Tag Archives: Storytime

Flannel Friday: Mouse Count/Cuenta de Ratón

15 Jul

Today’s Flannel Friday idea comes from Making Learning Fun.

I made a jar and 10 mice of various colors. After reading Ellen Stoll Walsh’s Mouse Count, we sing this rhyme, to the tune of “Frere Jacques”:

Mouse count, mouse count

Mouse count, mouse count

Count with me, count with me

How many mice, how many mice

Do you see? Do you see?*

I DID have 10 mice. Where did #10 go?

We count the mice. I take one or more away and then we recite the rhyme and count again. This can be done an endless number of times!

To change things up, and to promote vocabulary, we also count how many mice are INSIDE (adentro) the jar, and how many mice are OUTSIDE (afuera). I may also ask the kids to name the specific colors inside or outside.

Inside mouse, outside mouse

We also do the same with UPSIDE DOWN (cabeza abajo) and RIGHT SIDE UP:

Upside down mouse, right side up mouse

This would work well for a Mice, Colors, or Counting-themed storytime.

For the full Flannel Friday roundup, visit Andrea later today!

*P.S.: I just made up this Spanish rhyme: doesn’t rhyme perfectly, but works with the tune:

Ratoncitos, ratoncitos,

Cuéntalos, cuéntalos

Cuántos ratoncitos

Cuántos ratoncitos

Puedes ver? Puedes ver?

Flannel Friday: Matching Mittens

8 Jul

I can’t take credit for this great idea; my co-worker Kim created our first matching mittens set. But I made these, so I CAN take credit for the silly designs on the mittens.

I made 2 mittens of each color; there are 26 mittens in all (a couple of colors have 2 pair – light and dark blue; light and dark brown). They are clipped, by clothespin, on yarn that I braided together to make it thicker. A rope would probably work better. I got the clothespins at Walgreens, I think. A large bag is pretty inexpensive.

Here’s how I use these: I give each child one mitten (one of each pair; I keep the match). Then I hold up one mitten and ask the kids what color it is. After they’ve answered, I ask if anyone has the match. The child who has it brings up the mitten, and I hold the clothespin open as he or she puts the mitten in. I add the match and hold it up so we can admire our work! We continue until all the matches are made.

If I have more than 13 kids I give out both of the pair, and ask, “does anyone have a green mitten?” The two children with green mittens bring them up and add them to the clothesline.

This could be used to learn about patterns, shapes, and, obviously, colors.  I use it with my clothing storytime. You could make matching socks instead of mittens, or even a variety of clothing, if you want.  It would be a great follow up to Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash or The Mitten.  It’s always been a big hit with the kids – they love getting to bring the mitten up and match it in front of the whole group.

Visit Storytime Katie later today for the full Flannel Friday round up!

Flannel Friday: Bark, George

1 Jul

I made this flannel years ago and often forget I have it because I really love reading the book so much. But I got it out this week for a Dog-themed storytime and realized how much I like it!

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer is a simple, but silly, story that’s super easy to memorize.  Here’s George; I made him by photocopying and enlarging an image of George from the book, cutting it out and sticking it on felt, and tracing.

I picked an open-mouthed image of George

I also color photocopied a picture of the doctor; cut him out and covered him with contact paper. A piece of felt is stuck to the back:

Giant George!

Finally, I made tiny felt animals that I pull out of George:

Cat, Duck, Pig and Cow

George is actually 2 layers of felt; the second layer is glued on around the edges but there are openings at his mouth (to pull the animals out) and along his back (to put them in):

The little animals layered inside George in the order in which they will be pulled out.

I adore this story; I have entertained family members by reciting it to them in the car. Who wouldn’t love George?

Visit Katie’s blog later today for the full Flannel Friday roundup!

Flannel Friday: Balloons for a Party

24 Jun

Here’s a flannel good for birthdays, parties, or color storytime. I free-handed the balloons, then attached a piece of yarn with a hot glue gun (I wrapped it around once before gluing so it would look like it was tied on). Once again, I put the color words on my flannels to help with word recognition.

Here are balloons for a party
Because it’s my birthday today.
I have balloons for all of my friends
Who are coming over to play.

