Thursday, December 26, 2013

Three Little Pigs

Oh My Goodness, Ms Jenna has inspired me to return to the classics.  Ms Jenna's Three Little Pigs flannel set posted HERE  is absolutely adorable!! I used her initial ideas and tweaked a little and tested the story on my 4 year old grandson! Success! He loved it and used the pieces to retell it to me.  I chinny chin chinned and huffed and puffed and he wanted to hear it again! My ending has the wolf climbing on the roof to go down the chimney and the pigs putting a bubbling pot on the fire for the wolf to fall into. He howls, "Owwwwwwwwwwww" and runs out of the door and far away and the three pigs (all in the brick house by now) live happily ever after!  J. loved the howling and the happy ending. So did I! Thanks for sharing Ms. Jenna!!
The Three Little Pigs are so much Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Wish You a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I have several books and not-flannel props and a new flannelboard rhyme/game to share. One of my favorite toddler tested books is Nancy Tafuri's book, Counting to Christmas. It has large clear pictures and minimal text and a wonderful ending! I like to sing/read Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry. Here's a youtube link if you need to hear him sing it HERE.  I just sing it without any music so I can go slower or faster or even stop and make a comment if I need to. The pictures are big and beautiful and the ending is adorable!
My grandson and I have discovered a new Christmas favorite that is hilarious! Dori Chaconas has written a wonderful rhyming story with a very satisfying ending and Lynne Chapman's illustrations of the cows are absolutely hilarious! 
Since the main focus of the story is the tree dilemma, I have a not-a-flannel prop that I like to use. This is a bulletin board cutout that I embellished with a large star and glitter glue on the top and dots of colored glitter 'bulbs' to make the tree shiny and special. I use this prop with several Christmas tree rhymes.

I have a new felt set that I made this year. I used an Ellison diecut stocking and made 10 different colored stockings and added glitter!of course! I made Google images of items to match the rhyme/activity that I made up. I laminated the images and put a dot of velcro on the back. I hide the items behind each stocking. As I say the rhyme and give the clue the children guess what the item is. Here's the link to the rhyme Christmas Stockings.
I also wanted to share a couple of extras that I've used before and after storytime as activities for the children to enjoy. I used old Christmas cards (I save them every year) that had a small picture on the back that matched all or a part of the picture on the front of the card. I mounted the small pics on yellow construction paper squares and laminated the card front and the yellow squares. I lay out the cards and hand the children the small squares to match them up. The matching game is fun and helps the children learn to isolate parts of the bigger picture. My 2 year old grandson got the hang of it after a little instruction. My 4 year old grandson played it on his own and was very proud of himself when he got all the matches done correctly and quickly! The other activity is laminated cards that I punched holes around the edge and tied a ribbon in one corner so that the children can lace around the card. Excellent for eye-hand coordination.
 I hope everyone has a peaceful and love-filled holiday season!
Christmas is so much Fun with Friends at Storytime.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mmmm... Gingerbread!

There are many good smells this time of year, but one of my absolute favorites is gingerbread! Gingerbread houses are adorable and fun to make and gingerbread men (and women) are cute and Yummy! This is a fun, festive and not totally Christmasy theme to use right after Thanksgiving.  Jan Brett's cute book, Gingerbread Baby is fun to use with this theme. I tell parts of it because it is a bit long but the ending is fabulous!! This theme can include any Christmas cookie related books too.  Here's several gingerbread and a cookie rhyme for this theme. These 2 Gingerbread Man rhymes are fingerplay/action rhymes. I do put up my sweet gingerbread man at the end of one and leave him up for the second rhyme. I point to my eyes, nose, head and toes; pretend to run and then 'ta da' point to the board again when you say the last line.
Gingerbread Man
Stir a bowl of gingerbread (stir as in a bowl)
Smooth and spicy brown.
Roll it with a rolling pin (pretend to roll back and forth with a rolling pin)
Up and up and down.
With a cookie cutter (hold up pretend - or real if you've got one- cookie cutter)
Make some little men.
put them in the oven (pretend to open oven and slide pan in)
Until half past ten. (tap top of wrist as if tapping a watch)

Guess Who?
I have big raisin eyes
And a red hot candy nose.
I have yummy white frosting
From my head down to my toes!
I can run, run, run
Just as fast as I can.
Can you guess who?
I'm the Gingerbread Man!

