Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flannel Friday: Dream Big, Read

I don't know if I've ever been this behind in summer reading planning. Traditionally, I have always started brainstorming in March, and I usually have most of my ideas at least in the planning stages by early April. This year, though, it's nearly April and I've only just begun to seriously think about what I want to do, and how. That is what I get for having a Spring wedding. In any case, even though I'll be in New York all weekend for my shower, I didn't want to miss out on the chance to participate in the Flannel Friday Summer Reading Extravaganza, so I've gotten my act together and come up with a few ideas to share. There is a good chance I'll be revisiting many of these on future Flannel Fridays for fine tuning, but here's some of what I'm working on:

Stars Shining Bright

This Christmas song by Nancy Stewart has alternate lyrics that will work for any time of year. I plan to cut out stars in different colors and sing the song either with the flannel board, or using popsicle stick puppets.

Five Astronauts

This is one of the first flannel boards I made, and the very first I shared for Flannel Friday. Since then, I have redone the astronauts using Microsoft paint, instead of my own coloring skills, because they look bolder, and I covered them in Contact paper this time so they will last.


I made a flannel board of this a long time ago, and have never shared it. I'm thinking of redoing it with larger pieces, since it is otherwise hard to do with large groups. I'll be traveling to a number of branches within my system this summer to do a moon-themed story time, so I want to be prepared for groups of all sizes.

One Fuzzy Slipper

When I made my pairs of mittens for this Winter, I immediately started thinking of other things that come in pairs so I could re-use the concept that inspired the song, One Red Mitten, What'll I Do? For Spring, I'm going to use boots, and for a bedtime related song, slippers. I haven't found clipart I like for it yet, but I still think I will.

Five Little Marshmallows

I got the idea for a rhyme about roasting marshmallows after seeing a few campfire crafts on Pinterest. This is still a draft, so I might improve upon it in the future, but here's what I have written:

Five little marshmallows toasting in the fire
They started turning brown as the flames grew higher
One little marshmallow was ready to eat
So someone came along and took that tasty treat!

I could also substitute an animal or person for "someone". My audiences tend to respond better when there is a cute or funny ending, but so far I don't have one. I'll keep thinking.

It's Baby's Bedtime

This is a cumulative song I wrote to the tune of Today is Monday. The idea is to print clipart associated with the various activities kids do to get ready for bed, then add a new one to the flannel board with each new verse. The verses are still a work in progress, but for now they look like this:

It's baby's bedtime
It's baby's bedtime
Time to wear your pj's

It's baby's bedtime
It's baby's bedtime
Time to fluff your pillow
Time to wear your pj's
And time to go to sleep.

(Continue, adding a new verse each time through.)
Time to hug your teddy
Time to pull up the blanket
Time to turn out the light
Time to read a story
Time for hugs and kisses

Five Little Moths

This is another rhyme I wrote. I'm not quite sure how I will make the pieces for it just yet - maybe I won't end up using it - but I love the concept of bugs attracted to a light after dark. And the clip art above might work if I make each one a different color.

Five little moths around the porch light.
until... one little moth says goodnight.

Count down to zero...

No little moths around the porch light.
So let’s turn it off and say goodnight!


I so rarely change my goodbye song, but for the summer, with this theme, it's impossible to resist a goodnight song. I'm learning it for the ukulele, so hopefully I'll be able to play while we sing, but I also thought it might be nice to pause between verses and put the different animals on the flannel board. The recorded version of the song only mentions a few, but I plan to use whatever I have flannel pieces and/or puppets for.

I love this year's theme, so I can't wait to see what everyone else is working on! Sharon is hosting the round-up this week. I will be back home on Monday to check it out!

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 3/27/12

I can't believe it has taken me two days to finally post Tuesday morning's story time! But better late than never. Here it is.

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes (2011)
I read this story through a few times before story time so I could memorize some of the text and therefore time the page turns with the words. I think it worked okay, but this book isn't as big a hit with toddlers as I expected, even with the big, bright pictures. It just doesn't have the same magic as A Good Day.

Rhyme: Hop Your Bunny
We did this rhyme once with one bunny and then a second time with two bunnies.

Rhyme: Five Eggs and Five Eggs

Book: Wee Little Chick by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by John Butler (2008)
I chose this because it had a lot of farm animals in it, which usually lend themselves to a lot of audience participation. They weren't really into it, though, and this book is longer than they were willing to sit for.

Song with Puppets: All the Pigs

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

Flannel Board: Here Stands a Robin
King County Library System has a song called Here Stands A Red Bird, which is meant to be an action song. My group isn't quite coordinated enough to do all the movements, since they're mostly new walkers, so I took the concept and adapted it to a flannel board with just two simple motions. Everyone sang along, and I think if we keep doing this one, all the kids will learn to start flapping. The tune for the song, by the way, is Brown Girl in the Ring.

Rhyme: Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up
I changed the words to this one slightly since I didn't think our large group could move forward and backward without trampling each other. So we did it sitting down and mostly moved our hands.

Song with Puppet: I'm a Little Green Frog

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: Put Your Finger in the Air

Song with Puppet: You Are My Sunshine

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

6 Tween and Teen Novels About Characters Who Are Speechless

Stuck in NeutralStuck in Neutral
by Terry Trueman
Trapped inside his body by cerebral palsy, Shawn can't communicate even though he can understand everything that happens around him, including the fact that his father might be trying to kill him.
Silent to the BoneSilent to the Bone
by E.L. Konigsburg
After his baby half sister gets hurt and falls into a coma, Branwell stops speaking. Can his best friend Connor get him to break his silence and tell what he knows?
Secrets of the Cicada SummerSecrets of the Cicada Summer
by Andrea Beaty
Lily hasn't spoken since her brother Pete was killed two years ago, but a duplicitous newcomer might just break her silence.
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Something bad happened to Melinda at the end of summer where she called the cops and got all her friends in trouble, but she keeps it a secret to avoid being further ostracized. 
Just ListenJust Listen
by Sarah Dessen
Annabel and Sophie stopped being friends, but Annabel hasn't been able to talk about why until she meets Owen, a boy who is willing to listen.
The Loud Silence of Francine GreenThe Loud Silence of Francine Green
by Karen Cushman
Good girl Francine never speaks out against anything, but when she becomes friends with opinionated Sophie Bowman she sees the impact words can have.
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