Friday, January 31, 2014

Flannel Friday - How to Build a Snowman

A winter-themed story time isn't complete without a snowman made of felt! This is such an easy set to make!

Mine is based on the book How to Build a Snowman from Little Scholastic:
The text of this book is so simple, you can really just go "off-book" if you want.  Just ask the children what you might need to build a snowman!
You need lots of snow, obviously:

A carrot, some stones, a twig, a hat, and a scarf...
Put them together, and you have a snowman!
I think mine looks pretty close to the original:

Happy winter!

Thanks to Thrive After Three for hosting Flannel Friday this week!
You can follow the FF Facebook page here, or check out the FF website here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Preschool Story Time - BEARy Fun

How do librarians ever settle on which books to read when the theme is BEARS??  From all of Bill Martin's variations of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, to Will Hillenbrand's adorable Bear Sneezes, to Kevin Henkes' Old Bear, this librarian had a tough time with narrowing the field!  Here's what I came up with:

Anytime I can get the preschool crowd to SHOUT at me while I am reading is a good thing! Every turn of the page had the kids saying 'MORE BEARS!'  The down side of this book is, well, it's a little long for little ones.  Gauge your crowd and if you're heavy on the young ones, you might want to skip this.

How could you not?  Even if you don't do it as a song, the kids like the rhythm of the text and some will even want to follow along with you. 

This IS 'A Lovely Little Pop-up Book'!  The illustrations are just too teenie for story time.  Since I really like this I really like the illustrations, I decided to blow them up as a flannel board story!

See the similarity with this image and the bears next to the words Three Bears on the book cover?  These were made with puffy paint and marker on felt.  Here's my Flannel Friday post about this set. 

Last minute switcheroo!  My coworker showed me this book and I was thrilled to use it.  I laughed out loud when I read it the first time and I couldn't wait to share it.  I had all of the kids bring their own teddy bears and we read this one with our favorite fleecy friend. (be sure to bring extra teddy's for anyone who forgot!)

Karma Wilson's books are always a hit.  Jane Chapman's illustrations are warm and attractive, and Wilson's text has that little bit of repetition that makes kids sit up and anticipate when to say "but bear snores on!"

My craft comes courtesy of Captain Crafty's website.  Check out these nesting Goldilocks and the Three Bears!
Retelling is always a big part of my story time, so often my crafts are chosen so the child can bring them home as puppets to retell some of the  more well known tales.  I also typed up a version of this story onto my handout and had lots of versions on display for take home.

Miss Kristen ALSO did bears for a theme this week in Baby Story Time!!  It's very interesting to see how the same theme can be done with different age groups.  If you are interested in seeing this Baby Story Time, make sure to CLICK HERE.

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Baby Story Time - Bears!

We made some big changes to Baby Story Time with the new year! My groups were so large that I decided to split them in two - ages 3-12 months in the Baby group, and ages 12-24 months in a special 'Ones' group.  With the winter weather affecting our numbers, it is hard to say how this will go, but I'm excited to try it!

On to story time! Bears always seem like a wintry theme to do:

Wake-Up Rhyme: "Acka Backa" (from Baby Rhyming Time by Linda Ernst)

Acka backa soda cracker, acka backa boo!
     (bounce baby)
Acka backa soda cracker, I love you!
     (give baby hug)
Acka backa soda cracker, acka backa boo!
     (bounce baby)
Acka backa soda cracker, up goes you!
     (lift baby in the air)
Acka backa soda cracker, acka backa boo!
     (bounce baby)
Acka backa soda cracker, I love you!
     (give baby hug)

1st Book: Mama's Little Bears by Nancy Tafuri
These playful bears explore the woods, finding surprises all around them!

Flannel Board Matching Game: "Little Bear, Where is Your Mommy?"
Check out my Flannel Friday post to see what this simple game looks like.

Action Rhyme: "'Round and 'Round the Garden" (from Baby Rhyming Time by Linda Ernst)

'Round and 'round the garden goes the teddy bear,
     (make circles on baby's tummy)
One step, two step,
     (walk fingers up baby's arm)
Tickle you under there!
     (tickle baby!)

Action Rhyme: "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear" (traditional)

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.

Teddy bear, teddy bear, show your shoe.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, I love you!