Five Little Gingerbread Men
5 little gingerbread men on the tray.
one jumped up and ran away.
Catch me, catch me, catch me if you can!
I'm pretty fast, I'm the gingerbread man!
4, 3, 2, 1,
No little gingerbread men on the tray
I will have to bake some more another day!!

Here's another 5 Gingerbread Men
5 little gingerbread men in a row
(hold up 5 fingers and wave back and forth)
Not gonna eat one, No, No, no.
(shake finger and head 'no')
But they look so sweet from head to toe
(look at felt figures and rub tummy)
Crunch, munch.... uh oh!!
(slap thighs on crunch, clap hands on munch, then put hands over mouth on 'uh oh')
* count down 4, 3, 2, 1, til *
No little gingerbread men in a row
Wasn't gonna eat one, no, no, no (shake head no, hold hands out )
But they looked so sweet that it's sad to tell
(hand binoculars to eyes, then index fingers run down cheeks to represent tears on 'sad')
Crunch...munch...Oh Well!
(slap thighs once, clap once, then throw hands up and shrug shoulders on 'Oh Well!')
I usually pretend to eat each felt gingerbread man and wipe the 'crumbs' from my mouth. This is always a BIG HIT! I can't remember where I got any of these because I've used them sooooo long! Ha!
Here's one more. This is a classic and I'm sure many of you have it too:
Five Christmas Cookies
5 Christmas cookies with frosting galore.  *mother* ate the white one and then there were 4.
4 Christmas cookies, 2 and 2 you see. *father* ate the green one and then there were 3.
3 Christmas cookies, but before I knew; *sister* ate the yellow one and then there were 2.
2 Christmas cookies, oh what fun! *brother* ate the brown one and then there was 1.
1 Christmas cookie, watch *me run. *I ate the red one and then there were none!
(*you can use children's names *)
I used an Ellison diecut for the little gingerbread men and 5 cookies with some white slick fabric paint on the little men and glitter 'sugar' on the 5 cookies. The big gingerbread boy was a gift from a friend many years ago so he's pretty special to me!  This would lend itself to a 'Frost the cookie' extension! How fun would that be?!  Christmas Cookies are Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

C is for Cookie!

Here's a fun interactive not-a-flannel prop for a Cookie theme.  I saw it at Read, Rhyme and Sing as a flannelboard activity but I wanted to make it a little differently.  I made up a rhyme for different colored 'cookies'.   I mounted a laminated poster board cookie monster to a box lined with black paper and a piece of black felt at the front of the box. The 'cookies' are some 3 inch circles left from another project. I did find a Google image of chocolate chip cookies for the brown cookie in the rhyme. I hand out the cookies and the children bring up the matching color cookie and 'feed' the Cookie Monster! Lot's of Fun!!

Cookies for Cookie Monster
by Kathryn Roach
Cookie Monster wants a yummy cookie treat,
Please bring him a *red, cherry cookie to eat.

*blue berry
*lemon yellow
*purple grape
*pink watermelon
*green apple (or pistachio)
*sweet orange
*brown chocolate chip

Cookies are Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I love Thanksgiving! I like it better than Christmas. I like thinking of all the things I'm thankful for!  It makes me feel so rich. One of the books I like to use at Thanksgiving is an older book, I Never Say I'm Thankful, But I Am by Jane Belk Moncure. We talk about what it means to be thankful and that we should say it more! It's so precious to hear little children talk about the people and things that they are thankful for. I have several thanksgiving flannels that I like to use too, especially my turkey ones. There are some really great turkey posts on the Flannel Friday Thanksgiving Pinterest board. I have one that I found at Mommy and Me Book Club called "Going On a Turkey Hunt!"  I used an Ellison diecut for my colorful turkeys. I got to thinking though, you could also make it a laminated file folder too.
I have ten little diecut turkeys that I can use several ways but I really would like to use them with this adorable song, Ten Little Turkeys by the Learning Station. I found another cute 10 little turkeys rhyme here.  Here's the link to the one I made up, "Ten Turkeys on the Fence".

