Thursday, November 9, 2017

Five Kawaii Ducks That I Once Knew

This version of "Six Little Ducks" only has five ducks because I misremembered the lyrics and I'm doubling down on my mistake. Also, I have the kids pretend the fingers on one of their hands are ducks and most kids have five fingers per hand, not six. (My grandfather has 3 1/2 fingers on one of his hands because he was a woodworker, but this is beside the point.)

My version has a female duck in the lead, instead of a dude. Whenever I can, I try to switch up the genders in traditional songs and rhymes. Since I'm a (mostly) cishet man in a traditionally female field, I feel I need to do my part to help fight the patriarchy.

We start out by practicing quacking, waddling and shaking our tail feathers. Then we count the ducks on one of our hands. I ask the kids to act like ducks when we get to the quacking part of the song. Then we sing.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Yoga Bunny

Super excited about this new set of felt bunnies. This week I read the book "Yoga Bunny" by Brian Russo and loved it…but it is a little to wordy for my toddler storytime. I’ve wanted to incorporate yoga into my program for a while, so it was a perfect opportunity to cut up some felt!

I’m going to have the kids try to imitate the poses of the bunny.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Tiger is Sneaking - Part Deaux

I am an old school member of the Tame Tiger Torganization, friends of the 
OG puppet Daniel Tiger before his fancy animated son took over. 
Daniel Jr is still pretty awesome, tho.
I had to make him out of felt, of course...

Use this simple rhyme at story time 
whenever the crowd starts to get a little cuckoo.
It's a shout out to all the nice tigers out there 
who do not want to eat people.
The tiger is sneaking...Shhhh!
walk around crouching and sneaky and then shush with finger on lips
The tiger is sneaking...Shhhh!
repeat action
They don't make a sound when their feet touch the ground.
touch ground gently with your front paws
The tiger is sneaking...Shhhh!
repeat action one more time and enjoy the moment of peace and quiet and then...
JUMP UP and roar!

A less jumpy version of this rhyme can be found here.

I met another "Tiger" while I was in St. Louis a couple weeks ago: Tiger Reed, the Youth Services Specialist at the St. Louis Central Library. He was hosting their first Drag Queen Storytime. The performers were great storytellers and Tiger did fun crowd control activities between stories. I was taking frantic notes, trying to remember all Tiger's great ideas. The auditorium was full of caregivers and children having a wonderful time! 

Here is a pic of the ladies.

And here is a bonus felt, keeping with the cat theme.

Thanks to my talented coworker, Carolanne, for drawing the original "Amish cat" image.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm a Little Kawaii Teapot

I bet you have heard this one before, but do you know the second verse? I didn't! 

I'm a little teapot, short and stout,
Here is my handle, here is my spout. 
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout,
Tip me over and pour me out!

I'm a clever teapot, yes it's true
Let me show you what I can do
I can change my handle and my spout.
Just tip me over and pour me out!

Nursery rhyme remixes remind me of the books of Jane Cabrera. She does such an awesome job of extending traditional songs. Her bright, bold illustrations are pretty great as well. I use her jungle-fied "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "The Wheels on the Bus" over and over at storytime. They can be shortened for toddlers or read in full with the preschoolers.

Image result for jane cabrera

Image result for jane cabrera

And look, here is a nonplussed aloe plant.

Thanks to Jessica from Storytime in the Stacks for hosting this weeks:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

This is my absolute favorite babytime rhyme. First you start out gently swinging the baby like a pendulum. Then "Stop!" and figure out what time it is. 
To finish, you lift the baby up in the air and say "Cuckoo!" for each hour. Repeat.
Start with one o'clock and keep going until your arms are too tired. Members of the armed services are welcome to continue to 24 o'clock.

Toddlers love it too! Have them rock back and forth and then jump up at the end while shouting "Cuckoo!"

Here is the rhyme:
Tick tock, tick tock, 
I'm a little cuckoo clock. 
Tick tock, tick tock. Stop! 
What time is it? 
It's one o'clock…Cuckoo!

Thanks to Bridget from What is Bridget Reading? for Hosting this week's Flannel Friday!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Neko Atsume and Bananya

There are some serious cat-loving folks working at my library, myself included. 

Several times a year, I get to create a display for our entryway. This summer, I asked everyone who loves their cat to put a picture in a folder on our shared drive for a secret project. I then converted their cats into felt Neko Atsume versions. The results were purrfect!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bubble Bubble Pop!

