entertaining storytimes with spirit!

Changes to come…

The last year has seen a great deal of change and transition in my life. Sadly, I abandoned this blog as I worked though those changes. I hope to get back to creating with felt very soon which will me some fun changes here as well. Stay tuned!

My post this week is a little bit different than usual. This creation isn’t based on a specific story and probably will never make it’s way to the library. My 4 year old daughter, lil’ A, has a stuffed bunny that goes everywhere with her. When she draws a picture of her family there is Mommy, Daddy, A, and Hoppy. We hung the stockings and A asked if there was one for Hoppy too. Well, there is now!

I purchased a plain red felt stocking at JoAnn’s for 60% (less than $2.50) and created a felt bunny as decoration and to show who the stocking belongs. Lil’ A and Hoppy were thrilled with the results.

My closest girlfriend criticizes how I encourage her imaginative play with Hoppy. Hoppy sometimes eats dinner with us, holds hands between us, and is always included in play. I feel strongly that this level of creative play fosters the growth of her Narrative Skills, making her a stronger reader later on. A’s attachment is not unhealthy, she can step away from Hoppy without meltdown and there are limitations on where Hoppy is allowed to go (she stays in the backpack at school and in the car when at places A would not be able to carry her). She uses her stuffed friend as a way to enhance her experience.

Visit Linda at Notes from the Story Room for the final Friday Flannel Round-up of 2011!


I am a huge fan of apps that feature book characters. So imagine my excitement when I read in Family Fun, Mo Willems had released an app featuring Pigeon! I stopped reading immediately, did not collect $200 and went searching in the app store. $6.99 later I was the proud owner of said app – for research and child entertainment purposes only of course 😉

The app features a choose-your-own-adventure style of story creation and a draw the pigeon game. There are a ton of options in regards to creating stories, including the option for the child to record themselves answering questions about the stinkiest thing and a type of food. Always the child can record their name to be attached to the byline. The app allows for 6 stories to be saved to listen to later.

Drawing the pigeon has a tutorial by Mo and the option to free draw. I now have various pigeonesque drawing in my photo album. It’s kinda hard to follow along with the tutorial on the small screen of an iPhone. It would be much more fun on an iPad but it hasn’t stopped lil’ A!

Overall the app is great and definitely kid approved. My suggestion would be to wait until the price comes down. I had hoped there would be more games like on the PigeonPresents website especially considering the $6.99 price tag, which is the most I have ever spent on an app (even Elmo’s Monster Maker wasn’t that much!). Fingers crossed that future updates will bring more fun!

I have been on a flannel making tear this last week with even more ideas floating in my head. Since it is an EXTRAVAGANZA (which every time I type I hear RuPaul’s voice), I have three offerings.

Five Little Snowmen

Five little men made out of snow,
Each with a hat and standing in a row.
Out came the sun and he stayed all day.
One little snowman melted away, and he said,
“Oops – I’m a puddle!”
(repeat 4, 3, 2, 1) 

I came across this rhyme on Nancy Music‘s site a long time ago (It’s the song of the month from January 2008) and just now pulled it out of my idea notebook. I made a slight change to the rhyme to fit my snowmen. The original is a finger play but it works either way.

Five Little Penguins

Five little penguins slipping on the ice,
One fell down, that’s not nice.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more penguins slipping on the ice!”
(repeat 4, 3, 2, 1) 

I cannot for the life of me remember where I found this rhyme but it’s a simple enough take off from Five Little Monkeys that the kiddos can easily join in. I’m just so in love with my little girl penguins!

Froggy Gets Dressed

This flannel is based off the book Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London. This is always a crowd pleaser!

The Holiday Extravaganza Round-up can be found over at Loons and Quines!

Gobble Gobble Gobble! This week’s Flannel Friday contribution is a Thanksgiving theme!

Five Little Turkeys

Five little turkeys standing at the door,
One waddled off, and then there were four.

Four little turkeys sitting near a tree,
One waddled off, and then there were three.

Three little turkeys with nothing to do,
One waddled off, and then there were two.

Two little turkeys in the morning sun,
One waddled off, and then there was one.

One little turkey better run away,
For soon it will be Thanksgiving day.

 Turkey in the Straw

Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha,
Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha,
Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha,
Turkey in the straw, my darling.

Turkey in the white snow, ho, ho, ho,
Turkey in the white snow, ho, ho, ho,
Turkey in the white snow, ho, ho, ho,
Turkey in the snow, my darling.

Turkey in the blue sky, hi, hi, hi,
Turkey in the blue sky, hi, hi, hi,
Turkey in the blue sky, hi, hi, hi,
Turkey in the sky, my darling.

Turkey in the red barn, harn, harn, harn,
Turkey in the red barn, harn, harn, harn,
Turkey in the red barn, harn, harn, harn,
Turkey in the barn, my darling.

Turkey in the yellow corn, horn, horn, horn,
Turkey in the yellow corn, horn, horn, horn,
Turkey in the yellow corn, horn, horn, horn,
Turkey in the corn, my darling.

Turkey in the green tree, hee, hee, hee,
Turkey in the green tree, hee, hee, hee,
Turkey in the green tree, hee, hee, hee,
Turkey in the tree, my darling.

For more Flannel Friday goodness, check out the round-up hosted by Katie at Story Time Secrets or the Flannel Friday Pinterest page. Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m still in the middle of create a Turkey in the Straw flannel. Nothing brand new to share but here is one from a couple months ago that I created for a theme on Royalty.