Here's my favorite turkey rhyme/activity- The turkey body is colored pellon that I glued to a brown felt circle. I cut out a bunch of colored 'feathers' that I hand out and the children add to the 'nekked' turkey to make a beautiful turkey tail. The idea started with "Turkey Feathers" by Liz Wilmes from Felt Board Fingerplays with Patterns and Activities: Rhymes and Songs by Liz and Dick Wilmes. I used their turkey pattern but I wrote my own song to the same tune, Are You Sleeping?. Mine goes like this:
Turkey Feathers Game
(by Kathryn Roach)
Our poor turkey
lost his feathers.
Let's all help, everyone.
Do you have a  *(red) one?
Come and bring the *(red) one.
Oh what fun!
Oh what fun!

*change the color each time...
This is always a BIG hit!

I also have a sweet little 5 Little Pilgrims flannel set too. I have found it here and here.  I've used this set for years! The pieces are colored pellon. The food is separate so that I can add them as we say the rhyme: 

Five Little Pilgrims
Five Little Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day
The first one said, "I'll have cake if I may"
The second one said, "I'll have turkey roasted"
The third one said, "I'll have chestnuts toasted"
The fourth one said, "I'll have pumpkin pie"
The fifth one said, "Oh, cranberries I spy"
But before they ate any turkey and dressing
All of the Pilgrims said a Thanksgiving blessing.

Last year I shared a couple of my pie felt sets as a guest on Trails and Tales's blog. I want to make this pumpkin pie set from Read Rabbit Read  to add to my collection. Food is always something to be thankful for. I usually do an activity where I name typical foods and ask for 'thumbs up if you like....'. Sometimes I get a thumbs up when I name broccoli!  The kids love this activity and it gives me the opportunity to talk about how we all like different things but that's alright! We can be thankful for one another!
I'm thankful for everyone that's a part of Flannel Friday. This past year this group has enriched my life so much. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ABC Caterpillar

We have incorporated the 5 components of ECRR in our storytimes at my library and so we have increased the emphasis on recognizing the alphabet symbols as well as their sounds.  I recently made my own set of an adorable alphabet caterpillar to use with all ages of our preschool kiddos. The original idea came from Shelley Lovett at She has an awesome site!  I made my set as a color pattern and alphabet set so I could turn them over and use just the color side with the toddlers. I talk about the alphabet and put up the caterpillar face and have the kiddos bring up the letters to add to the board as we all say the alphabet together.  It's a big hit! I used a diecut to make about 2 inch circles and a 1&1/2 inch letter diecut for the alphabet. You can see the color pattern in the circles and the letters. The face of the caterpillar has felt eyelashes and mouth, google eyes and a tiny pom pom nose and pipe cleaner antennae. I used a lot of tacky glue!!  I don't let the kiddos play with this set after storytime.  At least not yet...I won't let them play with the face because of the small pieces that could be picked off and eaten! LOL!

Talking, Singing, Writing, Reading and Playing ... is a lot of  
Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall is Fun!

There's so many great themes to do in the fall; apples, leaves, squirrels and acorns. I've already posted about apples so I thought I'd post my newest fall set. It includes, leaves, squirrels and acorns! Of course, you'll want to use Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert and possibly her titles, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf or, for older preschoolers, Leaf Man. I also like Nancy Tafuri's, The Busy Little Squirrel with this theme. The pictures are big and there's minimal text. There's also the added challenge of predicting what will come next from the clues on the page. This leads to some interesting exchanges between me and my storytime kiddos. I love it when one of them has that 'ah ha!' moment and begins to understand the concept.

