Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hiding Easter Eggs

I don't like to ignore holidays but I also don't go into full blown holiday mode either.  Easter is a great excuse for doing books about eggs, chickens, bunnies, sheep and spring!  One of the books I like to use isn't an Easter book at all. I love the book, An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long.  This book can be used in different ways. I read the largest text and let the children lead in talking about the illustrations on the page. I also use The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown.  sooo sweet!
Then there is the great song by Laurie Berkner, 'I Know a Chicken', to sing with egg shakers that I made out of plastic Easter eggs, rice and hot glue/super glue. The children LOVE this song! I do like to play with Easter Eggs.   I have a fun Easter egg rhyme that I like to use. After I present the flannel rhyme we play a game, 'Which One is Missing?'.  I have the children close their eyes and cover them with their hands...(sometimes their little fingers are leaking and I see eyes peeking! LOL!!)  I usually stand in front of the board and reach behind my back to take one of the eggs off the board.  Then, I say "Open your eyes! Which one's missing?"  Usually the older preschoolers shout out the color first.  I will ask, "Are you sure??" And then I show them the egg and we all cheer and do it again!  I'm trying to be more intentional about telling the caregivers the educational benefits of these fun games.  This game is good for;  following directions, being patient, visual memory, color recognition and FUN!      Here's the rhyme:

by Kathryn Roach

I’m hiding Easter eggs today,
I have lots of colors so everyone will say,
“Look at all the fancy eggs.”
Come on, let’s start the hiding play!

The blue one with the pretty stripes I’ll hide inside a shoe. 

The red one with the squiggles will soon be hidden too!

High on a shelf the green one hides, it has colorful squares.

I’ll hide the yellow fancy egg beneath my father’s chair.

The rainbow dotted purple egg I’ll hide beneath the sink.

Inside a bag is just the spot for this egg colored pink.

I’ll hide the bright orange Easter egg in a very little space

When someone finds this funny egg they’ll have a happy face!

Let’s look for all the pretty eggs,
We’ll find them one by one
Grab your basket. Come on let’s go,
Finding Easter Eggs is fun!

These felt eggs are about 6 inches tall and embellished with yarn, fabric paint, more felt, ribbon, sequins, and details cut from fabric. These make me happy!       Have a Happy Easter everyone!  

I'm reposting this for the 5th Birthday/Anniversary Roundup of Flannel Friday! Woo hoo!! Check out the other posts on the ROUNDUPCheck out the wonderful resources from the last 5 years on the Flannel Friday Pinterest Boards. Here's the link for the official Flannel Friday blog for more info!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We are celebrating springtime here at my library!  I'm ready for warmer weather and playing outdoors.  The daffodils, Bradford pears and dogwoods are in bloom. They are sooo pretty.  At storytime we wrote a big S for Spring, in the air with our fingers.  I sang/shared a book that is a song; Inch by Inch; the Garden Song by David Mallett.  It's an older book with nice big illustrations.   I found a great Youtube video of John Denver singing it on the Muppet show here.  I also read, My Garden by Kevin Henkes. Here is a flannelboard rhyme I made up a few years ago.
Flowers Grow In Flowerpots   
(by Kathryn Roach)
Here are 10 flowerpots ready for some fun.
I'll sit them outside in the bright warm sun.
(we say the color of the pot as I put it on the board)
I have 10 flower seeds that need a spot!
I'll plant each of them in a color flowerpot.
(we count as I put the 10 seeds in the pots)
Each little seed will grow to be,
A beautiful flower for all to see!
(I place matching flowers to pots with kid's help)
With sunshine* and water* the seeds can grow
Into 10 pretty flowers. 
See my lovely flower show!
(* = add sun and raincloud)
The flowers and flower pots are Ellison diecuts.  I couldn't resist adding some glitter on the flowers and the sun and rain clouds.  I used metallic pipe cleaners to represent rain. I used a couple shades of blue, pink and purple as well as orange and red and yellow for my pots and flowers.  We talked about the difference in the light blue and dark blue or light pink and dark pink shades.

