Monday, December 5, 2016

Kawaii Winter Wonderland - Finished!

My super-awesome crafty coworker Amanda and I made a progressive snowscape in our library's display case. All month, we added a new piece every day or so. Keep scrolling to see an image from each stage.
Here is the finished product:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Flannel Friday Roundup-November 18, 2006

Ready to gobble, gobble, gobble up some flannelboard greatness?

It is turkey time as we get ready for the holidays on this fine feathered flannel friday! Let the crafty cornucopia runneth over.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Jelly in the Bowl

This is a bouncing rhyme involving the three basic food groups for infants: jelly, cake and candy. Healthy eating habits are best started in early childhood.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Autumn Leaves are Falling Down

Fall weather is finally here! Leaves are changing. 
It is time for some fall themed felt stuff!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kawaii Itsy Bitsy Spider (aka. Arachnid Sisyphus)

Consider the plight of the Itsy Bitsy Spider, forever trudging up the waterspout only to have the rain come and wash it back down to where it began. Does it feel frustration and anguish? Does it ponder the meaninglessness of its struggle? Is it suffering a karmic punishment for previous misdeeds? Yet it brings children such joy...

As a child, I found this rhyme to be frustrating. The convoluted finger-patterns used to mimic spider climbing were daunting. When introducing this rhyme at storytime, I make sure to say there is no right way to do the spider crawling bit. Do it index finger to thumb OR make all your fingers move OR have a hand crawl up your arm...whatevs.
The itsy bitsy spider 
went up the waterspout.
make climbing motion
Down came the rain and 
make fingers rain 
washed the spider out.
sweep hands away from each other
Out came the sun 
 make big circle above you
and dried up all the rain.
wiping motion with hands
And the itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again…
repeat climbing motion

As you get ready for your next storytime,  take a moment to consider the similarities between your life and Itsy Bitsy's.

Oh yeah...and here is a Charmander!

Thanks to  Wendy at Flannel Board Fun for hosting:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gif-t of Kawaii Halloween

Halloween storytimes are happening 
all week at my library!!!

I made this gif to celebrate!!!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Tiger is Creeping...Shhhhhh!

I am an old school member of the Tame Tiger Torganization, 
friends of the OG puppet Daniel Tiger before he got all fancy and animated.

I use this simple rhyme at story time 
whenever the crowd starts to get a little cray.
It's a shout out to all the nice tigers out there 
who do not want to eat people.
The tiger is creeping...Shhhh!
walk fingers across arm like a tiger and then shush with finger on lips
The tiger is creeping...Shhhh!
repeat action
They don't make a sound when its feet touch the ground.
The tiger is creeping...Shhhh!
repeat action one more time and enjoy the moment of peace and quiet


Thanks to Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime for hosting:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Jellybeans Jumping

In the spirit of this candy-eating season, here is a rhyme about anthropomorphized jellybeans demonstrating the activity arc of a child amped up on high fructose corn syrup.

These beans are also useful for counting and color identification.

Jellybeans stomping, stomp stomp stomp. 
stomp feet
Jellybeans hopping, hop hop hop. 
jump around
Jellybeans exploding, pop pop pop! 
clap hands
Jellybeans resting, down down down. 
sink to floor
Jellybeans sleeping on the ground.
pretend to sleep

Thanks to Amy at Catch the Possibilities for hosting!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kawaii Halloween!

I love Halloween. I'm lucky to live in an area where people don't get too stressed about it. I usually try to keep my toddler storytimes pretty low on the devil worshiping, anyways...

Here are my favorite Halloween rhymes with flannel board felty things:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, pumpkin,
round and fat.
hold out hands to show how big 
Turns into a jack o lantern ....
 Just like that! 

The next one is just like Two Little Blackbirds but instead it is:
 Two Little Black Bats
Two little black bats hanging in a tree, 
put one fingers on each knee
One named "Boo!" and one named "Wheeeeee!"
Say "Boo!" like you mean it and draw out the "Wheeeeeee!"
Fly away, Boo!
flap one finger behind your back
Fly away, Wheeeeee!

flap other finger behind back
Come back, Boo! 

bring it back
Come back, Wheeeeee!

bring back other one
Two little black bats hanging in a tree,
One named "Boo!" and one named "Wheeeeee!"

Here is a simple count down rhyme with some ghosts:
Five Little Ghosts
Five little ghosts flying through the door,
One went home and that left four.

Four little ghosts spooky as can be,
Another went home and that left three.

Three little ghosts dripping weird goo,
Another went home and that left two.

Two little ghosts, having lots of fun,
Another went home and that left one.

One little ghost, now all alone,
He got so lonely, he flew back home.

I'm very proud of this (Un)Lucky Cat version of
"Teddy Bear Teddy Bear" converted for Halloween:
 Black Cat, Black Cat
Black cat, black cat, turn around,
Black cat, black cat, touch the ground.