Teddy bear, teddy bear, climb upstairs.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, brush your hair.

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, say "Goodnight!"

2nd Book: Funny Face by Nicola Smee
A little boy goes through a range of emotion after a big bear takes his ball!
Rhythm Time with Shakers:
We shook our shakers to the song "Rattle My Rattle" from Elizabeth Mitchell's cd Little Seed, while I visited each child with my bear puppet from Lakeshore Learning.

Big Mouth Animals Puppet Set

Action Song: "Shake Your Shaker" (adapted from 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children by Abigail Flesch Connors) (to the tune "London Bridge is Falling Down")

Shake your shaker in the air,
Shake it here, shake it there.
Shake your shaker in the air,
My fair baby!

Shake your shaker way down low,
To your knees, to your toes.
Shake your shaker way down low,
My fair baby!

3rd Book: The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Michelle Dorenkamp
This is a simple book to sing along to, with great illustrations!
We finished up with our regular goodbye songs and rhymes (visit my Baby Story Time page for these), and it was play time!  What a fun wintry story time!
Want to see how you can use Bears in a Toddler Story Time? See Miss Kristie's post here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flannel Friday - Happy Valentine's Day

Roses are red,

Violet's are blue,

Library Village wishes

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

For Valentine's Day this year, I chose to revamp a flannel set I had already made.  I was so excited last year when I discovered this Flannel Friday post from Storytime Katie!  The envelopes were super cute and paired with the Six Little Valentines rhyme..  A perfect Valentine's Day flannel story!  Last Valentine's Day I made the envelopes.  This year I worked on six little felt Valentines to go inside the envelopes based on the rhyme.  I drew the animals based on different clip art examples on the Internet. 

 Six Little Valentines

Six little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, "I love you, From Mouse." 
Five little Valentines in my mailbox,
The second one said, "Be mine, Love Fox."
Four little Valentines full of love,
The third one said, "You are sweet, From Dove."
Three little Valentines just for me,
The fourth one said, "Bee my honey, Love Bee."
 Two little Valentines mailed with care,
The fifth one said, "Here's a hug, From Bear."
 The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay,
This one said, "Happy Valentine's Day!"
Wishing everyone sweet Valentine's Day story times!  xoxo 
-- Miss Kristie

 And from Miss Sue:
A couple of years ago, Miss Sarah at her blogspot created a flannel set for the book My Froggy Valentine by Matt Novak.  I thought it was a great idea and a very fun story for Valentine's Day (and actually whenever since the Valentine's references can easily be omitted).  But the book is so small!  It is just a little larger than an average board book but the text is longer and more suitable for a preschool story time.  What's a girl to do?  Flannel it!!!

Here's how I decided to do it:
The princess was lamenting that she did not have a Valentine.  Where was her handsome prince??  Four princely frogs appear and one by one they tell her that in order for her to find her prince, she needs to kiss a frog.  So each hops over to the princess for their peck and POOF!
Frog 1 turns out to be the prince of all ogres!  
Frog 2 is the prince of all goblins!
Frog 3 is the prince of all furry monsters!
Definitely NOT the prince for the princess!

There is but one frog left.  She kisses him and POOF!  He stays the same?
What is going on?  Suddenly the princess changes before their very eyes...and POOF!
The spell is BROKEN!!!  The princess returns to being a frog.  And of course, they live happily ever after!

That was definitely paraphrased but you get the idea.  I love the surprise ending!
These felt pieces are all painted with puffy paint (except for the pink which I had to use marker, and the skin tone of the princess as well). My pieces are all reversible!  It is much easier to manage these 5 main pieces and their POOFS than 10 so lately I have been working much more with designing pieces which simply flip over.  I tried to stay as close to Matt Novak's artwork as possible.

I think this would really work in preschool story time and even for school visits. It's not a long story, but kids will know enough back story of fairy tales to really enjoy this twisted tale.

Thank you to Melissa from Mel's Desk for hosting!  If you want to learn more about Flannel Friday and how you can participate, click HERE.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Preschool Story Time - Snowball Fight!!

