Flannel Friday: Meeow’s Hide & Seek

I’m working on a new “Balls and Blocks” baby storytime to do soon. This month is our month to highlight “playing” in our early literacy messages, so I thought some books about toys that support open-ended discovery play for babies would be a good fit.

I didn’t really turn up a great book for babies that had building blocks as a main subject, but I do love the Meeow books by Sebastian Braun because they are so simple and yet model so perfectly that imaginative play that’s so important.

MeeowBlueTable

I’m going to read Meeow and the Blue Table, in which Meeow and friends turn a table, a blanket, and some building blocks into a castle to play in on a rainy day. I have a couple of bounce rhymes (like Here’s a Ball for Baby) to do, but was wondering if I could think of a flannel set to add. I thought about singing Down Around the Corner at the Toy Store and using a bunch of photos of toys, but I think even I have a limit on how often I can sing that song and I may have reached it recently!

So instead I thought of a game of hide & seek, which fits nicely into our playing emphasis. I made a Meeow face, and then large squares for him to hide behind: a red blanket and blue blocks, but also a yellow chair and a cardboard box, which appear in Meeow and the Big Box. The cardboard box is a square of a shipping box that I peeled off one layer so you can see the corrugated stuff from the inside. It has a square of felt on the back to hold it to the board.

Next I’m going to put a hold on Meeow and the Pots and Pans and Meeow and the Little Chairs and look for more items from Meeow’s world that I can add to the mix!

For now, here’s my set:

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Looks like Meeow is hiding behind the red blanket!

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I put up the pieces and talk about them, and then we look behind one by one till we find Meeow. For the babies, I like to leave part of the “hider” peeking out from behind the objects, so the 1-year-olds can be awesome “seekers” and see where Meeow is. With older children, I would hide Meeow all the way under the objects, and maybe give clues: “I think Meeow is hiding behind a pile of toys we use to make tall buildings,” or “Meeow is hiding behind something that is red and covers us up when we sleep.”

This week’s round up is at Mollie’s place: What Happens in Storytime! Check it out for more great ideas for storytime. Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday and upcoming hosts at our website.

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Flannel Friday: Orange as a Carrot

I was reminded of this set when I made the berries a few weeks ago. It doesn’t look like I ever blogged it though!

I now have three sets of food in the same envelope–this one, the berries, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar fruit. They overlap in different ways so it’s handy to have them all together!

This is a rhyme that I am sure I found online somewhere, but originally came from an old teachers’ resource book by Marlene and Robert McCracken called Fall. The poem as it appears in their book is:

ORANGE as a carrot,
YELLOW as a pear,
PURPLE as a plum,
BROWN as a bear,
GREEN as the grass,
BLUE as the sky,
BLACK as a witch’s hat,
RED as cherry pie.

I liked the simplicity of it but wanted to avoid a reference to witches. I also wanted to use it for a food storytime, too, so once I decided to adapt the witch’s hat line, I went ahead and adapted all the colors to match to foods:

Orange as a carrot,
Red as a cherry,
Yellow as a pear,
Blue as a berry,
Pink as a lollipop,
Purple as a plum,
Green as an apple,
And now we’re all done.

Here’s the pieces I made to go with:

Orange as a Carrot

The blueberry and the cherries are borrowed from the berries set, and the plum is borrowed from the Very Hungry Caterpillar set. I just duplicated the green pear and red apple from the VHC set to be a yellow pear and a green apple for this rhyme. Now I have a good set of foods to use in lots of different ways!

This week’s round up is at Danielle’s place: Stories with Library Danielle! Check it out for more great ideas for storytime. Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday and upcoming hosts at our website.

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Flannel Friday: Lily Pond

I made this set to go with the lovely song “Lily Pond,” which I learned from the Elizabeth Mitchell album You Are My Little Bird (you can watch a charming YouTube version of it and buy the track here from Smithsonian Folkways, yay, go support them). It’s actually a Vashti Bunyan song, though, and you can hear her sing it on this YouTube compilation.

This was fun to make and fun to sing–I added it to my revamped “All Singing” baby storytime plan. The clouds and sun reverse to the stars and the moon.

Lily Pad Day

Lily Pad Night

This is how I put the pieces up as I sing:

In a lily pond I lay
place lily pond on bottom of feltboard

All upon a summer’s day
place sun on top of feltboard

And I chased a dragonfly
place dragonfly above lily pond

All across an ancient sky
place clouds above dragonfly

Falling with a thousand stars
flip sun to moon

Down the Milky Way to Mars
flip clouds to stars

Back again in time for day
flip moon to sun and stars to clouds

In a lily pond I lay
point down at the lily pond

This week’s round up is at Laura’s place: Library Lalaland! Check it out for more great ideas for storytime. Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday and upcoming hosts at our website.

