Thursday, February 7, 2013

Clowning Around

The circus is in town where I live!  Even though I've pretty much outgrown the circus, I enjoy presenting a circus themed storytime every year.  The circus theme is an opportunity to do clown flannel board rhymes and monkey rhymes and seal rhymes and tiger rhymes and elephant rhymes... Whoa! I can get carried away in a hurry!  I have a couple of clown ideas to share today.  The first is the flannel board story, Clancy the Clown. The story I've been using was given to me by a coworker.  I have found several versions online but I can't find an original source. I found one version here, but the one closest to my version is here. I made Clancy's hair with variegated color yarn and a LOT of Aleen's Tacky glue.  I also couldn't resist adding some glitter to Clancy's big red nose!  He's always a big hit!

I also have a song/activity that I use with shapes. I hand out felt shapes and tell the children to listen for the shape that they are holding in their hand. Then they come up and add it to the board.  They love this activity. The younger children get help from their caregiver or sometimes from the preschooler sitting beside them!
♫Send in the Clowns
tune of "This Old Man"
The circus clown
Came to town,
Wearing (circles*) all around..
There were (circles) on his head
And (circles) on his toes...
He wears (circles) wherever he goes! 

Change the *shape each time you sing the song as the children bring up their shape and add it to the clown's funny costume.  I did find it here with some other really great ideas! I made my clown out of pellon and added felt hair and painted his nose with shiny fabric paint. Don't ya just love the multicolored pom pom on his hat!  I also added velcro to the back under the pom pom, and under the hands and shoes. He gets handled a lot by the children and I wanted him to stay on the board while we were playing.  We all celebrate his cuteness when he's covered in shapes!
*UPDATE* 1-8-2017 -  I was going through my felt sets and found this cute clown craft that is a Home Extension. He's made of shapes that are easily recognized by the kiddos. This is an opportunity for caregivers to talk (ECRR) with their kiddo about shapes and spatial concepts of middle, over, under, above, and below as they assemble Mr. Clown.
So much Storytime Fun!


  1. I love your colourful clowns Kathryn!
    How exactly did you make the yarn hair - is it glued to some kind of backing? How do you get it to stay on the board?-it is probably heavier than most flannel pieces.
    I use Pelon too; isn't it great for easy tracing!?!
    Will have to "borrow" your great ideas next time I do a Circus theme.
    Thanks so much!
    Amanda Murray

  2. Thanks for the look...I used a piece of orange felt and glued loops of about 3" pieces of yarn with Aleen's Tacky glue to it. Actually, it stays in place really well without extra velcro on the back. The glue stiffens the backing enough that it holds it's shape well too. I love pellon for pieces that need detail. I'm planning to share a few more circus ideas soon. Come on back anytime!

  3. I love Clancy the Clown! I probably told it 1000 times when I first started using the flannelboard (25 years ago!) but haven't thought of it lately. I'm getting it out this week, thanks to you and FF.

    1. Great! Don't you love FF, everyone is so helpful and supportive!