Friday, September 28, 2012

Outreach Round-up, 9/19/12 - 9/28/12

I haven't done one of our regular drop-in story times in over a week, which is why there haven't been many blog posts, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy. I just sat down to count them up and realized I have read to seven different classes or groups in the last eight weekdays! I've been to the local rec. center and two elementary schools, and I've had three Catholic school classes and one after care group come to me. Every single one of the groups has been lovely, but since I repeated a lot of the same material, it would have been too redundant - not to mention time-consuming -  to post about each of the eight sessions individually. Therefore, I present my first Outreach Round-Up. Depending on how busy my outreach schedule becomes, this might be a regular feature from here on out.

Rec. Center Cooperative Play Program: Wednesday, 9/19

Catholic School Pre-K: Thursday, 9/20

Public School Pre-K: Monday, 9/24

Public School Kindergarten After Care: Thursday, 9/27 

Public School Pre-K: Friday, 9/28 

Catholic School First Grade: Friday, 9/28 

Catholic School Third Grade: Friday, 9/28
  • Book: Apples to Oregon
  • Notes: 100% perfect for this age group. The kids were engaged from beginning to end, and they laughed in all the right places. 

Flannel Friday: Mommy is Asleep

I have been thinking lately about finding more effective ways of using the flannel board. I have grown weary of many of my "five little whatevers" rhymes and songs, and I really wanted to start using the flannel board to tell actual stories, rather than just to fill the time between stories. I started looking for picture books that would make good flannels, and then realized many of the ones I was most excited about would be too much for my very young under-two audiences. So when I was at work last Saturday, I sat down and wrote a few very basic stories of my own, for which I knew I could also make my own flannel board pieces. This post is the second one I made, but I saved the first one for next week since it's for Halloween.

This one is called Mommy is Asleep. (I don't mind if you use this story or create your own version, but if you post my words anywhere, please credit me. Thanks!)

Mommy is asleep.

"Wake up!" says Charlie. 

Mommy is still asleep. 

"Wake up!" says Ella. 

Mommy is still asleep. 

"Wake up!" says Daddy. 

Mommy is still asleep. 

"Woof! Woof! Woof!" says Spot. 

Mommy is awake! 

How I Wrote It: 

I want to thank Cate from Storytiming for her very useful post from last November, entitled Flannelizable, Defined (Finally!). It was the first thing I read when I decided to create my own flannel stories, and I found her advice really helpful. I loved her discussion of using protagonists, concepts, and repetition, and actually managed to work these into each of the stories I came up with.

In terms of the actual content of this particular story, I decided to go with a bedtime theme since I had Pajama Story Time this week, and the concept of Mommy sleeping just sort of popped into my head. I started out thinking Daddy would be the one to wake Mommy up, but it's more fun when it's the dog. My audiences always love a little unexpected twist like that at the end, and asking the kids to bark with me will make it that much more interactive and exciting.

How I Made It:

For sleeping Mommy, awake Mommy and Daddy, I used this paper doll template. For the kids, I used a smaller template (which, I later realized, has six fingers on each hand.)

I used paper doll clothes from this website. For the kids, I shrunk the clothes about 67% using the "format picture" function in Microsoft Word (I had to do some math to do this, and when all was said and done, I made them just a little bit too small. It might be easier to just find a second set of paper dolls with the clothes already properly sized.) 

I colored everything with crayons, except the hair, which I drew freehand on construction paper and then cut out. (I just guessed at how big it would need to be, then cut it down when it came time to glue it to the paper dolls.)

I kept the faces simple - two dots for eyes, no nose, smiling mouth. For the sleeping version of Mommy, I made sure her eyes were closed and her mouth was a little bit different.

I glued everything together, then covered it contact paper to make it more durable.

Add velcro - and voila! Instant flannel board!

It took me over an hour to make the entire family, but I was sitting at the desk answering lots of questions, so the amount of work was probably a lot less than that. I think using paper dolls is a great alternative for people who might not have the budget to buy a lot of felt - or people like me who just find it difficult to cut pieces out of felt.

This week's host is Storytime Katie. More about Flannel Friday can be found on the official website.
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