The theme of the conference was "bridging the past with the future", and our poster was all about how using felt boards in story times can do just that! Even though felt is an older medium, it has stood the test of time because of all the wonderful things you can do with it to improve your story times. And yes, while it may be less sexy and flashy than using, say, an iPad in story time, there are just so many ways that felt board activities can promote early literacy and sensory development, and can provide a captivating visual for children that isn't screen time. (But that's a rant for another day!)
Without further ado, here is our table: Felt It Again!: Fresh Ideas for a Classic Storytelling Method
(Do you earn extra points for being colorful?)
This took some serious teamwork! Let's break it down:
Miss Sue's tasks: Create a felt set that could work for three different age groups: baby, toddler, and preschool. She decided it would be more fun to make two. Overachiever. You can read her blog post about those cute duckies (including templates!) here.
She also made this nice display with one of her favorite felt sets, "That Apple is Mine!":
Miss Kristie's tasks: Show three different ways to make a felt piece (with paint, with marker, or all felt).
(Painted puppy was still wet! He got added just in time!)
She also compiled this awesome binder of some of our favorite felt sets (smaller ones) just so we could show off our skills:
AND she made this colorful display of one of her favorite felt sets, "Rainbow Stew":
Miss Kristen's tasks: Make the handout - highlight how using felt sets in story time can promote each of the five practices of Every Child Ready to Read (2nd edition): reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing. Provide a list of resources and helpful tips for beginning felt-ers.
You can download the handout here:
I also assembled the enormous tri-fold boards, which was a labor of love:
(I also made the two small displays in the front - the Maisy Mouse and the three doghouses.)
And then we actually got to talk to people and share our ideas!:
And get into some general silliness:
And to top it all off, we got to meet The Very Hungry Caterpillar!!!:
This was such an amazing experience for us. We loved meeting other professional children's librarians who were as passionate about story times as we are, and who were interested in our work and our ideas. All of our handouts were gone after the first day, and we received such positive feedback from everyone we talked to. So with our inflated egos (just kidding!), we'll just end this by saying Thank You to OLC for giving us the opportunity to present, and we sincerely hope to do it again some day!