Here are some pics of the felt set that I made. I already had the leaves and had made a larger version of the squirrels a few years ago to use with another rhyme. I reduced the size of the squirrel on the copier and cut out many separate pieces for the 3D look I wanted. I've been wanting to make some acorns since I saw Katie's post here. I love her great squirrel rhymes and was inspired to make up one of my own. Here is the link;  Fall Fun. I start by putting the leaves on the board as I say the first verse. The acorns are already under the leaves. Then I add a squirrel and turn over the leaf to 'find' the acorn underneath as I do the other parts of the rhyme.  We end up with all the squirrels on the board beside a leaf and holding an acorn. We always count again at the end.  This works on that one to one correspondence as they count rather than rote counting. I think I got the pattern for the squirrel from an old Mailbox magazine many years ago. There are a LOT of Google clip art images that you could easily deconstruct to make your own pattern. I used black and pink slick fabric paint for the features and a google eye.  I had to put some glitter on my leaves and acorn caps!  I am looking forward to using this rhyme and set this fall. After I do this rhyme, I'll play 'Which One's Missing' with the colored leaves. They never get tired of that game!
Fall is always Fun with Friends at Storytime!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another Pumpkin Post.

Here's another not-a-flannel prop that I use when I do my pumpkin/Halloween theme. I cannot remember where I found this little rhyme. I've been using it for years! Anyway, I made two paper jack-o-lantern shapes and put black paper behind one and glittered white paper behind the other and then put them back to back and added a brown stem and green pipecleaner vine and green paper leaves. As I say the rhyme I start with the frown side and then turn it around for the happy face! It's always a big hit with the toddler crowd!

Little Pumpkin
I'm a little pumpkin, orange and round.
When I'm sad, my face wears a frown.
But when I am happy and all aglow,
watch my smile just grow and grow!

So much Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Old McRainbow's Pumpkin Farm

I just finished doing a Pumpkin themed storytime at a preschool to 10 classes divided into 4 groups.  It was a great success!  I heard, "Read it again!" or "Do it again", or even as he was leaving, a child said, "I love you!".  Of course, I replied," I love you too!".  *sigh*  That's why I do what I do!! Anyway, I used some old favorite flannel sets and a new favorite set copied from Sarah at Read Rabbit Read called Five Giant Pumpkins.  My set is a combination of felt pumpkins with glitter (of course!) and laminated Google images under the pumpkins. We even played a "which one's missing?" game with the Google images. This was a great hit!  But, I didn't have any interactive sets so that the children could get up and participate.  I realize, in that setting, there were just too many kids to really do the interactive game but I still would like a set for my library storytime or a classroom setting. I thought about it for several days and this is what I came up with:

Old McRainbow's Pumpkin Farm
by Kathryn Roach
There's a funny kind of farm where colored pumpkins grow;  
     planted by a funny farmer, Old McRainbow
         (chant or sing to tune of Mary Wore Her Red Dress)
       You can see a red one, red one, red one,
            a pretty red pumpkin on the farm.
(repeat with other colors as children bring up their matching colored pumpkin and add it to the 'farm')
        (speak the last rhyme to close the activity)
 What a funny rainbow farm with pumpkins row by row,
 Colorful pumpkins planted by Farmer McRainbow!

I die cut 4 of each color.  I plan to hand them out to the kiddos to bring up and add to the board as I chant/sing the color verse for each color.  I could see this being tweaked to apples or different veggies or fruit depending on the color. The first verse could be; There's a funny kind of farm where colored produce grow...  That gives me the chance to define a new, big word for the kiddos.  Rainbows and pumpkins are so much Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Growing a Smile - Teeth!

I'm typing this post after doing several Halloween themes and maybe the thought of all that Halloween candy is what reminds me of Teeth!  I know that's pretty random, but they do somehow go together in my mind, LOL! I found cute flannel rhymes to use with a Dental Health theme at this post and this post at What Happens In Storytime.  I was inspired to make a couple of my own too. I used pictures of my grandsons, who LOVE to brush their teeth, to illustrate my rhyme. 

