Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flannel Friday: Share a Trick or Two, Maybe Three :o)

It is 


Welcome to another Flannel Friday Round-Up

I am hosting this week ~ which I always enjoy doing! Since I am the host for this week's Round-Up, it is done as a Blog Hop. You will see a list of the entries for this week at the end of this post. Click on any thumbnail and you will be taken to that particular post.

 If you prefer to start at the actual Round-Up post, there will be a link to that post at the end of this one, as well.

This week I am posting in response to several email questions that I have been receiving. So instead of a felt set for a book or rhyme, I am sharing a few Felt Cutting Tricks that I have learned from several different sources.

The questions were mainly about how I cut my felt pieces ~ especially the smaller detailed ones. 

The best answer to "how do you cut such intricate, small details?" is a very good pair of scissors. My Mom was a seamstress in her spare time while being a wonderful mother to seven children. She taught each of us to use scissors at a very young age. One of the most important tricks she taught us was to only use sharp scissors. (Oh, my! Little children with sharp scissors???? As long as there is appropriate supervision, young children truly benefit from using sharp scissors. Cutting is less frustrating for them so they learn the skill much quicker and with less fuss! Just don't leave your child unattended with a pair of sharp scissors. Commom sense!)

 My own scissors are extremely sharp! 

My Mom also taught us to choose the right pair of scissors for the job at hand. If the job is small then don't use big, clunky scissors! 

My go-to scissors for my felt projects ~ especially the smaller, more detailed cuts ~ are a small pair of Fiskars (see picture below). I bought them at WalMart about 5 years ago and they are still going strong. Well worth the cost!

The next tricks I want to share are about the actual cutting. Since I need some lettering for an upcoming project, I thought I would use them as my examples. 

The first thing I do is find a font that I like and print it out in the size that I want to use. I then cut the individual letters a part.

This next step is one that I learned from a fellow Flannel Friday-er. It has made cutting felt so much easier for me! It is magically easy

***I have mentioned this trick before and had a link to the helpful post. I will find the link and update this post with it ~ as soon as I can!

The magically easy step is to simply position your pattern on your felt and then tape it down. Believe me, it will make your felt-cutting experience a lot less frustrating!

The tape holds the pattern in place and it makes it easier for you to move the felt and pattern around as you cut the details.

I usually trim off the excess felt before cutting close to the pattern. This also makes it easier to maneuver the felt to get right into each little nook and cranny.

There you have it ~ every librarian's favorite two letters!
Just kidding! 

My next trick has to do with cutting from the middle of a pattern. Below is a step-by-step collage for cutting out the center of a lowercase A. I tried to make the pictures as large as possible. If you click on the picture it will get larger. :o) Hopefully, you will be able to see exactly what I am talking about.

Step by Step:

First, I poke a hole in the center of the area being cut out.

Next, I cut out a circle that is smaller than the area that needs to be removed.
This allows more room to move the scissors around without stretching the felt too much.

Next, I slowly cut around the actual line ~ usually I get a little spiral as I cut the circle.

Finally, I trim any little fuzzies left inside the circle from the felt. I usually bring my scissors up from the bottom and through the hole rather than angling down from the top. This helps you see better and control the smaller movements needed to do the clean-up of your cut-out area.

I hope these tricks are helpful to you. I enjoy cutting felt so much more when I take the time to collect the appropriate tools and take the time to set up each step rather than rush to just get it cut out.

Below is a picture that is made completely out of felt (except for the black and green border and
the "~ Storytime Fun ~" caption at the bottom.)

This is my banner for the next Storytime Prop Swap. This Swap will be based on the Summer Reading Program that many libraries will be using this summer. The theme is "Dig into Reading" and I used a character from one of the books that I will be sharing this summer. 

It is Mole from Jane and Will Hillenbrand's book, What a Treasure! It is a cute book that I will be flannelize-ing. Now,  I already have two characters ready to go ~ Mole and Bird! Aren't they cute?