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Bryce’s 5 Questions

So if you hang out with me here at Mel’s Desk you know that I’ve struggled in the last couple of years to have time for a regular posting schedule. Well, I made it all the way through July posting every Tuesday and Friday and I didn’t want to ruin my groove but didn’t have a post planned…

…enter Bryce’s blog post from yesterday! She shared the five questions she is asking all of the youth librarians in her new system as she starts to learn about the libraries and gets to know the staff. At the end of the post, she asks, “How would you answer these?”

Here’s how, and thanks for the questions, Bryce!

1. Can you tell me a little bit about your summer reading program?

What I like best about our summer reading program is the baby & toddler record we have created for the last 8 years or so. Like many other libraries, our “reading” record for the littlest ones has spots for caregivers to mark off days that they’ve read with their babies, and also mark off activity ideas such as, “Sing the ABC Song,” “Name all the food on your baby’s plate,” and “Tell a story from your childhood.”

2. How/Why did you become a librarian?

After college I worked in a large independent bookstore and wound up helping in the children’s section because I knew so many of the books. There I fell in love with talking to kids and adults about books, information, and ideas, and after a few years of bookselling, left to get my MLIS. My library philosophy has grown and deepened over the years, but everything I do still springs from that awesome intersection.

3. What is you favorite part about working at your library?

I love my department. We are focused on child & family services for children birth through 5 years and everyone on the team is working at the top of their game and providing support to our community in different, creative ways. We are offering a depth and breadth of service that I think is pretty cool.

4. What are some challenges you face as a YS librarian at this library? Do you have any tips for me?

One of my current challenges is learning how I can provide ongoing, personalized storytime mentoring and peer learning opportunities to a team of 15 people who work at 6 different branches. Getting around to spend time one-on-one with everyone as often as possible takes constant engineering and juggling of other responsibilities. However, based on my first year, my tip to anyone in this situation would be that the time and effort it takes is completely worth it and will continue to pay back exponentially.

5. What is your favorite program you provide? Would you mind if I dropped in to see it sometime?

We are lucky at my library that we are able to offer a robust variety of programs specifically for our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and their parents and caregivers. I have to say though that regular old storytime is still my favorite: Here’s this amazing event that with the same basic underlying structure can provide a magical, rich, enjoyable literacy experience for pretty much any combination of kids of any age with any background in any size group that walks into the room.

Come over, Bryce, come over! You can drop in any time :)

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Flannel Friday: 5 Aliens and/or Monsters

I am continuing my Outer Space theme with this alien set!

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My green alien came from Library Quine’s 5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer, unfortunately she says her pattern source is no longer available. I was able to recreate the shape from her pictures though!

My inspiration for the other aliens came from Miss Mary Liberry’s easy-peasy monster tutorial. Each of my aliens, like her monsters, have a different body shape, different appendages and antennae, and googly eyes. Except I didn’t have the right size googly eyes at home so I spent some quality time cutting very tiny circles out of white felt and dotting on Sharpie pupils. And then lay down for awhile with a cool cloth on my forehead because seriously.

I wanted each monster to have its own color, shape, and number of eyes, so we would have plenty to talk about! In fact I am daydreaming about making a large set of these creatures, where the triangle-shaped one would come in all the other colors, not just red, and the square one would come in all the other colors besides yellow, and so forth. Then I could hand them out and put a spaceship or planet shape on the board, and have all the red aliens come home, or all the rectangle aliens, or all the ones with 4 eyes.

What I *did* do with these five is sing “One Alien Went Out to Play,” which is an adaptation of “One Elephant Went Out to Play,” which I sing to “Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play.”

One alien went out to play
In the Milky Way one day
She had such enormous fun
That she called for another alien to come.

Oh, AAAAAAALLLLIEENNNNN!

Two aliens went out to play…

There’s another version at Jen in the Library’s Outer Space Storytime post, and a few more 5 Aliens rhymes at the Sturgis Kids wiki, plus a different one from Vivian at As I See It.

There’s also fun stuff at the Flannel Friday Pinterest Outer Space board and some monsters-who-could-double-as-aliens on the Halloween board.

Kathryn has the round up at Fun with Friends at Storytime today! Check it out for more great ideas for storytime. Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday and upcoming hosts at our website.

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Storytime Kit: Outer Space

This is the companion post to One Theme, Three Storytimes: Outer Space in which I list three (OK five) related plans using various books and activities for different ages and sizes of storytimes. In this post I’m sharing the words and descriptions for the songs & activities.

First, for my Baby Storytime, I do these four elements every week, and the words and citations are at this page.

Open Shut Them
A-Hunting We Will Go
This is Big Big Big
The Sneeze Game

Next, my current Good Morning song is adapted from the Greg and Steve “Good Morning” song, on We All Live Together vol 2. I learned this when my kids were in preschool from their classroom teachers and it still makes me smile. My adaptation:

Good morning, good morning, good morning to you
Good morning, good morning, good morning to you
It’s time for our stories, there’s so much to do
Good morning, good morning, good morning to you

Now the booklist:

Higher, Higher, by Leslie Patricelli
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (my own big book)
Astronaut Piggy-Wiggy, by Diane Fox & Christyan Fox
Light Up the Night, by Jean Reidy
Moon Rope, by Lois Ehlert
Mooncake, by Frank Asch
How to Catch a Star, by Oliver Jeffers

What did we do? Lots of things!