This one came from the folks at jbrary. Watch them sing it to learn the motions. Despite its blatant perpetuation of science myth (that fish make air bubbles when breathing), I love using this at storytime.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Placeholder for Flannel Friday 7/21/2017

Hey everyone! 
Summer Reading has me feeling like the above cat...

Looks like I'm the only one so far this week!
Here is a new one:
Bubble Bubble Pop

and a rerun:
Clap your hands and stop!

You have found the place for this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up.
I'll still add posts as they come in!

Please leave your links in the comments.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Clap Your Hands and STOP! (aka. the best centering activity...ever!!!)

I'm always on the lookout for a new activity to get the rowdies focused during storytime. When they won't pay attention to anything and it is descending into total chaos, this game never fails to get the crowd redirected. It is super simple and super effective. Clap your hands and stop.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Toot Toot, Beep Beep: Traffic Light [aka. Ignition (remix) Pt. 2]

Emma Garcia's books are always a big hit at Toddler storytime. Too bad they are currently only "in print" in the board book format. Most of my library's large format picture book copies are getting pretty ratty due to high circulation. I made these to bring "Toot Toot, Beep Beep" off the page and onto to the feltboard.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Song Cube 2.0 (aka Fly Like a D6)

Behold the new improved d6 of singing! So fly!

My first attempt at making a song cube looked really cool but had some issues. 

(Thanks to Mel's Desk for sharing the original idea!) The cube introduced a nice bit of randomness (and gambling) to my Toddler storytimes. Unfortunately, it was made of styrofoam and got a little too crunchy when it hit the floor. Also, I used velcro to attach my felt pieces, hoping I could easily switch them out. They tended to get floppy and fall off.

This newest version has upholstery foam on the inside, wrapped with a layer of felt. The images are stuck directly to it with fabric glue. I have high hopes about its structural integrity and rollability.

My plan is to have kids volunteer to roll it. I'm a little worried about hurt feelings: children being upset if they don't get picked or someone not wanting to let go of the cube. Hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. If you have experience with this kind of crowd participation, I'd love your input in the comments section!

Below are the songs I chose, with helpful links to the awesome Jbrary ladies singing them. I've been wanting to do their "Pop! Goes the Berry" for a while. We will only sing the first verse/chorus to keep the program hopping.

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round,
round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all through the town.

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)

Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.

The itsy bitsy spider
Went up the water spout
Down came the rain and
Washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
Now the itsy bitsy spider
Went up the spout again

One little red fish swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water, swimming in the water.
One little red fish swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, pop.

All around the strawberry fields,
We picked some juicy berries
We brought them home and washed them off,
Pop! Go the berries! (jump up on "pop")

Thanks to Anne at So Tomorrow for hosting

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kawaii Wars!

This "May the Fourth" display was a labor of love. I've been making the felt over the past couple years. All are mash-ups of Star Wars and Sanrio characters. All these designs are my own creations, so if you make some of your own and post them, please give me a link back or credit!

If you really, really like them, visit my redbubble page!
Not anymore...Sanrio shut me down! I take it as a compliment...

Here are the Sanrio characters they were based on:

Little Twin Skywalkers


Darth Maru and Hanatrooper


Pocha Solo 




Thanks to Shawn at Rhyme, Sing Read for hosting this week's:

Pre-Literacy Display

Considering the amount of time spent making all these felt things, it is sad that they spend most of their time stored inside a file cabinet. Luckily, my library has display cases that I get to use a couple times a year.

This month, I made a simple "I spy" game for the pre-k crowd using some extra flannelboard sets. Below is the display and accompanying signage.

Try this at your library if you have and spare square-footage that needs decorating!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dirty Diaper!

A well-timed song can change a child’s mood from bad to good. This rhyme is for distracting a baby/toddler (and hopefully the caregiver) during diaper-changing time.

(to the Tune of Frere Jacques)
Stinky diaper, stinky diaper,
Changing time, changing time.
Let’s take off the dirty one,
Let’s put on a clean one,
Glad you're mine, glad you're mine!

Thanks to What Happens in Storytime for hosting this week's 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

To Whole Foods, To Whole Foods...

When was the last time your typical parent went to the market to buy a fat hog? A fat pig? A plum bun, perhaps? Never, I'd bet! This is my update of the traditional Mother Goose rhyme, "To Market, To Market," including items more likely to be found on the modern privileged American's shopping list.