I am working on creating a "surprise" element that I hope will be ready to share in an upcoming FF Round-Up soon.

Speaking of FF Round-Ups, there is a special one coming up that is also based on the "Dig into Reading" theme. It will be hosted by Lisa next Friday so get ready for the Dig Into Summer Reading Extravaganza!

While preparing your item to share in this special Round-Up, why not make an extra set so you can participate in the Swap? Then you will have your item and another item from your Swap partner to use for SRP and you didn't have to make both the items yourself!

I will be posting the details for the Swap this week so be sure to check back! In the meantime, you can check out our last Swap here.

If you don't participate in Summer Reading Programs, don't worry ~ you can still join in on the Swap. The theme lends itself to all kinds of fun ideas! Some topics that would work would be gardening, dinosaurs, animals who live underground like moles and worms, pirates digging for treasure, and so many more.

I really hope that you will consider participating in the Swap because our first one was so much more fun and rewarding than I ever imagined! Plus I made some wonderful new friends who love felt and storytimes as much as I do!

I say,"Do it!"

And, as always, 


This week's Round-Up starts here.

Flannel Friday: Guest Post ~ The Funny Little Bunny

We have a returning Guest Post-er this week ~ Julie! Yay!

Julie is a preschool teacher who says she gets lots of ideas from our Flannel Friday Round-Ups each week. She has been a Guest on my blog two other times so this will be the third time! You can see Julie's earlier posts by clicking on the title: Five Little Seeds and Who Am I?

Welcome, Julie

I am always curious to see what Julie has to share with us. Here is her contribution:

Hi! I'm happy to be back again. Things are wild for me at my school. I'm teaching different age than I'm used to teaching. It makes things wild for me! I still follow Flannel Friday each week. I share the ideas with my coworkers but the wildness keeps me from posting but I enjoy reading the ideas. 

This week I decide I am sharing. I was searching through our school's old stuff for bunny ideas. I find one that I love so I will share it with you this week. 

The pieces are made from Pellon. It is thin so good for tracing pictures and it sticks to the flannel board. I did not make this but I have copy of pieces that go with the story. It looks like pieces were traced and filled in with colored pencils. It looks very good! Still bright and pretty!

The story that goes with pieces is The Funny Little Bunny Who Just Loved Honey. It is an European Folktale adapted by Jean Warren. We have lots of her things in our idea files. 

The story is about a bunny who wants honey so bad that he sneaks in a bear's cave to steal it. The bear sets a trap where honey falls on the bunny and makes him stick to whatever he touches. He can't move or get loose! Bear comes back and decides to eat bear stew for dinner and starts a fire. Bear leaves to get vegetables for the stew. The heat melts the honey so bunny can get away and bunny says he will never steal honey again. He only eats vegetables.

Cute story! We will have fun with it! It is good for lesson in not going in other people's homes and taking things that are not yours. It will work good with Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will use pieces for retelling story for our language center.

Hope you like this and can use it. Thanks to K for letting me share again in Guest Post. I like to share and will try to share more again soon.

Thank you, Julie

It is a cute story. :o) You have good timing, too. I am just beginning to start my planning for our Easter and Spring storytimes. This story would work well for either theme!

This week's Flannel Friday Round-Up is hosted by me. To start at the beginning of the Round-Up just click here

But since this week is a Blog Hop, you can actually see all of the entries below. By clicking on the thumbnail of the post you want to visit next, you will be sent to that particular blog post. Easy peasy!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flannel Friday Round-Up for February 22, 2013

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

I know I am!

I am excited to be hosting the Flannel Friday Round-Up this week. I missed last week's Round-Up so I am hoping to have something to share this week. :o) 

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 ~

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Share: Prickly Pokey Fun

Good afternoon!

I missed my usual Flannel Friday post because I was home sick yesterday.


But while I was resting, I created some delightful little creatures that I can't wait to share with everyone.

Don't tell anyone
~ especially my family ~ 
because I was supposed to be resting!  

