Flannel Friday Round Up for October 20

flannel friday

Hey, y’all!  Welcome to the October 20 Flannel Friday Round Up.  Have a great flannel to share?  Drop your link in the comments and I’ll add it!

Wendy at Flannel Board Fun shares a great “Wheels on the Bus” flannel.  I can’t get over how adorable this bus is!  This flannel has everything for your favorite traditional verses, including a super-cute horn, wipers, and crying baby.

Amy at One Little Librarian shares her “Five Little Monsters Came to School” flannel.  This adorable set features some of your favorite Sesame Street monsters (which I know would definitely be a hit at my library) and simple counting.

I didn’t have time to write up a new Flannel Friday post this week, but you can check out some of my past entries in the archives here.  Thanks to everyone for sharing this week!

New or looking to learn more about Flannel Friday?  Check out the blog or join the Facebook group.  For more inspiration, check out the Flannel Friday Pinterest boards, or look for conversations and links on Twitter using the hashtag #flannelstorytime.

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Early Learning STEAM Programs: Art Start

Library Programs

In April 2017, I presented with a coworker on Low Cost/No Cost STEAM programming ideas at the Texas Library Association annual conference in San Antonio.  Today’s post will share one of the program ideas we talked about, an early learning program that combines story time and art for a STEAM-based program for little learners.

The Program

Art Start is a program offered by the Plano Public Library.  It’s described in our program brochure as:  Stories to inspire your little artist, followed by a different hands-on art activity each week.  Things may get messy!  Smocks and materials provided.

Intended Audience

This program is designed for children between the ages of a 3 and 6 years old, the same audience that we target with our preschool story times.  Parent/caregiver participation is required, and adults stay in the room and work with their children during the program.  To keep costs down and the room manageable, we limit the number of families allowed in each session.

Cost

A typical session costs $5 to $10 for simple crafts, with a greater investment for continuing supplies or more elaborate programs.  Funding for our Art Start program is provided by a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC).  The activities are easily modified based on craft supplies that you already have on hand.

Supplies

This program requires basic craft supplies, easily modified based on the activities you choose.  Think craft essentials like crayons, markers, construction paper, and paper towels.  It’s easy to choose your theme for the week around supplies that you already have on hand, or pick projects that use similar supplies to make the most of what you do order.

How It Works

Staff read a book related to the day’s art project.  When I present this program, I also include a related element like a flannel story, just to incorporate a little more of the story time feel.  However, the focus is really on the art.  After the story time portion, we explain a little about process art.  The focus with every project is on the process of creating the art rather than the finished product.  One of the most important things to do as a facilitator of this program is to encourage the parents/caregivers to work with their child, instead of doing the project for their child.  The program lasts approximately 30 minutes, with about 10 minutes for the welcome and story and the remainder of the time for art.  Depending on the project, the room can be set up with tables and craft supplies, but it’s also great to allow plenty of free space to work on the floor as well.

Sample Topics

Some of the outlines that have worked in the past include:

  • Balloon painting
  • Chalk with buttermilk
  • Feather painting
  • Folded paper prints
  • Fruit prints
  • Glitter art
  • Hole punch collage
  • Ice painting
  • Paper cutting
  • Sand art
  • Shaving cream art
  • Tape resist art
  • Texture rubbing

Resources

This program is very open ended, so it’s easy to customize to the type of projects that your patrons find most interesting.  Many crafts can be found and modified from Pinterest.

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Preschool Story Time: The Hero Inside Me

Story Time Archives

Date presented:  July 9, 2015

This story time was based on the theme suggestions from the 2015 CSLP Summer Reading Manual.  My goal was to have eight weeks of programming based on the theme:  “Every Hero Has a Story.”  To be honest, not all of those themes turned out to be great ideas.  Combined with the fact that these were some of the first story times I did, and we didn’t have much in the way of structure, well…let’s just say that you may have to be forgiving of some of the elements.  But, one of my goals for blogging about my story times is to include the good and the bad, so that hopefully others will learn, too.

Introduction

When I presented this story time, I didn’t have much of an introduction set up.  Since the parents tended to be running late, I would spend the first five minutes or so talking to the kids and parents as they came in, and sometimes teasing what we were doing in story time that week.  These story times were held in an open part of our children’s section, so they were visible throughout parts of the library and to anyone who was in the children’s department.

Welcome Song

We used the same welcome song in preschool story time each week.  It was taught to me by my boss when I took over story time as the welcome song that families were used to, and I kept it as part of my story times.

Welcome, Everyone (Tune:  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Welcome, welcome, everyone.