Black cat, black cat, show your shoe,

stick out foot
Black cat, black cat, I love you. 
Give self hug

Black cat, black cat, bend your knees,
Black cat, black cat, sway in the breeze.

Black cat, black cat, sit back down,
Black cat, black cat, not a sound.

Lastly, here are some pumpkins, I'm not sure how many...
Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The 1st one said, “Oh my, it’s getting late!”
The 2nd one said, “There are witches in the air”
The 3rd one said, “We don’t care!”
The 4th one said, “Let’s run and run and run.”
The 5th one said, “We’re ready for some fun!”
Then "WHOOOOOOO" went the wind
And OUT (loud clap) went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!
roll hands

Thanks to Lisa at Thrive After Three for hosting:

Friday, September 30, 2016

Zoom Zoom Zoom redux

I love the song "Zoom Zoom Zoom, We are Going to the Moon." 
Perhaps this is because my favorite book as a child was:
This book taught, in no uncertain terms, that rocket travel was real and imminent. 

Good little boys would go into space and hang out with a bunch of other white dudes in some sort of space station frat house. 

Pretty great, right?

Well, it was apparently all lies. I'm still a little burned by this.

Now my views on space are more Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Ursula K. LeGuin and a little less Robert Heinlein and Orson Scott Card. Doing "Zoom Zoom Zoom" at storytime is a way of working through my broken dreams.

The Juno space probe has been sending back some awesome pictures of Jupiter. You can find all kinds of info at the NASA Juno website. To promote this at storytime, I added a Juno section after singing the Zoom Zoom Zoom song.

After going up on the rocket...

 Juno passes by the moon...

 Says "Hi!" to Mars...

 And eventually meets its new friend Jupiter and gives a big hug.

I then ask the kids to be satellites orbiting their caregiver planets.

You can even let the kids listen to Jupiter's auroras as heard by the real Juno probe:

Thanks to Wendy at Flannel Board Fun for hosting

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Make Awesome Kawaii Felt Things -unabridged

"Kawaii" is the Japanese word for "cute." Think Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters. I like the “kawaii” style because of the big bold outlines of the images. This makes details stand out at a distance. A core element of using this style for the flannelboard is using the background color of your felt piece as the negative space between the other pieces.  

I have a red flannel board at my library so I use a black felt background for my pieces to make them pop. If your board is black, try using a white or other light colored background.

Here follows a jaunty walk through 
the making of a kawaii felty thing.
Click here for info on felt, scissors and glue!

Tools of the Trade

Tools used:

Felt-- Basic felt colors are available in 8.5 x 11” sheets at most big box craft stores. They typically sell polyester felt made from recycled plastic under the brand name “Eco-fi.” This works fine for most creations. 
If you find lighter colors have too much visual bleed-through from the background, you might want to try using a wool felt blend. This can be bought in sheets at fancier fabric stores or off the interweb. I’ve had success with felt from Prairie Woolens. Their 35% wool/65% rayon blends are noticeably thicker than full polyester and come in a multitude of colors. Whereas Eco-fi comes in 3 shades of grayPrairie Woolens offers eleven.

Nice Scissors- Keep a pair of scissor to only use when cutting felt. This will keep the blades sharper. Fiskars Titanium Soft Grip are my personal favorites. They aren't too expensive (especially if you use a coupon) and maintain their sharpness reasonably well. Arthritis scissors like the Easy Action scissors are pretty great if you are doing a lot of cutting.

Glue – Tacky glue takes forever to dry and doesn’t always hold very well. Hot glue is stringy and difficult to control. It also will melt polyester if the tip gets too close. 

I’ve had the most success with Fabri-tac. It dries quickly and is relatively easy to control. I keep two bottles: a small bottle with as tiny a hole as possible cut in the tip for detail work and a larger bottle for covering big areas and refilling the small bottle. One note, try not to hold the bottle upside down while applying glue. This creates air bubbles within the bottle which will slowly rise, causing glue to dribble from the tip. Keep a paper towel handy to clean the tip.

For Super Savers Only:
Work those reciprocal coupons when buying your glue and scissors! The following stores will honor each others coupons:  A.C. MooreMichaelsHobby LobbyJoann’s. I buy most big ticket items one at a a 40-55% discount. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

B - Bunny Balloon

Next in my series of GMO felt critters is the misfit offspring of thing beginning with letter of the day, “B”!

Take a bunny…

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dog's Colorful Day

I love Emma Dodd! 
Her big bold images are perfect for converting to feltiness.
This is an edited down version of her book, Dog’s Colorful Day.  Dog becomes a messy rainbow of primary and secondary colored spots.

 Here is Dog. She is white and has one black spot.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Jumping Jellyfish!

