This week’s Flannel Friday is also a flashback to when I was doing my practicum with the Carrollton Public Library, way back in 2009. (I promise, more recent flannel boards will be coming!) I got the idea to make this set during a Youth Services Resource Sharing meeting. One of the librarians from another public library had an adorable felt board set for Marty Kelley’s book Fall Is Not Easy. The story, if you’re not familiar with it, talks about the different seasons and how the tree hates fall because his colors never turn out right. Instead, he ends up with leaves in different pictures, like a hamburger our cow spots.
What You Need
I created the tree trunk from a template that I found online, which I printed and free-handed over to make less complex. The tree top was a little more complex. I modified a shape that I found online by tracing a leaf pattern (also found online) around the edges to give it a tree-like shape. This gave me the outline that you can see, with the leaf edges all the way around. The same leaf was used to make accent leaves for dimension.
In all, there are 12 trees in the story: a spring tree, a summer tree, a rainbow tree, a happy face tree, a purple tree with yellow polka dots, a red and white striped tree, a hamburger tree, a world tree, a cow tree, an “Eat at Joe’s” tree, a jack-o-lantern tree, and a fall tree. I made a separate tree top for each, as well as accent leaves for spring and fall and snowflakes for winter. Each tree has a solid color background, and the accents were then added to make the pictures and give texture. Each picture is made from the original leaf shapes. I also cut slits in each top and glue pairs of leaves together to add texture.
This picture shows the rainbow tree, which was the most detailed of all the trees. It had several layers of leaves. The underlying piece is red, with each additional color added on top. From this angle, you can see some of the texture from the layering and added leaves.
Basically, put up the trees as you say the phrases that appear in Marty Kelley’s book. I’ve read it enough times at this point that I can mostly recite it without even having to look at the words.
Tips for Use
The only challenge that I’ve ever had while using this flannel is to make sure that the trees don’t all fall off at once. I’ve tried both layering new tops on the trees as the story progresses or taking one top down for another. Personally, I prefer to remove the previous top rather than layer just because they stick to the board better.
This is the one flannel board that I wish I still had. It stayed at the library after I left, and it would have been perfect for a fall theme that I did last year. But, I still have the patterns somewhere, so if I can find a copy of the book, I may make my own version of this someday soon.
Can’t Get Enough?
This week, Mollie at What Happens in Storytime… is hosting the Flannel Friday Roundup. For more information, visit the Flannel Friday website here, or join the Flannel Friday Facebook group, or check out the Flannel Friday boards on Pinterest. As always, I can’t wait to see and share more ideas!