Flannel Friday: Five Little Alligators

A quick laminated set of alligators for this Flannel Friday!

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This was a clipart alligator and I just made five of him/her. I used this in Alligators & Crocodiles storytime, with this rhyme from Esther Storytimes:

One little alligator swimming in a pool
Another comes along and now there are two
Two little alligators swimming by a tree
Another comes along and now there are three
Three little alligators swimming near the shore
Another comes along and now there are four
Four little alligators swim, splash, and dive
Another comes along and now there are five
Five little alligators having lots of fun
Mama calls, “It’s time for bed!” and now the fun is done!

It occurs to me as I write this post that these could also potentially be crocodiles because I have no idea what the difference between the two animals are! Maybe the clipart will work for both.


TBA is hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Flannel Friday Round-Up 1/30

This week’s round-up will be using a linking tool again! Though it is a thumbnail version on the site, you still need to click through to see it since I’m a WordPress.com hosted blog.

Borrowing instructions that Andrea shared: To share your Flannel Friday post, please click “Add Your Link” by the cute blue frog. Please enter the URL for your post rather than your website and label your post as “Post Name (Blog Name)” i.e. “Rockets! (Storytime Katie)”

If there are any tech problems, you are more than welcome to leave a link in the comments if the linking tool doesn’t work! I’m keeping the linking tool open until midnight on Friday (Central time) since it’s ALA Midwinter and we could all use a little extra time. Looking forward to everyone’s amazing submissions!

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

The was a program from TWO years ago. I just wanted to make sure to post it during a good time for upcoming Seuss celebrations!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!: a celebration of Seuss for ages 3-7 and their families.

Storytime

I read an abbreviated version of “One Fish, Two Fish” to start off the program. But personally, I find most Seuss books to be too long for a storytime situation. Then, I pulled out our brand-new (at the time) iPad.

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Dr. Seuss apps!
“The Cat In the Hat Camera”
“Dr. Seuss Band”
“Green Eggs and Ham”

Since I knew all the kids would want to play with the iPad the second it appeared, our first app was “Dr. Seuss Band.” It’s kind of like DDR for your finger. The kids had fun making noise, but this app would have been frustrating if I hadn’t spent time ahead unlocking some of the instruments and songs.

Next up, I let the app of “Green Eggs and Ham” play, but I turned the reader off so that I could read the story. The kids were giving me rapt attention, and many of the older ones joined in on the “I will not green eggs and ham, I will not eat them, Sam-I-Am!” chorus.

We took a break from the iPad to play The Lorax flannelboard game. I used a giant blow-up dice for this and the kids had a great time as we built the lorax.

Afterwards, it was time to take pictures with “The Cat In the Hat Camera” app. Lots of goofy face, lots of giggles.

Now, was it necessary to use the apps? No, not really. In previous years, we’ve done pictures with a stand-up Cat In the Hat and kids liked that just as much. But technology in my old library’s community was scarce and a lot of kids weren’t exposed to it at all. This was a chance to let them touch and play with an iPad and get them ready for school.

Craft & Games

The second half of the program involved a lot of options. Kids could decide to go to the table and make a Seuss craft:

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Or they could go Dr. Seuss bowling:

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Or they could sit down and read some of the few Dr. Seuss books that were in that day. Or they could play The Lorax dice game again. Or take their time and play with the apps.

Almost every kids chose to go bowling first, followed by the craft. A few kids trickled over to me for help with the apps and a few kids went ended up on the storytime rug with their own Dr. Seuss book.

Overall, everyone had a really great time at this program and I had started to plan our Seuss celebration for the next year — including buying “Thing One” and “Thing Two” decals for a co-worker and I to wear. Leaving my old library the week before the 2014 Seuss Celebration was one of the saddest things for me.

But I hope this gives you some ideas for your own Seuss celebration!

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Toddlers: Colors

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

toddler-colors

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.**
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Meeow and the Blue Table by Sebastien Braun*
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin*

Early Literacy Tip

Children love to imitate their parents so you are the very best model for storytime participation!

Theme Extension Activities

Flannelboard: Dog’s Colorful Day*

Flannelboard: Maisy Mouse**

Folder Story: Scat the Cat**

Action Song: Driving Round In My Red Car*
Driving round in my little red car
Driving round in my little red car
Driving round in my little red car
Zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom
(Go through red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
Credit: Childhood

Action Song: Rainbow Dancers*
Rainbow dancers let’s get ready
Hold your scarves nice and steady.
You’ll hear the colors of the rainbow.
Listen for your time to go.
Shake red…
Shake orange…
Shake yellow…
Shake green…
Shake blue…
Shake purple…
Red scarves turn around,
Orange scarves up and down.
Yellow scarves reach up high,
Green scarves fly, fly, fly.
Blue scarves tickle your nose,
Purple scarves touch your toes.
Everybody dance around,
Swirl your scarves up and down.
Shake purple…
Shake blue…
Shake green…
Shake yellow…
Shake orange…
Shake red…
Rainbow dancers dance around,
Scarves swirl up and down.
Our colorful dance is at an end.
Thank you, thank you, all my friends.
Credit: Storytime Fun

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • *

  • Open, Shut Them
  • **

  • Tick, Tock
  • *

  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • **

How It Went

Colors is a great theme for toddlers — they get to hear a lot of wonderful vocabulary and color identification is a great skill to master before school. Tuesday’s favorite book was “Monsters Love Colors” and it’s a great book to incorporate movement during. Thursday’s favorite book was definitely “Brown Bear” — they are on the younger side of toddlerhood and definitely appreciated a book they were more familiar with. For both groups, Scat the Cat is a magical cat and I love doing that rhyme with kids.