J. is such a happy boy!
Growing a Smile!
by Kathryn Roach

When I was a baby, I had a toothless grin.
I began to grow and soon, my first 2 teeth came in!

2 on top and 2 below, my poor gums were so sore.
Then as I grew, tooth by tooth, my mouth held many more!

Without my teeth I couldn’t chew; my bottle was my treat.
C. is a fun loving little guy!
But now with lots of teeth there are so many things to eat!

Yes, getting all my shiny teeth took a little while.
But now I’m glad to show them off with a happy smile!

I actually had 4 pics of the boys from a toothless baby to these last happy smiling pictures.  You could use your own or some Google clipart. I mounted each pic on colorful paper and laminated them.
I also made up a color toothbrush rhyme that I made 2 different ways. I made a felt set of color toothbrushes and I made a cute filefolder version. 

My Colorful Toothbrushes
by Kathryn Roach

I went to the store to buy a toothbrush
I looked at each one, I didn’t want to rush.
I know that brushing my teeth every day,
Is an important way to stop tooth decay!
(sing the following rhyme to tune of 'Mary Wore Her Red Dress')
*I could use a blue one, blue one, blue one,   
A new blue toothbrush is such fun!
*repeat with each color...
(speak this last bit)
I liked all the colors so I bought every one.
Having clean, healthy teeth is colorful fun!

Here's a fun youtube clip of Raffi singing 'Brush Your Teeth'. It is on his CD, 'Singable Songs for the Very Young'  I just sing/chant this without the CD. I also found that Jim Gill sings, 'Hands Are For Clapping' on his CD, "Jim Gill Sings The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes" that has a whole verse about teeth and toothbrushing!

I used a Google clipart image for the felt and  file folder. I cut out the handle part of the toothbrush and glued on the white bristles and toothpaste and tube of toothpaste and then laminated the folder. I stacked the colors in the folder and taped a copy of the rhyme on the back. For the felt toothbrushes I did use some slick white fabric paint on the bristle part to give it a little more dimension.

Good dental hygiene is so much Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Not so Scary Scarecrow.

I don't really do scary Halloween themes for storytime. I don't read books that have ghosts or scary witches. That's a personal preference and presenter's prerogative. Here are some of my previous Halloween ideas; spiders, monsters and bats.  I do have a not-so-scary scarecrow that I like to use. I made this cute scarecrow many years ago from Liz and Dick Wilmes' terrific book, Felt Board Fingerplays with Patterns and Activites: Rhymes and Songs. I have used so many of their patterns and rhymes over the years. This is one of my favorite, most used resources!  Anyway, I did enlarge the patterns a little because I like my flannel sets to be big.

Let's Build a Scarecrow!

First the body,
Then the head,
a big straw hat,
and a scarf of red.
buttons for eyes,
a carrot nose,
a mouth made of stitches,
In two smiling rows

I made my scarecrow out of pellon and colored him with color pencils. There's two pieces of velcro on the back of the buttons to hold them on the scarecrow. I may have to use some tape because they tend to slip and slide when I put them on. His carrot nose and mouth are made of felt. I'm thinking of doing a little freshening with some yarn and slick puff paint this year.  I can't leave well enough alone! LOL!
My coworker introduced me to a cute little song, "Dingle Dangle Scarecrow" to use with this theme.  Here's another youtube link for the song.  I also talk about the fact that scarecrows are for scaring crows and not people. We talk about dressing up and pretending at Halloween.

We have a lot of Fun with Friends...and Storytime.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm Going Batty!

I have an adorable little Beanie Baby bat that inspired this theme for my Storytime. Last year when I saw this cute post by Amanda at Trails & Tales about Bats! I just had to make my own set.  I tweaked the rhyme by adding one more verse*.
5 Little Bats
*5 little bats were trying to behave
They hung by their feet upside down in a cave.
They slept all day until the fading of the light.
Then they woke and said, "We're hungry!" and flew into the night!
(alternate: Then they woke and said, "Happy Halloween" and flew into the night!)