Here is a pretty round blue balloon,

As blue as a baby’s eyes.

And here is a bright round red balloon,

Just about your size!

Blue, Red and Yellow balloons!

Here is a happy round yellow balloon,

As yellow as bright sunshine,

And here is a lovely round purple balloon,

Like purple grapes on a vine.

Pardon the blindingly white one. I blame flourescent lighting.

Here is a little round orange balloon,

Like oranges from the store.

And here is a light round white balloon,

And now there are no more!

Since the kids will invariably ask “where’s the green one? Where’s the pink one?” I ask the kids what colors we still need. So we add a green, pink, brown and black balloon.

Ballon bouquet!

Check with Anne later today for the full Flannel Friday roundup!

Flannel (Cookie Sheet) Friday: 5 Little Monkeys

10 Jun

I’ve been spending much of the week preparing for a couple of early literacy presentations I’m giving to parents at two different area libraries. One of the libraries specifically requested early literacy activities their parents could do over the summer that would keep their kids reading and developing early literacy skills, so I have been putting together a list of crafts, games, songs, and other ideas that they can use at home.

One of the great websites I’m suggesting is KizClub. It’s got great printable activities related to phonics and alphabet learning, as well as specific story-related activities.

From there I printed out the 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed set. I colored it, had it laminated (you could also use contact paper), cut out the monkeys, bed and numbers, and stuck a magnet strip to the back of each (luckily my friend was getting rid of TWO HUGE ROLLS of magnet strips). Voila! Substitute a cookie sheet for the flannelboard, and I’ve got a story to tell!

Monkeys stuck to my metal cabinet

Most parents don’t have flannelboards at home, but they often do have cookie sheets. If no magnet strips are handy, or contact paper, this activity can be just as much fun simply by coloring and cutting out the pieces. Parent and child can still use them to tell the story!

Haven't those monkeys learned their lesson?

Easy peasy, mac ‘n cheesy!

Check in later at 1234 More Storytimes for the Flannel Friday Roundup!

Be Happy.

25 Apr

I was reading Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems to a group of toddlers. We had arrived at the page where Big Frog’s friends are going to help her. “What should they do?” I asked.

“Help her,” an adorable little boy responded.

“Yes…,” I said…

“So she’ll be happy,” he continued.


“Like me.”



Ribbit! Frog and Friends Storytime

17 Apr

One of the preschool teachers I work with LOVES frogs. Really, seriously, LOVES frogs. So every year I do a frog-themed storytime especially for her. Although, I do it for me too – there are so many great frog stories and songs out there! I call this one “Frog and Friends” because I might throw in a turtle or snake book too.

I have an awesome Folkmanis frog puppet; his name’s Freddy and he’s got long limbs and is very flaily. For some reason he speaks


with a southern accent (I think it stems from the New York librarian who used to tell “The Wide-Mouthed Frog” with a southern accent. And she was from Brooklyn). He introduces himself, shows off his amazing hopping ability, and then sits down to listen to stories about “him” (he’s not modest).

  • Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems. POP-UP BOOK ALERT!! Poor big frog, she’s too big for her book, and that makes her sad. But she has great friends who find a solution.
  • Flannelboard/Song: “Little White Duck”. Originally sung by Burl Ives, lots of the preschool teachers don’t know this one – or haven’t used it in a while! It’s a great song, and while it’s not particularly interactive if the kids don’t know the song, for some reason when I sing it they’re hypnotized. Seriously. Dead quiet. I don’t know why. Try it out. I made flannelboard pieces of a duck, frog, bug, snake and lilypad which I put on the board one by one.
  • Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson. Cool rhymes! Silly story! And the frog grows a little…bit…bigger.
  • Song: “5 Green and Speckled Frogs” Don’t we all know this one? I have a set of little frog finger puppets, and I made a log out of felt (glued in a tube shape) and a felt pond for them to jump into. I set the pond on the floor and the log on my knees, so I can play the tune on the ukulele.
  • Jump! Fischer, Scott. We end with this, and everyone gets up so they can jump at appropriate times. Lots of giggling ensues. I love this book.