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Flannel Friday: Butterfly Props

Even though I’m scheduling this post ahead of time (it’s actually 12/10 as I write this), I’m sure that it’s safe to say that I’m ready for spring. (I am not a winter person.)

So today’s post is looking ahead to warmer weather with some butterfly props.

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I made these ridiculously easy props for the kids to use while I sing “Flutter, Flutter”. I bought a set of foam shapes and some self-stick popsicle sticks and a few minutes later, boom, prop! Words to the song are below:

Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky

The kids love having their own way to act out the song, especially if I’m using one of my butterfly finger puppets at the same time!


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Baby Storytime

babystorytime

Baby storytime came as a complete and utter surprise to me. A week before the storytime session started (and two weeks after I had arrived at my new library), a co-worker had to pass baby storytime off to me for both the spring and summer session. For the spring session, I went off of her plan since I didn’t have a lot of time. For the summer session, I grew more comfortable figuring things out. I relied heavily on Brooke’s blog and Kendra’s blog and Jbrary to learn songs that I didn’t know or to substitute songs/activities I was more comfortable with. If I changed something from spring to summer session, I will note it in the write-up.

Opening

Welcome & Guidelines
Hi everyone! My name is Miss Katie and I’ll be leading the baby storytime class this session. I’d like to go over some guidelines with you before we begin. Because I’m used to working with small people, I understand that accidents happen — I have tissue, wipes, and paper towels on both sides of the room in case of accidents. Bathrooms are located on either side of the storytime room, please feel free to use the bathrooms and supplies as needed.

We all want storytime to be a positive experience. If your child isn’t feeling up to storytime, please take them outside of the storytime room. You can always come back in after they’ve calmed down or you can always try storytime on another day. I’m okay with movement, but I would like to point out two areas that I need you to keep your child clear of: the area by the door and the area right in front of me. They don’t have to sit down, but they do have to leave these spaces.

babykateSince this is a lapsit program, babies may not be able to fully participate in the motions and fingerplays during songs. I’ll provide modifications, but please do what is most comfortable for you and your child. Lastly, I use Baby Kate to model for you how to interact. Baby Kate weighs next to nothing so my gestures will be much larger than yours need to be. Again, do what is comfortable for you and your child.

Name Fingerplay
I learned this from the co-worker I took over for at baby time. I loved it so much that I also brought it to toddler storytime!

Everyone introduces themselves one at a time. Together, we hold up our hands and trace our fingers as the group says each child’s name five times. Parents can run their finger around each of their child’s finger or tap each finger or touch each finger — whatever the child is comfortable with. Before we say the child’s name for the fifth time, we say “OOPS!” and on the “OOPS!”, I flick my finger up before going back to trace the last finger. (At “OOPS”, some parents give their child a tickle.) So it sounds like this: parent/child says “Hi, my name is Barb and this is Katie” and the group says “Katie (thumb), Katie (pointer), Katie (middle), Katie (ring), OOPS!, Katie (pinky).”

This gives each child a chance to clap for themselves. It’s a great way for the whole group to learn names together and it doesn’t take too long with my classes capped at twenty baby/parent pairs.

You can watch me demo the fingerplay in this video:

Opening Song
I used “Hands Are Clapping” which is to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”:
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Clap your hands, my darling!
Toes are tapping, fingers are wiggling, eyes are hiding “peek-a-boo”

Program

Typically, my library’s has a lot of extension activities planned, as well as 3-4 board books to work with a theme. We are lucky enough to have multiple board book sets, with 25 copies to pass out. My co-worker had planned to use different flannelboards, but for me it didn’t work in baby storytime. The only flannelboard I used is “The Shape Game” to introduce the theme.

Closing

Rhyme
I used Melissa‘s “This Is Big, Big, Big” as the beginning of my closing routine. I also use it in toddler time!

Song
Our closing song is also from my co-worker’s plan: “With My Little Hands”
With my little hands I go clap, clap, clap
With my little feet I go tap, tap, tap
With my little arms I wave bye, bye, bye
With my little legs I kick high, high, high
With my little eyes I play peek-a-boo
With my little mouth I say “I love you”

Bubbles
Young babies are fascinated with bubbles and older babies are using great muscles to reach bubbles and pop bubbles. It’s such a joy to watch them grow up and change how they interact with bubbles.

And that’s the bones of every baby program. I had a wonderful set of plans to ease into babytime and I felt very thankful to be taken care of so thoroughly.