But making these sweet little things helped take my mind off all my aches and pains. Maybe that is why I love them so much! They helped me ignore being sick. :o) Plus they are felt fingerpuppets which make them fun and versatile!

Without further ado, 
here they are:
Porky-Poo and Hedgie-Hug

Aren't they cute? They were inspired by several different things over the past few months. Finally, everything came together yesterday with scraps of felt, sharp scissors, a little Tacky glue, and embroidery thread and needle.

Here is a fun rhyme that I plan to share ~ using my new friends and some rolling motions:

Two Little Hedgehogs
(Adaptation of: "Two Little Black Birds")

Two little hedgehogs 
Sitting on a hill.
One named Jack 
And the other named Jill.
Roll away, Jack.
Roll away, Jill.
Roll back, Jack.
Roll back, Jill.

My first inspiration for my spiny friends came from a cute porcupine applique that I saw in passing ~ so long ago that I can't even remember where I saw it. :o( (If I find the original again, I will provide more information.)

I do remember, at the time, thinking, "That is adorable!" But I didn't connect it to the idea of a boy/girl porcupine/hedgehog fingerpuppet until I found these:

My second inspiration!

I recently found this package of felt spiny creatures at Michael's. I set them aside to share as a Fun Find. They are inexpensive and perfect for using with a felt glove for counting rhymes. In the package, there are  five pink and five brown spiny creatures. I just added a piece of Velcro to each back so that they could stick to a felt glove or to a flannel board.

I use them for a Count Down rhyme, a Count Up rhyme, and then a combination Count Up/Count Down rhyme. I also use them interchangeably (is that a real word??!!??!) as Porcupines and as Hedgehogs. They are versatile, too!

Hedgehog Friends
(Count Up Rhyme)

One little hedgehog looking for something to do,
Along came another and that made two.
Two little hedgehogs snuffling near a tree,
Along came another and that made three,
Three little hedgehogs searching for one more,
Along came another and that made four.
Four little hedgehogs waiting for one to arrive,
Along came another and that made five.

Five Little Porcupines
(Count Down Rhyme)

Five little porcupines rolling across the floor,
One waddles off and then there are four.
Four little porcupines rolling by me,
One waddles off and then there three.
Three little porcupines rolling by you,
One waddles off and then there are two.
Two little porcupines rolling under the sun,
One waddles of and then there was one.
One little porcupine rolling all alone,
He waddles off and that leaves none.

Ten Little Hedgehogs
(Sung to: "Ten Little Indians")

One little, two little, three little hedgehogs.
Four little, five little, six little hedgehogs.
Seven little, eight little, nine little hedgehogs.
Ten little hedgehogs sitting by some logs.

Ten little, nine little, eight little hedgehogs.
Seven little, six little, five little hedgehogs.
Four little, three little, two little hedgehogs.
One little hedgehog chasing a frog.

Ten Little Porcupines
(Sung to: "Ten Little Indians")

One little, two little, three little porcupines.
Four little, five little, six little porcupines.
Seven little, eight little, nine little porcupines.
Ten little porcupines standing in a line.

Ten little, nine little, eight little porcupines.
Seven little, six little, five little porcupines.
Four little, three little, two little porcupines.
One little porcupine looking so fine.

These rhymes are a combination of ones that I have used over the years for my preschool classes/storytimes and ones that I "piggybacked" using popular songs and fingerplays. Some I only tweaked (something I love to do) a little yesterday while I was working on creating my new favorite spiny creatures ~ Porky-Poo and Hedgie-Hug

I have a few more ideas to share with you and a few books, as well.

Here is a creative movement/song that also could be used when talking about emotions:

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

I'm a little hedgehog, short and round.
Here is my smile, here is my frown.
When I get scared, I roll around.
Just watch me spin across the ground.

And another creative movement activity to use when your young friends need to get up and move around a bit.

