Since introducing story times in the spring, the flannel stories that we do have quickly become one of the favorite parts of story time for both me and the kids. I also recently took over toddler story times (in addition to the preschool and baby story times I was already doing), so I’ve been able to see firsthand what works and doesn’t with each group. But, with both groups, having a flannel board story has been a great addition!
For summer reading, I wanted to theme each of my story times to a different type of hero. While I had planned to use some of our existing flannel board stories that were purchased for the library, I found that we just didn’t have what I was looking for when planning many of my themes. So, it was time to once again get to creating my own flannel stories.
One of my favorites that was created for this summer was this Hardworking Puppies flannel story. It’s based on the book Hardworking Puppies by Lynn Reiser. We have a copy in our professional resources, so I’m always guaranteed the book for reference if needed. But, one of my favorite things about it is that it can told without the book with no problems.
First up was creating our 10 puppies. While the book has several different types of puppies, like Dalmatians and poodles, I decided to have one puppy template for ease of creation. I found this adorable pattern from Opening the World of Learning on Pinterest. Instead of having a collar, I put the puppies together into a single piece, then added googly eyes, noses, and tongues for each.
And here is a group shot with all of our puppies:
After creating the puppies, I need something to represent the different careers that the puppies have. Using Clipart images, I created a visual for each puppy. For example, a jester hat for the puppy who joins the circus, and a fire hat for the puppy who goes to the fire department. The final pieces look like this:
To do this story, I put up the puppies on the board and gave one of the career pieces to each child. I told about the type of person who needed a puppy to help, and the person with that piece got to select their puppy to help them by putting their piece on top of the puppy. Periodically throughout the story, we stopped to count the number of puppies who were left who still needed jobs. This actually worked really well with both the toddlers and the preschoolers, who were excited to pick out a puppy to do a job. We also enjoyed counting the puppies to make sure that everyone got a job. I also noticed that the parents encouraged the children to guess what type of job their puppy would get based on their symbol, and even guess what other types of jobs puppies might do. I can’t wait to use this one again!