Then I found an adorable song by Carole Peterson on her CD, H.U.M. - Highly Usable Music, All Year Long!; "Black Bat Farm".  I decided to make flannel pieces to go with it as I sang it. I don't use the CD because I don't sing the ghost verse.  But, it is still adorable!  It's a version of "The Green Grass Grew All Around".
Black Bat Farm
Carole Peterson - adapted by Kathryn Roach

There was a farm - *echo line*
A quiet farm -*
The quietest farm -*
that you ever did see...eeeeee!
A field is on the farm, the farm is dark and quiet
Chorus: And the black bats flew all around, all around
Oh, the black bats flew all around.
And in that field -*
There was a vine -*
the creepiest vine -* that you ever did see...eeee! The vine in the field, the field on the farm, the farm is dark and quiet

And on that vine -* 
There was a pumpkin -*
the cutest pumpkin-*
that you ever did see...eeeee!
The pumpkin on the vine, the vine in the field, 
the field on the farm, the farm is dark and quiet...

And on that pumpkin -*
There was a face -*
the happiest face -*
that you ever did see....eeeee!                
The face on the pumpkin, the pumpkin on the vine,
the vine in the field, the field on the farm, the farm
is dark and quiet...BOO!
Happy Halloween!

I made the field with two sheets of felt and pieces of yarn glued on as rows in a plowed field.  The vine is green ribbon with some velcro under the pieces of felt glued to the 'B' and exclamation point.  I glued the ribbon so that the 'O's keep their shape.  I cut out 10 of the small black bats and added a few each time I sang the chorus until they were all up on the board. The caregivers and kiddos soon were singing the chorus with me and everyone liked the happy Jack-o-lantern face at the end. I also got quieter as I sang the last part, "the farm is dark and quiet"... pause... then I said, "Boo!" and we all laughed and sang the final chorus together. This was a really big hit! Turns out I am a batty old lady after all!  LOL!   
Bats are a lot of Fun with Friends at Storytime.
update: Check out the rest of the roundup Library Village.  Have questions about Flannel Friday? Check out the Flannel Friday official blog.  Be sure to  join us on the Flannel Friday Facebook page and enjoy the great Flannel Friday Pinterest boards too!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy Trails to You...Cowboys!

Cowboys is a really fun storytime theme. I found some Pinterest boards with ideas. Here's one from Colleen at Teaching Heart and Jana's board here. Here's another from Linda Martin that has some really adorable pins.  Anyway, a few years ago I decided to put together a Cowboy storytime. I couldn't find many rhymes so I made up several to fill in my theme.  The titles are links to the rhymes.

Cowboy Boots! 
I can't remember where I got the pattern for the boots since I made these several years ago.  It could have been a Mailbox magazine pattern. I subscribed to Mailbox magazine when I taught preschool many years ago. I'm sure you could find a clipart pic that would work. I love the glitter and large sequin 'spurs' of these colorful boots!

I also made up a rhyme about Cowboy Joe and his colorful Cowboy Hats!  Cowboy Joe wears a different color hat each day of the week.  I made this set out of pellon and embellished with glitter, sequins and fabric paint.                                                 
I found 2 new picture books that fit the Cowboy theme. The first might be storytime material; Cowboy Boyd and Mighty Calliope by Lisa Moser. Another really cute book that would be better for reading at home is Giddy-up Daddy! written and illustrated by Troy Cummings. The only slightly cowboyish song that I have right now is Mama Don't Allow. We love to clap our hands and stomp our feet and bounce up and down and spin around; but our favorite is to shout, "Yee-Haw!" in storytime. *Update* I found a funny cowboy song, "The Cowboy Song": a funny song by Bryant Oden. 
Cowboys, boots and hats are a LOT of  Fun with Friends at Storytime!!