I made some awesome jellyfish and have been doing 
the "Three Jellyfish" song, but it falls kind of flat. 
This remix, including lyrics from the Yo Gabba Gabba song
 "Jumping Jellyfish," jumps it up a bit.

Three jellyfish sitting on a rock.
One fell off. Wheeeeee...splash!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

One Elephant Went Out to Play

Please ponder the peril of plummeting pachyderms. Although a web is a peculiar place for prancing, the improbable physics of this rhyme fails to perplex most young children…

One elephant went out to play,
On a spider's web one day,
She had such enormous fun,
That she called for another elephant to come…

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Way Up High in the Apple Tree

Thanks to globalization we have apples all year long! 
Use this rhyme to teach your kids about the lives of migrant workers.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rainbows and Space Totoros!

My library lets me put felt stuff in our display cases 
during the month of August.
This year I made a "Kawaii Spy" game:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rockin' Humpty

I love this remix of Humpty Dumpty. It combines a version found on the KCLS website with a less violent, puddle/cuddle variation. Check out KCLS’s link to Intellidance videos. They are super relevant for upbeat library storytimes!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Five Little Hot Dogs

This rhyme goes well with a storytime about factory farming and safety in the meat-packing industry. I usually point out that these are actually tofu dogs.

Ask the kids to count their fingers on one hands and them begin. Clap on the "BAM!!" and throw the hot dog (and then finally the pan) into the air:

Five little hot dogs frying in a pan,
One got hot and it went, "BAM!!"

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ten Fluffy Chicks

Which came first? Well I made the eggs before I made the chicken, so consider the question answered.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Spaceships are awesome! I added a couple extra lines and actions to the traditional Zoom Zoom Zoom.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trucks! Tools! Trains!

I’ve been doing a letter of the week based on ECRR’s first sounds that young children can pronounce. Patty LeCake introduced the letter “T” this week.

I was really happy with my transition times, with my three “T” themed rhymes, they went real fine, done one at a time….I love storytime like I love my own mind, I will never be satisfied.... wait I digress.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Animal Colors

I found this rhyme forever ago in Jane Cobb’s book, “I’m a Little Teapot! Presenting Preschool Storytime.” That was the first storytime training manual I found that contained rhymes and songs which didn’t seem to me like they came from a MLS textbook from the 1800s. Unfortunately it is out of print. Fortunately, my libary school buddy Miss Allison (who BTW has an awesome blog, Lightsome Librarian) recently informed me that Ms. Cobb’s newer book “What'll I Do with the Baby-o? More than 350 Rhymes and Songs to Use in Play with Babies and Toddlers” is still available.  It’s full of super-dope baby rhymes with lots of suggested ECRR asides. But, I digress.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Here is the Beehive

I recently became the surrogate parent to a hive of tens of thousands of bees. They are pretty well-behaved, mostly keeping to their hive. My family is hoping for some seriously local honey. This rhyme is for them. It always gets a good reaction when the bees are unveiled.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bananas Unite!

An awesome librarian named Kio taught me this version of “Bananas Unite” a decade ago. The dancing bit was intimidating, but this year I finally started using it in storytimes. It is a big hit!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Patty LeCake

Sometimes (frequently) I get tired of using traditional rhymes, so I remix them a bit.

Patti LeCake is a cupcake with a New Attitude. She is trying to teach introductory phonics from Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) research, all On Her Own. I'm like her Michael McDonald.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Planting a Rainbow

I've consistently used Lois Ehlert's "Planting a Rainbow" for garden and color themed programs since I started doing storytimes.

This absolutely justifies the inordinate amount of time spent making these felt flowers...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Song Cube/D6 of Singing

A couple months ago there was a  Storytime Underground post about making a song cube. I finally decided to create my own felt one. I got an  8x8 Styrofoam cube from the craft store and wrapped it in felt. Then I velcroed felt icons representing songs on each side . (Velcro will allow the songs to be eventually switched out)  At storytime, I will throw it up in the air and we will sing the song on whichever side faces the audience. I’m totally stoked about this…
Addendum: The kids loved it! I enjoy how the element of randomness helps keep my storytime feelin’ fresh. If I made another one, which I most likely will, I would use soft poly-foam instead of Styrofoam.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Totoro in the Garden

I’m a big Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli fan. Luckily my daughter loved My Neighbor Totoro when she was young, so I watched it over and over. That movie never gets old. Totoro works well with my “Garden” themed storytime.

This is a variation of the find the hidden object game:
Totoro is looking in the garden for an acorn to plant.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

This Little Piggy

This is a vegetarian remix of the “This Little Piggy” rhyme.  As a child, I always thought it was a little gross to think about pigs eating cow flesh.  I was happy to find this alternate version. Hopefully, the piggy who went to market was going on a shopping trip and not to her doom. The felt pigs are based on the San-X character, Piggy Girl.