I also sang  The Flower Song by Nancy Stewart, with the kids. I printed, cut out and mounted on green construction paper squares, Google images for a daffodil, yellow rose, tulip and iris. I laminated them and handed them out and we 'planted' each flower as the song played.  They were careful to keep the squares in nice rows!  I always identify the flowers before we sing and this time the children started to call out the kind they wanted.  I've trained them though to be happy with what they get by the little rhyme...(they can say it with me)..."Take what you get, and don't pitch a fit!". There's usually a lot of laughing as we say that rhyme together.   Actually, as I handed out the cards they were excited and showed each other what they had.  When the song was over and they saw the flannelboard full of flowers they were happy and proud.  I'm so glad spring is here!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Slowly Goes the Snail

In nature the snail is kinda slimy. picture books the snail is really adorable!  I found a book that involved two cute snails and was inspired to do an entire storytime around the little critters.  This is one of my favorite picture books. I know I've mentioned it before; The Secret by Lindsay Barrett George. The illustrations are large and the detail on each page leads to interesting comments as the children notice things meaningful to each of them. Mr. and Miss Snail are precious!  I used them as a basis for my flannel pieces. The other book I use with this theme is Hi Harry!; The Moving Story of How One Slow Tortoise Slowly Made a Friend by Martin Waddell. The children are really empathetic towards Harry as he tries to make friends but has no success.  When Harry meets Sam Snail they all perk up and are pleased that he has found a good friend to play with!
The classic fingerplay Garden Snail is essential when I do this theme!  The contrast between verses of the slow snail and the quick mouse is a lot of fun. With older preschoolers I like to point out that they are opposites. I have another sweet little rhyme about Sammy Snail that is fun too. I have a beanie baby snail that I use as a prop when I do this rhyme.
Here's my 5 Whatsits snail rhyme. I can't remember where I got it...I've had it a long time.

This Little Snail
This little snail peeked in the door,
This little snail slid across the floor.
This little snail came out to play,
This little snail slid slowly away.
This little snail said, "Dear me, dinner is over and now it's time for tea!".
This little rhyme gave me an excuse to make 5 cute little snails. I used felt and embellished them with slick, black fabric paint and little pearl beads for eyes at the end of the little stalks.
I've thought of a couple of ideas to add to this storytime with ideas from Flannel Friday posts.  Either this one by Kari Ann at My Storytime Life or a take on the Little Mouse hiding in the color house game.  I've also thought about making up a color snail rhyme and let the children put matching colored snails on the flannelboard.  I'm thinking laminated cardstock snails might be the way to go for that.
I found a really cute paper plate and tissue paper squares snail craft from a Pinterest post too!  Snails are lots of Fun With Friends at Storytime!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Here Comes the Sun...Flower

I know that sunflowers normally bloom mid to late summer but I'm so tired of winter I just needed to play with these happy flowers!  I have done several sunflower storytimes and I just LOVE the books and rhymes that go with this theme!  I used Sunflower by Miela Ford, Sunflower House by Eve Bunting and This Is The Sunflower by Lola Schaefer.  I also used the flannelboard rhyme, 'Five Little Sunflowers' with a Sunshine/Daytime theme I did 2 years ago with two wonderful books;  Hello Day by Anita Lobel and All In a Day by Cynthia Rylant.

I used Dr. Jean's sweet song, 'The African Village Song' from her CD, Dr. Jean Sings Silly Songs.  Another fun song is When I'm Feeling Up by Rick Hubbard from his CD, Rick Hubbard And His All Kid Kazoo Band.
I used a sweet fingerplay. Sorry, but I can't remember where I found it.
Sunflowers In My Garden
Here is my garden                                   (extend one hand forward, palm up)
I'll rake it with care                 (raking motion on palm with 3 fingers of other hand)
And plant some sunflower seeds in there      (planting motion)
The sun will shine                                      (make circle with hands up above head)
The rain will fall                                        (fingers flutter down to lap)
My sunflowers will blossom                (cup hands together; extend upward slowly)
And grow straight and tall                      (arms up high with hands and fingers                                                                         spread out)

Here's another rhyme I can't remember where I found it or if I adapted from another similar rhyme because  I've had it such a long time.