In my write-ups, I’ll talk about what I actually used and what worked/didn’t. I’ll also likely talk about why I didn’t use some materials. As always, if I did a theme multiple times, I’ll write about all the sessions in the same post. Look for a weekly baby storytime update starting next week!

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/12

For the first time in our library’s history, we ran our own summer reading program — Make Some Noise! What better opportunity to do a bi-weekly music and movement dance party? This program was advertised for ages 0-7 and their families.

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The Plan

hildamustbedancingBook
Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson
I love Hilda. I love that the book talks about different kinds of dancing. I love inviting the kids to get up and join me as we romp around the room. I love that Hilda figures out how to keep doing what she loves to do when her friends/fellow animals try to stop her. I think the book worked amazingly as a Shake, Shimmy read.

Props
Parachute! (WARNING: Measure your room before you buy a chute!! This one just fits in our large meeting space, but I almost bought the next size up based on the handles…)

The Playlist
Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
Dance, Freeze, Melt — Eric Litwin & Michael Levine
Jump, Jump — Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights
Round in a Circle — Greg & Steve
Hot Poppin’ Popcorn — The Wiggles
Under the Shady Tree — Laurie Berkner Band
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

This was the very first session with the parachute. I had purchased a larger one for this program and I’m glad that I did! When I shook it out, delighted screeching ensued. The kids played with the parachute with such enthusiasm and they absolutely went mad for “Under the Shady Tree” when I let them go under and had the adults lift up and down with me. Parents definitely grew more tired as we went along, doing the bulk of the parachute lifting, but I made jokes about skipping the gym that day and got a lot of laughs.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

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Toddlers: Farm

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

toddler-farms

Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield and Ant Parker*
Clip Clop by Nicola Smee*
Old MacDonald by Jane Cabrera
Say Hello Like This by Mary Murphy*

Early Literacy Tip

Children want familiar sounds from people who mean a great deal to them. Sing along even if you feel your voice is not the greatest.

Theme Extension Activities

Flannelboard: Five Clean and Dirty Pigs*

Flannelboard: Ten Fluffy Chickens*

Action Song: “Farm Chores”
(Tune: “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”)*
This is the way we plant our seeds, plant our seeds, plant our seeds
This is the way we plant our seeds so early in the morning
[Water our seeds, weed our seeds, our seeds grow up, pick our plants, eat our plants]
Credit: Library School

Song with Puppets: “When Animals Wake Up In the Morning”*
When animals wake up in the morning, they always say hello
When animals wake up in the morning, they always say hello
And what do they say? [animal noise]
And that is what they say!
Credit: Jbrary

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Dance Your Fingers
  • Open, Shut Them
  • This Is Big*
  • Tick, Tock
  • Two Little Blackbirds*
  • Where Is Thumbkin?

How It Went

This was my first ever toddler storytime. It also coincided with the week of PLA, so I was only able to lead Tuesday’s session since I was in Indianapolis during Thursday’s. I thought that this storytime went very well. I started with the same set-up that I did at my old library and quickly learned that a floor easel flannelboard would not work without preschoolers in the group to model how to sit. I had a slew of toddlers next to me the whole time, running their hands on the soft felt. I adjusted for the next week and used one of our tabletop easels.

After introducing “This Is Big”, I had a grandparent stop me and ask for a copy. Her daughter was going to teach abroad in China and she thought it would be perfect for teaching opposites in English! As always, Charlie the Chick was a huge pop-up success. I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost my copy of that one.

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Storytime Essentials: Opening & Closing Songs

storytimeessentials

Since I started doing storytime, I’ve done a few different opening/closing songs before I finally settled on the ones at my old library: “Clap and Say Hello!” and “We Wave Goodbye Like This”.

In the past, I’ve done “Here, Here” and “Mr. Sun” for opening songs and mostly the “ABCs” for closing.

At my new library, I wanted to try something different! Since I was doing Toddler Storytime, I wanted a song that I could repeat for as long as I needed depending on the energy of the group. And my other thought was that I wanted a song that was available on CD so that the rest of my team could play the song if for whatever reason (like PLA/ALA) that I can’t be there. I first read about the song on Kendra’s blog Read Sing Play and found this video from King County Library System to learn it.

As for my closing song, I wanted something short and it wound up that the rhyme “Tickle the Clouds” worked out the very best for me and for my group.

The reason I think opening and closing songs/activities are so essential is that they create a framework for your storytime, encourage repetition, and set-up a routine for your patrons to recognize.

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Flannel Friday: Goldfish Puppets!

These adorable goldfish finger puppets come from Library Quine who was inspired by Lisa.

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You can see from my hand picture that the goldfish are pretty big. I wanted to make them big so I used them as stick puppets that they would be seen by kiddos. Like Lisa, I’ve used these with the Laurie Berkner song “The Goldfish” and swam around the room with the kids and puppets.

Unfortunately, it looks like the original site with the template no longer exists. So I traced my puppets to make a template, which is available here.

Happy flanneling!


Kimberly is hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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