground,
And sit yourself right down.
Put your cookie on the ground, on the ground.

Now that everyone is sitting again, we are ready to do another interactive activity with our cookies. I request that the adults help their child with this one because each child needs to stay focused on their shape and/or color. For demonstration purposes, I am going to share this as a shapes activity but it can be tweaked to become a color activity, too.

Shape Song

There are shapes on the floor, on the floor.
There are shapes on the floor, on the floor.
There are shapes on the floor, circles, squares, and so much more.
There are shapes on the floor, on the floor.

Find a heart on the floor, on the floor.
Find a heart on the floor, on the floor, 
Find a heart of the floor,
Pick it up and place it on the board.
Find a heart on the floor, on the floor.

Continue with the other shapes. Helping the children place them on the board in columns under the five cookies that you used for the Five Little Cookies rhyme. Once all the cookies are on the board, you can count all of them together. You can count them by shapes or colors and compare them. Are there more red heart cookies than yellow star cookies? Which cookies have more in their row? Which cookies have less?

There is just so much fun and learning you can do with these simple felt cookies! They are worth the time it takes to make them!

Amy, I hope you and your storytime friends have as much fun with them as I have had! 

And, as always,