Now you’re here – let’s have some fun.

First we’ll clap our hands just so.

Then we’ll reach and touch our toes.

Welcome, welcome, everyone.

Now you’re here – let’s have some fun.

Credit:  Adapted from Public Library Program Ideas

Letter of the Day

Each week, we had a Letter of the Day for story time.  For preschool groups, I gave an introduction to the topic that we were going to do, and a hint about the important word or words before asking them to guess the letter.  Some weeks the kids could guess the letter on the first try, and some weeks we spent a little more time trying to figure out what the letter might be.  We showed two cards:  one that showed the letter of the week, and one that showed how to make the letter in sign language.  This week was M for Me.

iPad Technology

During this summer, we had hoped to incorporate technology into story time with our iPads.  When I was planning, I picked a Storybots ABC video for each week that corresponded with the letter of the week.  This plan should have included the video “The Mighty M,” but after trying this in one or two story times, I determined that our setup didn’t really allow it to work.  The screen on the iPad was too small for most of the audience to see (we didn’t have a way to project it), and honestly, the parents and kids alike were confused by why we were doing it.  So, this technology ended up dropped out of the outlines.

Story Box

This summer I introduced something a little different for my preschool story times.  Instead of having the books and activities in a particular order, which is how I normally do story time, I wanted to make it more interactive.  So, I created Ms. Jaime’s Story Box, a wooden box that contained everything I needed for story time.  I would include the books that I planned to read, as well as any flannel stories I wanted to share, and wooden music notes to represent songs.  The goal was for children to pick something out of the box to start the story time, and then pick another element once we’ve finished the first.  I don’t remember now the order that we shared things in (the hazards of not blogging about story time when it happens), but overall, it got to be part of story time that the kids were really excited about.  It was sometimes crazy, and our story time was sometimes disjointed, but it was a lot of fun.  For the purposes of blogging, though, I’ll just list the books and elements in the order that I planned them.

1st Book

Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco – I picked this book because it fit beautifully with the theme.  Superheroes within ourselves?  Exactly what I was going for with this outline.  And I absolutely love John Rocco’s illustrations.  I’m lucky enough to have a picture he drew at the Illustrator Sketch-Off at TLA one year that’s Super Hair-O of Texas.  But I digress.  As far as story time books go, this one was just okay for my audience.  They like the dramatic pacing when I read it, but they didn’t really make the connection of the internal hero.

Song/Rhyme/Activity

Our “Clap Your Hands” song was a staple for story time each week, and usually happened sometime after our first book as a transition to our next element.  Since the kids were usually excited about pulling out a book or a flannel story, the music notes didn’t really get selected as often.  As the weeks went on, I prompted them for when we would share a song, which let us work music in a little more regularly.  This is another song that I inherited from the previous children’s librarian, but it was such a hit with our groups that it was impossible not to include it each week.

Clap Your Hands

Clap, clap, clap your hands,

Clap your hands together.

Clap, clap, clap your hands,

Clap your hands together.

Clap a little faster now,

Clap along with me.

Clap a little slower now,

Clap along with me.

Continue with:  nod your head, shake your heads, stomp your feet, and (sometimes) shake your hands.

Credit:  Adapted from KIDiddles

2nd Book

Image result for llama llama time to share

Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney – I picked this book because Llama Llama is such a classic character, and the books are fun and easy to read.  And, since many of my story time friends were either siblings or enrolled at least part time in a preschool program, sharing seemed like a good message.  Of the books that we shared, this one was probably the favorite.

Flannel Story

For this week, I went through some of our existing resources to see what we had that might work.  I found this set of Children of the World felt pieces, which we used for the song Ten Little Children.  If memory serves correctly, the song is included with the resource book for the flannel pieces.  As far as flannel stories go, this one was a bust.

Song/Rhyme/Activity

I always included a second song or rhyme in my outlines for this group, although I very rarely included them in the story time session.  For this theme, I chose the action rhyme “Let’s Move” as a way to get some of the wiggles out.

Let’s Move!

Hold your right hand high.

Hold your left hand high.

Shake your fingers and clap, clap, clap!

Stretch your right arm out.

Stretch your left arm out.

Take a little hop and turn once about.

Bend and touch your toes,

Then stretch up to the sky.

Like a little bird spread your wings and fly!

On your right foot, hop.

On your left foot, hop.

Jump with both feet…then it’s time…to…STOP!