We have had a snowier winter in Ohio than usual this year!  Winter is always a natural theme for January story times.  This is a bit different from my story time last year but it retains some of the more unusual elements.  What's funny is the weather cooperated too!  We were having a white-out during story time, but we still had a great, full crowd.
Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara
This is a beautifully illustrated book - all in blue and white.  Jack Frost is here for a visit!  A boy runs outside to play with Jack, who challenges him to all kinds of winter fun.  There is a little talk about a snowball fight which is our activity later.

Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright
This is a fun book which hints at Frosty the Snowman.  Sneezy is very, very cold!  He tries everything a human would do to warm up, but he melts and shouts "Make Me Brand New!"  Will he ever feel warm?

My action rhyme this week is so fun too.  Being one who likes to sing everything, I sing this rhyme to 5 Little Ducks.

5 Little Snowmen
5 little snowmen standing in a row (show 5 fingers)
5 little snowmen made of snow (pat belly)
Out came the sun and shone all day (make circle with arms overhead)
And one little snowman melted away (wriggle your body and melt down to the ground).

Continue with 4,3,2,1

There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
Another "Old Lady" book!  This time she swallows a bunch of things which, when she hiccups, shoots out to build a snowman.  I made this felt set last year, as it is VERY easy to do.  I added a new piece this year though, the Old Lady herself!  Everyone wants to touch the felt, and this is a good one for participation.  I hand out the pieces to the kids while I read, and when she hiccups, I let them go up to the flannel board and 'build' the snowman.  They love it.

Here's my little old lady I made this year:

To keep up my ukulele practice, we did a few rounds of 'If You're Happy and You Know It".  I am really enjoying using this is story time.

Snowball Fight by Jimmy Fallon
This is a fun, simple book which is probably a little 'young' for my preschool crowd, but it has some great new vocabulary and leads well into our activity.  Who knew Jimmy Fallon wrote a book?  This was my second year using this book, as it opens up some good discussions!

I don't ALWAYS do a craft.  OK, I do, but this time I decided to do an activity at the end of story time before craft - a SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!  Here are my munitions:

I made them using white hose and fluff.  Start at the toe and stuff it.  Then tie a tight knot as and another knot close to the first.  Repeat with fluff.  It is important to tie TWO knots in between each ball so you can snip in  between the knots to separate the balls.  Each pair of hosiery will make 10-12 snowballs. Yes there are knobs on the sides of my snowballs but the kids didn't care.  They just loved throwing them at me!

AND our craft!

This was my first story time at my new location.  I got a little of 'our old story time lady didn't do things that way'.  I had to breathe and remember that my replacement was probably getting the same thing, and in a few weeks these kids would be used to my structure and own uniqueness and all would be well.  There are things I didn't bring with me from my last branch, and that's OK too.  I know that if I am comfortable and happy with what I am doing, then the kids will have fun.  Just keep swimming!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Flannel Friday - Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses

Someday I will do a Flannel Friday post on my "Versatile Pete".  Basically with the same Pete, I just keep making pieces to fit him so I can do any of the Pete the Cat books.  But for now, I wanted to show you my latest Pete creation (as everyone loves Pete the Cat!).  This is Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean.  All of the artwork is based on their book.  I just tooled the pieces and story to fit a flannel board.


To Paraphrase this great story:
Pete was grumpy.  Pete was never, ever grumpy before.  He had the blue cat blues.

If that wasn't bad enough, along came Grumpy Toad.  Grumpy Toad was always grumpy, but not today!  He said "Hey Pete, try these cool, blue, magic sunglasses, they help you see things in a whole new way!"
Pete put on the glasses "Awesome!  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, I am feeling alright!"

Pete was rolling along when he saw squirrel.  "I am so mad, nothing is going my way"
So Pete let squirrel try his cool, blue, magic sunglasses...


Then Pete came upon Turtle.

"I am all upside down today!"
So Pete let him try his cool, blue, magic sunglasses!


Then Pete was rolling along when he fell - and his glasses broke!!  Oh no!
Pete saw Wise Old Owl in the tree who told him "Pete, you do not need cool, blue, magic sunglasses to see the world in a whole new way -you must find the good in every day!"
COOL! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we are feeling ALRIGHT!

Like I said, that was paraphrased.  Also, there is an alligator in the book which I decided to omit because of the scale of the alligator to the rest of the pieces and the size of the flannel board I have to work with.  The story still flows nicely with that one less piece.