One of my favorite things about #FlannelFriday is the inspiration from all the immensely talented contributors. I have created several flannels based on their original ideas. This week I present There’s a Castle in the Middle of the Moat inspired by Mel!

There’s a Castle in the Middle of the Moat

There’s a castle in the middle of the moat
There’s a castle in the middle of the moat
There’s a castle, there’s a castle,
There’s a castle in the middle of the moat.

There’s a throne in the castle in the middle of the moat…
There’s a cushion on the throne in the castle in the middle of the moat…
There’s a crown on the cushion on the throne in the castle in the middle of the moat…
Don’t sit on it!

You can add as many verses as your creative brain can dream up! This was a fun twist and a nice departure from my habit of creating another 5 Little… flannel. Hopefully by next week I’ll have the Turkey in the Straw flannel complete.

The Flannel Friday Round-up this week will be posted by Cate at Storytiming. For even more inspiration, check out the archive over at Anne’s blog So Tomorrow.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party!

To celebrate the November 15th release of the 6th book in the Wimpy Kid series, Cabin Fever, I held a party to celebrate all things Wimpy kid! Whether is was the surprisingly good weather, college football Saturday, or laziness, this was my lowest attended Wimpy Kid program. Typically I have 30+ in attendance but the 5 who showed were so much fun. This smaller group caused me to alter my game but I think the program was all the richer for the change.


We sat in a circle and shared talked about who had read which books and what were the favorites. 3 out of 5 had read all 5 books and were anxious for the newest. Then we dove into some trivia. The trivia was tough and it was so much fun being on the presenter side to see the light bulbs flash on when the answers reminded the kids of parts of the story long forgotten.

After the trivia I split the kids into 2 groups – 3 versus 3 (I was thrilled I got to be a part of one of the groups). In the middle of the room I placed a large basket full of wadded up paper. We talked about the premise of Cabin Fever being that Greg is trapped in the house due to a snowstorm and that we were going to have our own snowball fight. On the count of 3 we all rushed the basket and started winging paper snowballs at each other. *cue giggles* This went on for several minutes but could have lasted for 30!

I called the group back but asked them to bring back 3 snowballs each to open. Inside were written writing prompts, a word or phrase describing a person, place, or action. We took turns reading them aloud and giggling at the silly combinations.

Activity stations included:

Rock Band on PlayStation 2 to represent Loded Diper
Crossword Puzzle and Coloring Pages from enlarged images from my Google Image search
Learn to Draw Greg and independent writing with the prompts from snowball fight
Fregley’s Jelly Bean Jar Guess
Dog Days Pin-the-Ice-Cream


Each kid left with either a button with Greg or the Loded Diper logo (I’m a huge fan of our branch button maker – GREAT investment), a Cabin Fever poster thanks to my friend in our Collection Development Department, and a treat bag with mini snickers bars with the bag topper printed from Cap Creations.

Activities or ideas I am saving for next time… Wimpy Kid Uno, Cheese Touch Game, cheese path to the meeting room, Talk Like Fregley game (which fun with a large group), and more!

Leave your best jelly bean guess in the comments!

#FlannelFriday Humpty Dumpty

Here is a new take on an old classic…

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

 After Humpty falls off the wall he flips over to reveal a sunnyside-up egg, which always elicits giggles.

The Reading Chick has this week’s fabulous #FlannelFriday Round-up!

#FlannelFriday Tooth Fairy!

Now that the everyone is beginning to come down from their Halloween candy sugar high, it’s time to think about brushing those teeth! It was tempting to pass out toothpaste at storytime this week. Maybe a thought for next year is to work with a local dentist… hmmmm…

A few months ago I created this sweet little flannel using a template from Making Learning Fun during my lunch hour which is perfect for a theme on dental health.

Children, children, look and see.
Can you find the tooth for me?

Similar to my Little Mouse flannel, the tooth hides behind one of the colored pillows. The children or child (when saying the rhyme you can insert a specific child’s name) guess which pillow they think the tooth is hiding behind. I created 10 different colored pillow even though only 6 are shown to give me lots of options.

A few favorite titles about teeth, tooth fairies, or dentists:
Alice the Fairy by David Shannon
Dear Tooth Fairy by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Mabel the Tooth Fairy and How She Got Her Job by Katie Davis
Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth by Lucy Cousins
My Wobbly Tooth Must Not Ever Never Fall Out by Lauren Child
Silverlicious by Victoria Kann
Sweet Tooth by Margie Palatini

Pop on over to the Flannel Friday Round-up hosted this week by Anne for more fabulous ideas!

Phew! Life has been insane! Fall always seems to be the busiest time for me both personally and professionally. I’ve missed blogging and flannel making and all the creative things that keep me grounded and excited about my job. Time to dive back in!

So move over apples… here come pumpkins! I created a 5 Little Pumpkins flannel for use in our family reading area. One side has large black numbers 1-5 and the other is blank with pieces for creating jack-‘o-lantern faces. At the top of the flannel board is a sign defining the highlighted Ready to Read skill of Sounds and the 5 Little Pumpkins rhyme.

Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said, “Oh my it’s getting late!”
The second one said, “We don’t care!”
The third one said, “There are leaves in the air.”
The fourth one said, “I am ready for some fun!”
The fifth one said, “Let’s run and run and run!”
The Whoooosh went  wind,
And out went the light!
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

I also included this fun coloring page as a take home extension and a reminder of the rhyme for parents.

Now I am beginning to think of fun Halloween flannels to make for the week leading up to Halloween.

For more awesome ideas check out the Flannel Friday Boards on Pinterest!