Credit:  Adapted by Amanda Struckmeyer in the 2015 Collaborative Summer Library Program Early Literacy Manual

3rd Book

Image result for llama llama and the bully goat

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney – Because one Llama Llama story isn’t enough!  I thought since Llama Llama was generally well received, a second Llama Llama book would work well with the audience.  The response was mixed – some were excited to see Llama Llama back again, but some found it repetitive.  Unlike the previous title, the concept of bullies was a little more abstract for this group and they weren’t as interested.

Goodbye Song

We ended story time with our goodbye song, which is always the same each week.  We always sang “The More We Get Together” from the Baby Love Song Time CD.  The response varied from week to week.

Craft

For this week, I thought that a friendship rainbow chain would be a cute and simple craft.  I got the idea from Kindergarten-Lessons.com.  I used a diecut that we had in the building of a little boy and girl holding hands, and gave each child a rainbow of choices to string together.  We decorated the faces on each of the children.  Overall, it was a pretty simple craft, although the hands on the children were a little too small and flimsy for more enthusiastic glue users.

How It Went

Unfortunately, I did this outline before I started keeping really detailed story time notes, so I don’t have any details about specific reactions or attendance for the week.  Overall, this theme wasn’t a complete failure, but I would definitely make modifications before using this outline again.  The idea of “Me” works as a theme that I’ve since used, but the good citizenship/hero aspect was a little abstract.  Elements of this story time have appeared in “All About Me” and “Friends” story times that I’ve done, which have been more successful.  In terms of character repetition, I’ve since found that repeating the character from one week to the next, instead of within the same story time, is a more successful strategy.

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Flannel Friday: Blue Square House

Flannel Friday

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for a long overdue Flannel Friday entry.  My goal is to eventually share all of the flannel stories that I’ve created, so with that in mind, I’m starting at the beginning of my flannel arsenal, alphabetically speaking.  Interestingly enough, I’ve yet to create a flannel that starts with “A.”

What You Need

SANY0222

The pieces for this set are pretty simple:  a square, a triangle, a rectangle, a circle, a star, and a crescent.  I created all of the pieces from simple clipart shapes that matched what I needed, sized to fit on top of each other like a house.  The most important thing is matching up the colors, because the rhyme relies on naming the shapes and colors while you build the house.

The Story

SANY0223

This rhyme was taught to be by one of my fabulous coworkers, Lara Barrett, at another branch of our library.  It goes like this:

I live inside a blue square house

With a green rectangle door.

It has a red triangle roof,

But look outside – there’s more!

In the morning when I wake up

The sun is in the sky:

A bright and shining orange circle

Way up high.

And when it’s time to go to bed

There’s a single yellow star

Beside a big white crescent moon

Looking down from so, so far.

Shapes and colors, come with me.

Let’s count how many we can see!

Credit:  Lara Barrett, W.O. Haggard, Jr. Library (Plano Public Library)

Tips for Use

I start by putting up the different shapes all over the board, in no particular order, while we name the colors and the shapes.  Then we sing the song and put the house in the correct order.  At the end, we count the shapes together as we take them back off the board again.  We’ve also used this as a transition in our sensory story times.  For those groups, we hand out shapes to each of the children who want to participate, and they get to bring them up as we get to the their shape in the song.  The house doesn’t always look like a house, but it’s a great way to get everyone involved!

Can’t Get Enough?

This week, our host is Kate McBright at Felt Board Magic.  For more information about Flannel Friday, visit the website here, join the Flannel Friday Facebook group, or check out the Flannel Friday boards on Pinterest.  Happy Friday, everyone!

 

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Preschool Story Time: Family Heroes

Story Time Archives

Date presented:  Thursday, July 2, 2015

This story time was based on the theme suggestions from the 2015 CSLP Summer Reading Manual.  My goal was to have eight weeks of programming based on the theme:  “Every Hero Has a Story.”  To be honest, not all of those themes turned out to be great ideas.  Combined with the fact that these were some of the first story times I did, and we didn’t have much in the way of structure, well…let’s just say that you may have to be forgiving of some of the elements.  But, one of my goals for blogging about my story times is to include the good and the bad, so that hopefully others will learn, too.

Introduction

When I presented this story time, I didn’t have much of an introduction set up.  Since the parents tended to be running late, I would spend the first five minutes or so talking to the kids and parents as they came in, and sometimes teasing what we were doing in story time that week.

Welcome Song

We used the same welcome song in preschool story time each week.  It was taught to me by my boss when I took over story time as the welcome song that families were used to, and I kept it as part of my story times.

Welcome, Everyone (Tune:  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Welcome, welcome, everyone.

Now you’re here – let’s have some fun.

First we’ll clap our hands just so.

Then we’ll reach and touch our toes.

Welcome, welcome, everyone.

Now you’re here – let’s have some fun.