Hedgehog, Hedgehog
(Adapted from "Teddybear, Teddybear, Turn Around")

Hedgehog, Hedgehog, turn around.
Hedgehog, Hedgehog, touch the ground.
Hedgehog, Hedgehog, stretch up high.
Hedgehog, Hedgehog, search the sky.
Hedgehog, Hedgehog, search down low.
Hedgehog, Hedgehog, touch your toes.
Hedgehog, Hedgehog, sit on the ground.
Hedgehog, Hedgehog, curl up small and round.

My volunteer says this one is a little hard to say with the overwhelming number of "hedgehog" mentions. Doesn't easily trip off the tongue, but I don't mind because ~ if I mess up ~ it is a good reason to laugh together. 

But, if you aren't into being silly, you could always give your hedgehog or porcupine a nickname that is easier to say so many times. 

Speaking of nicknames, I want to share my inspiration for my girl puppet's name ~ Hedgie-Hug. I found this cute little book about a hedgehog's search for love. A little tweak and my sweet little girl had a cute name! The book is:

 A Sharp Lesson in Love
created and illustrated by Dan Pinto
written by Benn Sutton
For Hedgehug, love appears to be very prickly.
Will he ever find someone who will accept his heart ~ prickles and all?

Another book about spiny creatures and also about names is:

A Porcupine Named Fluffy
written by Helen Lester
illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Meet two unlikely characters ~ 
a porcupine named Fluffy and a rhinoceros named ... WHAT?!??!

This book is written by the author of Tacky the Penguin. If you know Tacky then you know that humor will be found in spades inside the cover of this book! I have used this book for years and years. It never fails to bring about fits of giggles from both children and adults. 

One more book that could be used with our spiny creatures is an easy reader book with an age-old problem to solve ~ too many cooks in the kitchen:

Hedgehog Bakes a Cake
written by Maryann MacDonald
Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Hedgehog wants to bake a cake.  
Rabbit, Squirrel, and Owl want to help.
Oh, what a mess!

Before I wrap this up, I have one more fun piggyback song to share. It provides you with an opportunity to talk about porcupine characteristics such as what they like to eat and what they do when something frightens them.

Five Little Porcupines
(Sung to: "Five Green and Speckled Frogs")

Five little porcupines
Sittin' in a crooked line
Eating the most delicious bark.
Yum! Yum!
One heard a scary call.
Rolled up into a ball.
Now, there are four little porcupines.

Be sure to count the porcupines as you add them to the flannel board
and as you start each new verse.
Rub your tummy as you say, "Yum! Yum!'
As the porcupine "rolls into a ball", take one from the board 
and hide it in your hand as you make your fist into a ball.
Continue until no porcupines are left.

Can anyone think of a Hedgehog version of "Five Green and Speckled Frogs"? 

I'd love to hear it! I get stuck on the first line because I can't get anything to fit nicely into 6 syllables. The hedgehogs can be sitting near or on a log. Since they eat bugs that part would still work from the original version. Then I think the ending could be the same as above because they also curl up when they are frightened. 

Hmmm... just need a starting line. Anyone?

Oh, by the way, my mind is still remembering more books and some old learning activities I used to do for our porcupines and hedgehogs units at my school. And I am thinking of new ideas, too, so I am sure there will be more prickly fun to come! Like ~ a fun tweak to the "Hokey-Pokey"...

Hope you enjoyed this Saturday Share! I enjoyed writing it now that I am feeling a little better. :o)

Have a lovely weekend with your families!
And, as always, 


Friday, February 8, 2013

Flannel Friday: H-E-A-R-T-felt Songs

I hope everyone is having a lovely Friday! 

I am working on a few Valentine programs so I have several super easy, super versatile activities to share today. One set of felt hearts can be used for each of these activities! These are all the shapes you need:

Larger heart shapes in 
Glittery white 
(with a lacy edge)
Smaller in
Ribbon in
Letters H, E, A, R, T in 
Glittery White
Smaller letters L, O, V, E in
Flowers in

Then just glue them all together to make hearts for these activities:

(Sung to: "B-I-N-G-O)

To show you like your special friends
Just give them each a heart.