The squirrel, the turtle, and the glasses are reversible to save time and felt.  The turtle's head is a separate piece so I can pull off the flip.  The toad is not on his motorcycle in this version.

I used this in my GRUMPY STORY TIME last week, but I imagine there are lots of uses for this set.  I hope you enjoyed this flannel board as much as the kids did!

Thanks to Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime for hosting this week's Flannell Friday!  To learn more about Flannel Friday, CLICK HERE!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Preschool Story Time - Grumpy!

It is fantastic to work in a great team who encourages you to take risks and become a better librarian.  In response to Miss Kristie's "What Does the Fox Say" story time, I just had to do something that the parents especially would really enjoy, so I chose Grumpy Cat!  I just love Grumpy Cat and actually, "grumpy" makes a great story time theme!  

This is my 50th Story Time at my current branch, but alas, my last one.  I accepted a new position and start tomorrow!  I'll be in a new physical village, but I will definitely be blogging with the best team ever, my Library Village.  So here we go!
Emotions are a concept that children can't see our touch, so as parents, we need to help them identify when they are angry or grumpy or frustrated. I hope this story time gives preschoolers a little more vocabulary for those off days.

Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup
Poor cat is so grumpy all of the time!!  Everyone leaves him alone.  Perhaps he is just lonely though.  Kitten tries to find out.  

Here was my simple little action rhyme this week - Feelings by Karen Folk @ Warren Publishing House:
Sometimes on my face you'll see (point to chest)
How I feel inside of me (point to face)
A smile means happy (smile)
A frown means sad (frown)
And gritting teeth means I'm mad (grit teeth)
When I am proud, I beam and glow (puff up chest and smile)
But when I am shy my head hangs low (bow head).

I really couldn't wait another minute to show off my new felt!  I based it on an illustration I found on the internet, and traced it back to Erin Hunting

While I was at my felting, I wrote a quick little song to the tune Farmer in the Dell:

The Grumpy Little Cat (by Miss Sue)
The Grumpy Little Cat
The Grumpy Little Cat
How do you think he got that way?
The Grumpy Little Cat

"NO" says the cat
"NO" says the cat
What do you think that cat will say?
"NO" says the cat

Let's hug that little cat
Let's hug that little cat
A hug a day keeps the grumps away
Let's hug that little cat

(Now the best part - the mouth/nose piece of the felt flips over for this last verse)

The happy little cat
The happy little cat
Turned that frown upside down
The happy little cat!
Here's a link to my Flannel Friday Post about this happy cat! 
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
Pout-Pout fish is grumpy - because he is.  There's nothing you can do about it. Until...
The kids were squealing through this book and repeating "I'm a pout-pout fish with a pout-pout face."  This one has become a favorite.

After halftime, I settled the kids down with a sing-a-long song. 

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to learn enough of the ukulele that I could play in story time when I needed to.  The first song I learned was "If You're Happy and You Know It" because I use it every week!  So with that in mind, I debuted my uke this week singing these words:

If you're grumpy and you know it, make a frown.
If you're grumpy and you know it, make a frown.
If you're grumpy and you know it and you really want to show it, if you're grumpy and you know it, make a frown.

Continue with:
Fold your arms
Look away
Stomp your feet
Say 'NO WAY'

Now to my FLANNEL BOARD story!
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean

I try to do a flannel board story at each story time.  For some reason, our library didn't receive a copy of this book fast enough for me to let the kids take out copies, but I DID get a chance to immortalize it in flannel!  

You will have to check out my Flannel Friday Post (Click Here to see it) to see the entire set because it doesn't fit on a flannel board! These pieces have a flip side to them which makes them so functional.

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
A fun way to end story time - Grumpy Bird just wants to take a walk and no one will leave him alone.  There are lots of opportunity for funny voices in this one - even a 'play along'.  The kids will want to do what Grumpy Bird does.

And for our craft this week, I decided to model a stick puppet after Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses.  One side is Grumpy Pete, and the other side is Groovy Pete!  They do not have their stick yet in this photo but they will!  The kids really loved this one and ran to show me their work.

What a successful story time!  I'll be doing this one again at my new library for sure.  It was hard to say goodbye to 'my kids', but can't wait to meet my new kids! Thanks for visiting!