Credit:  Adapted from Public Library Program Ideas

Letter of the Day

Each week, we had a Letter of the Day for story time.  For preschool  groups, I gave an introduction to the topic that we were going to do, and a hint about the important word or words before asking them to guess the letter.  Some weeks the kids could guess the letter on the first try, and some weeks we spent a little more time trying to figure out what the letter might be.  We showed two cards:  one that showed the letter of the week, and one that showed how to make the letter in sign language.  This week was F for Family.

iPad Technology

During this summer, we had hoped to incorporate technology into story time wiht our iPads.  When I was planning, I picked a Storybots ABC video for each week that corresponded with the letter of the week.  This plan should have included the video “F is Fun,” but after trying this in one or two story times, I determined that our setup didn’t really allow it to work.  The screen on the iPad was too small for most of the audience to see (we didn’t have a way to project it), and honestly, the parents and kids alike were confused by why we were doing it.  So, this technology ended up dropped out of the outlines.

Story Box

This summer I introduced something a little different for my preschool story times.  Instead of having the books and activities in a particular order, which is how I normally do story time, I wanted to make it more interactive.  So, I created Ms. Jaime’s Story Box, a wooden box that contained everything I needed for story time.  I would include the books that I planned to read, as well as any flannel stories I wanted to share, and wooden music notes to represent songs.  The goal was for children to pick something out of the box to start the story time, and then pick another element once we’ve finished the first.  I don’t remember now the order that we shared things in (the hazards of not blogging about story time when it happens), but overall, it got to be part of story time that the kids were really excited about.  It was sometimes crazy, and our story time was sometimes disjointed, but it was a lot of fun.  For the purposes of blogging, though, I’ll just list the books and elements in the order that I planned them.

1st Book

Flip, Flap, Fly! by Phyllis Root – I picked this book because I just love the illustrations in it.  Seriously, the pages are absolutely gorgeous, and the rhyming text makes it such a great read for story time.  I love the anticipation of what the little bird will see next, and the hesitation that you can add while reading to see if the audience will help you “read” the story.

Song/Rhyme/Activity

Our “Clap Your Hands” song was a staple for story time each week, and usually happened sometime after our first book as a transition to our next element.  Since the kids were usually excited about pulling out a book or a flannel story, the music notes didn’t really get selected as often.  As the weeks went on, I prompted them for when we would share a song, which let us work music in a little more regularly.  This is another song that I inherited from the previous children’s librarian, but it was such a hit with our groups that it was impossible not to include it each week.

Clap Your Hands

Clap, clap, clap your hands,

Clap your hands together.

Clap, clap, clap your hands,

Clap your hands together.

Clap a little faster now,

Clap along with me.

Clap a little slower now,

Clap along with me.

Continue with:  nod your head, shake your heads, stomp your feet, and (sometimes) shake your hands.

Credit:  Adapted from KIDiddles

2nd Book

One Hundred is a Family by Pam Muñoz Ryan – I picked this book because it showed a variety of families, and I wanted something that would appeal to the different types of family dynamics that might be present in my story time.  However, the book fell a little flat with the audience.  They weren’t interested in counting, and most of the concepts depicted didn’t really make sense to them.

Flannel Story

For this week, I had two flannel stories created:  Mommy’s Dresses and Daddy’s Ties.  Both are variations on the song “Mary Wore Her Red Dress,” and practice basic color concepts.  My thought was that we should have something to represent both the mommies and daddies of the families, so I created pieces for both.  Unfortunately, my dresses are apparently not up to preschool standards, since they were convinced that Mommy’s dresses were actually Daddy’s tank tops.  But, in terms of simplicity and color identification, they were a hit easily customized to the number of children in story time who wanted to participate.

Song/Rhyme/Activity

I always included a second song or rhyme in my outlines for this group, although I very rarely included them in the story time session.  For this theme, I chose the simple fingerplay “Where is the Family?”  It uses the familiar song “Where Is Thumbkin?” to name the different family members on each finger.

Where Is the Family?  (Tune:  Where Is Thumbkin?)

Where is daddy, where is daddy?

Here I am, here I am!  (Hold thumbs up.)

How are you today, sir?

Very well, I thank you!  (Bend thumbs as if they are interacting with each other.)

Run away, run away!  (Hide hands behind your back.)

Continue with the rest of your fingers for the other verses:  mommy (pointer finger), brother (middle finger), sister (ring finger), baby (pinkie), and the family (whole hand).