Each heart says, "I like you!"

I explain to my storytime friends that I am going to turn one heart around each time we sing the song so that there is a plain heart with no letter. For each plain heart with no letter, we are going to blow a big kiss! At the end of the song, we will only be blowing lots of kisses and saying no letters.This is always met with laughter and a few practice kisses. Then we continue our song.

It is hard to tell in the picture but the first heart is a bright pink.
Also, I would suggest gluing 2 hearts (of the same color) together
if you don't want to see the letters when you flip the hearts over.

To show you like your special friends
Just give them each a heart.


Each heart says, "I like you!"

This next song uses the plain side of the pink, yellow, red, and blue hearts along with a few special hearts. Don't worry! You will be able to include the purple one again soon. ;o)

Lacy Hearts
(Sung to "Jingle Bells")

Lacy hearts, candy hearts, flowery hearts, too.

Hearts of pink,
Hearts of yellow, 
Hearts of red, and blue.
Lacy hearts, candy hearts, flowery hearts, too.
Oh, what fun it is to share 
Lots of hearts with you!

Repeat song.

The last song that I am sharing with you today is actually a repeat from a post that I made last year. It is one of my popular posts but, more importantly, it is SOOOO MUCH FUN to share with little ones and it helps them with color recognition. Please click on the title to visit the original post that contains the words to the song and several fun ways to share it with your child(ren). 

(Sung to: "Skip to My Lou") 

Yay! The purple heart is back for this one!

Well, that is it for this HEART-felt Friday. Hope you enjoy your weekend!

And, as always,


Friday, February 1, 2013

Game: Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Tray?

I promised a post about an extension activity for my version of The Gingerbread Boy that I shared on this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up.

Here it is!

For this game, I used the magnetic pieces that I made for my version of The Gingerbread Boy  ~ to which I had added a few more animals to the chase than the original one had.

As we recited this chant, I added each character/animal to the board and we used our imaginations to change our voices to fit each character/animal. For example, we used a deep voice for the man, a high voice for the woman, and then we used animal sounds for each animal. 

This little tweak to the rhyme adds so much fun! The children really get animated as they pretend to be each character/animal. It is really enjoyable to ham it up with them! 

I tweaked this idea by changing the chant from "Who took the cookies from the cookie jar?" to "Who took the cookies from the cookie tray?" You'll see why.

Before starting, pull out an empty tray, pretend to look around. 

And then start the rhyme:

Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Tray?
(adapted from the book, FingerTales by Joan Hilyer Phelps)

Who took the cookies from the cookie tray?
The lady took the cookies from the cookie tray.
(place lady on board)
Who me?
(high voice)
Yes, you!
(regular voice)
Couldn't be!
(high voice)
Then who?
(regular voice)

Who took the cookies from the cookie tray?
The man took the cookies from the cookie tray.
(place man on board next to lady)
Who me?
(deep voice)
Yes, you!
Couldn't be!
(deep vice)
Then who?

Who took the cookies from the cookie tray?
The cow took the cookies from the cookie tray.
Moo, moo?
(really ham this up! make the moos sound just like the question)
Yes, you!
Mooo, mooo!
(again, really ham this up. make the moos sound like the cow is upset about being accused)
Then who?

Proceed with remaining animals in the order that they appeared in the story. This is a good way to encourage careful listening skills, sharpened memory skills, and good sequencing skills, as well.

Horse ~ Neigh, neigh
Pig ~ Oink, oink
Dog ~ Woof, woof
Cat ~ Meow, meow
Fox ~ growly voice

I ended the game with one final verse:

Who took the cookies from the cookie tray?
No one took the cookies from the cookie tray
No one?
Yes, no one!
The cookies are right here
For everyone to share!

Either have a second tray with cookies on it to bring out at the end or have someone quietly take the first tray and add the cookies before bringing the tray back out at the end.