Five Little Sunflowers
Five little sunflowers growing by my door,
I picked one for Grandma, now there are four.
Four little sunflowers, the prettiest I've seen,
I picked one for Grandpa, now there are three.
Three little sunflowers, just a lovely few,
I picked one for Mommy, now there are two.
Two little sunflowers reaching for the sun,
I picked one for Daddy, now there is one.
One little sunflower, a colorful little hero,
I picked it just for you! Now there is zero!

And of course there's the simple counting to 10 song:
One little, two little, three little sunflowers,
Four little, five little, six little sunflowers,
Seven little, eight little, nine little sunflowers,
Ten sunflowers growing tall!

You can see the craft above that I did with this theme too.  My craft with my Sunshine/Daytime theme was very simple. I cut the edge of paper plates into points.The caregivers put a blob each of yellow and red paint in the middle of the plate and the children painted the plates to be the sun.  They enjoyed seeing the colors blend and become a bright orange as they paint.  All in all, the Sunflower theme has to be one of my favorites!!  The bright, happy yellow flower brings a lot of fun to Storytime!

  I'm sharing this post as a celebration of collaboration with other generous storytime presenters that love books and little children and fun and bigger kids and singing and grandparents and games and sharing with one another!  I so appreciate the community of Flannel Friday! It's always Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Yummy for my Tummy

I shared a National Nutrition Month Special Storytime this week at my library.  We annually collaborate with our county's Health Dept. to share nutrition and exercise information with parents and caregivers. It's a great opportunity to talk about N is for Nutrition and explain that big word to little children.  I love to hear big words coming from preschool children and I usually have a couple of word lovers in storytime that will use that word at home later!  I used one of my favorites for this nutrition theme, Burger Boy by Alan Durant. I had planned to use Keith Baker's adorable book, 1-2-3 Peas but ran out of time.  I used a counting color fruit rhyme (here) that I made up a long time ago with some not-flannel board props.   I used Google images of the fruits and diecut numbers and mounted them on different colors of construction paper and then laminated the papers. I just flipped the pages as I said the rhyme.  A great followup to the fruit rhyme was Laurie Berkner's  fun song, Fruit Salad Salsa!
I also adapted a rhyme I found here that is a take off of  Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  I call it, Brown Bread, Brown Bread. (Try saying that fast three times! LOL!)  I added some more foods and changed the ending to be more like the book's ending with healthy children looking at ...(name all the foods we used).    I used small/medium sized Google images of the foods and printed them on card stock, laminated and cut out enough to hand out to the children.  As I said the rhyme and put a picture of the food on my 'plate' on the flannel board, the children holding that food brought it up and put it on the large plastic plate I was holding on my lap.  I pointed to each food on the flannel board as we recapped all the healthy foods we had seen. We also talked about the foods we like to eat!  I gently discouraged saying 'yuck' about foods that other people liked.  I pointed out that we all like different things and that's o.k.!
Here is one of my favorite rhymes and flannel prop that goes along with  1-2-3 Peas:

Five Little Peas
Five little peas in a pea pod pressed,
One grew, two grew and so did all the rest.
They grew and they grew and they did not stop!
Until one day the pod went...POP!

I usually hold the pea pod vertically with two hands so that the children can see the 'peas'.  When I say POP! loudly, I thump the underside of the 'pod' and send the peas flying!  This is a big hit everytime!  Another rhyme that I do is Pea Soup. I can't remember where I found it. 
Pea Soup
One little pea jumped into the pot,
and waited for the soup to get hot. (* I put a green pom pom pea in my hand "pot" as we count)
Two little peas...
Three little peas...
Four little peas...
Five little peas...
Finally, the soup got so very hot,
All the little peas jumped out of the pot!  (* I throw the "peas" up into the air)

I wish I had had enough time to do all the 'pea' stuff. But, we had fun with the things we did! This is really a fun theme and a great collaboration with our county Health Dept. too!