Credit:  Adapted by Julie Dietzel-Glair in the 2015 Collaborative Summer Library Program Early Literacy Manual

3rd Book

What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best by Laura Numeroff – I love Laura Numeroff’s books, and this one felt like the perfect fit for story time.  Our previous stories had talked about babies growing up and the different types of families, and our flannel stories got mommies and daddies, so I wanted something that covered siblings as well, especially since several of our regular families included siblings attending together.  This book is beautiful and simple, so the kids were able to relate to it and stayed intrigued in the story.  They loved the idea of a flip book, too – two books are always better than one!  The only hiccup with this one was that they were disappointed that the text was exactly the same in both stories.

Goodbye Song

We ended story time with our goodbye song, which is always the same each week.  We always sang “The More We Get Together” from the Baby Love Song Time CD.  The response varied from week to week.

Craft

For this week, I thought that making our own family trees would be a really cute craft.  On paper, this seemed like a really great idea.  I found an adorable 3-D family tree craft, and cut a bunch of trees and leaves out from simple templates ahead of time.  In practice, however, this craft was an epic failure.  Even though I made the trees out of construction paper, they weren’t sturdy enough to stand on their own (cardstock might have worked better).  The kids had fun gluing on the leaves, but they didn’t really understand the concept of adding the different members of their family to their tree.  Most of them ended up bored with the activity, and the parents ended up doing most of the crafting.

How It Went

Unfortunately, I did this outline before I started keeping really detailed story time notes, so I don’t have any details about specific reactions or attendance for the week.  Overall, this theme wasn’t a complete failure, but I would definitely make modifications before using this outline again.  The idea of families makes a great story time theme, and the kids did seem to enjoy talking about their families.  I’ve done the family theme with preschool since, using different books, and it’s been more successful than this outline was.  I’d count this one as a learning experience in picking better materials to relate to the audience.

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Preschool Story Time: July Themes

Story Time Archives

Recently, my library announced (to staff, anyway) that we will be moving to a year-round story time format in January 2018.  We’ll have story time 52 weeks of the year, with no breaks.  While the supervisors have started talking about the logistics for how this might work, I’ve decided it’s more important than ever to start going through my old story time outlines to really get a feel for what’s worked and what hasn’t.  So, I’m dusting off the story time outline binders, and breaking out the computer once again to *hopefully* start blogging regularly about story time.  For each month, I’ll post a placeholder that includes all the themes that I’ve done, and eventually, these will link to the individual blog posts about those story time as well.  I’m also working on some updates to the rest of my website to make it easier to find information.

Since we’ve just wrapped up July, what better place to start?  Here’s a list of the July themes that I’ve used in story time so far:

  • Alphabet (Sidekicks)
  • Birds/Owls
  • Bugs
  • Build It
  • Cowboys (Heroes throughout History)
  • Dragons (Heroes in Storybooks)
  • Family Heroes
  • Frogs
  • The Hero Inside Me
  • Imagination
  • Outdoor/Summer Fun
  • Play/Sports/Pretend
  • Zoo

Sometimes the themes related to the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme for the year, and sometimes the themes matched up well with programs that we were offering in the library that week.  What are your favorite story time themes for July?

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Flannel Friday: Happy Birthday, Moon

I can’t believe that it’s been so long since I posted!  Even more, I can’t believe that it’s Flannel Friday’s fifth birthday!  I’ve been so inspired by all the posts that I’ve read, and I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.  Happy birthday!  As it turns out, I have the perfect birthday flannel.  At my library, we’ve done both space and birthday themes this session, and this flannel works perfectly for either.  So, here’s my contribution:  a flannel version of Frank Asch’s Happy Birthday, Moon.

IMG_0335

I used these pieces to retell the story.  Since we co-present our story times, we had one person serve as the narrator and Bear, and the second person served as the Moon.  It turned out really cute!

The pieces are all from designed from various clipart pictures I found.  There is, of course, Bear and Moon, and a top hat (I did make sure it had a purple band like the one in the book – that detail seemed important).  There is a bare tree, a river, a canoe, a series of small trees together for a forest, and a mountain range.  I also created a miniature piggy bank and a pile of coins for Bear to buy the hat.  The pieces aren’t to scale (Bear is bigger than the mountains, I think), but I needed them smaller to fit on our board and honestly, they were easier to make that way.  The kids didn’t seem to mind, either.

Hopefully it won’t be as long before I share again.  In any case, I’ll be keeping up with the round-ups and getting more great ideas.  This week, our host is Mollie at What Happens in Storytime.  For more information about Flannel Friday, visit the website here, or join the Flannel Friday Facebook group, or check out the Flannel Friday boards on Pinterest.  Happy Friday, everyone!

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