Other books I might use:

Ribbit! Gotta hop now!

Things I Never Thought I’d Say In Storytime: Pt. 2

7 Apr


“Put your cellphone away. We’re not taking calls during storytime.”

[Okay, I admit, it looked like an old one with no battery. But she had it in her pocket and felt compelled to take it out and pretend to take a call during stories.]

C’mon, Spring, Start Springing! A Bug and Flower Storytime

4 Apr

It’s the time of year in the school schedule when we start celebrating all things spring: flowers, plants, bugs, rain and (oh please) SUNSHINE. Here’s my bug and flower storytime plan, heavy on the bugs.:

I have an awesome watering can puppet (will add a picture later) that I picked up at the Illinois Museum of Natural History several years ago. Your thumb is the spigot, and your fingers are green stems attached to a butterfly, ladybug, bee, and flower, respectively. I start with my fingers scrunched down in the watering can and ask the kids about it. Then I lift my fingers one by one and the kids identify each creature as it comes out.

  • Rosen, Michael. Tiny Little Fly. This is a new title, and the kids have enjoyed it. Tiny little fly flies from elephant to hippo

    Is it a bug? Is it a flower?

    to tiger, and each animal in turn winks his eye and tries to catch the fly. But fly is too tiny, and too fast! There’s a wonderful 4 page spread of all the animals (and fly).

  • Foley, Greg. Don’t Worry, Bear. Bear meets caterpillar as he’s making a cocoon. Once caterpillar is inside, Bear worries about him and so checks on him regularly in the rain, wind, night and snow. Each time caterpillar reassures him, saying “Don’t worry, bear.” This is a sweet story, and although the kids can predict the ending, it’s well-loved. Plus, being able to predict the ending of a story is a good feeling for a kid!
  • Flannelboard: 5 Spring Flowers
  • Carle, Eric. Very Quiet Cricket. This is my favorite of Carle’s bug books (next to the Very Hungry Caterpillar which I use in my Food-themed storytime), but it’s often difficult to find a copy in which the cricket’s noise is still working. Library books wear out. And the kids really love the surprise at the end, so I try to find one that makes the noise. This year I’m using a copy of The Very Clumsy Click Beetle because that’s the one I had that worked. I would also have accepted The Very Lonely Firefly.
  • Song “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. We end with several rousing choruses of this, with me on ukulele (which means the kids have to promise to help, because I can’t do the hand movements and play at the same time, obviously). First, we sing the “normal” version. Then, a version of the “Great Big Spider” (in very deep voices) and the “Teeny Tiny Spider” (very quietly). We end with a rockin’ version, which is just the regular song but I attempt to play a more energetic and “rock and roll” version. I’ll let you judge for yourself if I succeed:

Other stories I might use:

Buzz Buzz! What are your favorite bug books?

Thinking out Loud: Technology in Storytime?

29 Mar

I actually wrote part of this post for Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy but I wanted to pose this same question (expanded) here as it may reach a different audience:

I’ve been thinking a lot about technology lately, especially as it may apply to storytime in the future. Will there come a time when we use our ipads to show our listeners the illustrations of a book, “swiping” our fingers across the screen to turn a page? I personally don’t think that specific scenario is going to happen soon, but I do think technology could be integrated into storytime in an interesting and fun way. For example, I know that some libraries show a video after storytime, usually an animated version of a book. With a video on an ipad, those of us who do outreach could bring that part of storytime to our patrons wherever they are, without having to worry about the site we’re visiting having a DVD player or TV (or bringing one).  What about interactive flannelboards? All your flannel stories stories stored in an ipad, with the touch-screen technology enabling you to move the parts around as we now do with felt pieces.  More portable, and ready to go without having to hunt through our files.  However, we lose the participatory aspect of sharing felt pieces and having kids place them on the board.  What do you think? Can technology be integrated into storytime in a meaningful way, without storytime losing its fun/learning/heart?

P.S. – I don’t have an ipad (but REALLY want one), so perhaps others have found a way to use theirs in storytime that I’m completely unaware of. If so, tell me how! And then I’ll have just one more reason to want to get one.



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