One Little Rocket Went Out to Play
One Alien Went Out to Play
Sing to: Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play

One little rocket (or alien) went out to play
In the Milky Way one day
She had such enormous fun
That she called for another little rocket (alien) to come!

Two little rockets…

I did rockets for the younger kids and aliens for the older kids. When I introduced the song, I would ask, “What noise does a rocket make?” or “What does an alien say?” And then I would work the answers into the song. When you get to the last line, “…called for another little rocket to come,” then cup your hands around your mouth and say, “Meep meep!” or “Bababababa” or “Vroooom!” or whatever you’ve decided is the correct noise, to “call” for the others to come play. Alternately, you can just call out in a very sing song voice, “Oh, AAAAAALIENNNN!” before you start the next verse. This is a song I adapt a lot (see my recent Shark Flannel Friday!) so it may be that someone else has also adapted it this way, but I don’t think I came across it while I was surfing and planning.

My rocket set is clipart edited to be 5 different colors, and my alien set I just made:

IMG_0050

I’ll take a better pic when I write a Flannel Friday post for these guys. In the meantime, my inspiration came from Library Quine’s Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer post, and Miss Mary Liberry’s easy-peasy monster tutorial.

If You’re Going to the Moon
Sing to: If You’re Happy and You Know It

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots
If you’re going to the moon, this is what you have to do
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots

…wear your suit (ziiiip!)
…wear your gloves (clap clap)
…wear your helmet (pat your head)

This I adapted a long time ago for my Moon and Rockets Baby Storytime, but I’ve seen that others have independently adapted it too. I borrowed the suit verse and zip action from SLC Book Boy’s Outer Space Storytime. For the babies I do three verses, boots, gloves, helmet; for the older kids I add the suit.

Johnny Looked at the Moon

Johnny looked at the moon
Johnny looked at the stars
Johnny jumped in a rocket ship
And blasted off to Mars!

I learned this from the old paper files at my library, but I’ve seen it out on the web too. I don’t know the original source for it. I just do it as a bounce with the babies, chanting and bouncing for the first three lines, then lifting the babies into the air for blast off.

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon
Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon
If you’d like to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship
Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon

5…4…3…2…1…BLAST OFF!

I learned this from Jbrary! They learned it from Kathy Reid-Naiman’s music CD Zoom Zoom Cuddle and Croon. This was a big hit with all ages, all sizes of storytimes. It worked really well paired after If You’re Going to the Moon. “Now that we’re all suited up, let’s take a trip!”

I’m a Little Rocket
Sing to: I’m a Little Teapot

I’m a little rocket, tall and thin
Here is my nose cone
Here are my fins
When I get all fired up, launch begins
Watch me rise and see me spin

This I borrowed from Kelly’s Five Little Rockets Flannel Friday post–she learned it from NASA! Normally I don’t sing piggyback songs to I’m a Little Teapot because the tune gives me fits and I can’t sing it well, but I made an exception because I loved the “nose cone” and “fins” vocabulary…in fact I made it the basis for several of my literacy messages, about songs helping kids build vocabulary by using words in context.

Build a Sky

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For this I used my new flannelboard Outer Space Set. I handed out one of the white and yellow stars, the moons, and the planets to each of the toddlers, and asked them to come up one by one and put them anywhere they wanted. I had them come up piece by piece, first the yellow stars, then the white stars, etc. It wasn’t perfect but most of the grownups were able to help their children wait for the appropriate time. Waiting is good executive skills practice! When all the pieces were on the board we admired our handiwork, then sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together. From Jbrary’s Guest Poster Julie I took the idea to make my moons be in different phases.

I’m Going Out in Space
Sing to: Farmer in the Dell

I’m going out in space
I’m going out in space
I think I’ll see a planet there
I’m going out in space

When my groups were too big to hand out pieces, I chose a few pieces from the outer space set and sang this song. I do this a lot with my babies with different themes: going to the beach, the park, or “It’s wintertime you know,” all sorts of ways. After each verse, we’d look at what I put on the board and talk about it a little bit. “What color is this star?” “I see blue stripes on this planet.”

What’s Missing?

I mentioned this game in my Outer Space Set post and Miss Mary Liberry plays it too. Put up a mix of shapes on the board, then either turn the board towards you while you take one piece away, or hold up a piece of cardboard or a plastic bin lid to hide your actions from your group. See if the kids can guess which is missing! Once they got the hang of it, I would take away 2 or 3 pieces at a time.

Galaxy Stretch and Catch a Star!

Bend and stretch, reach for the stars
There goes Jupiter, here comes Mars
Bend and stretch, reach for the sky
Stand on tippytoe, oh so high!

I learned this from Annie, who shared it in the comments of my Moon and Rockets post. I’ve since seen it lots of places but haven’t been able to track down the original citation–does anyone know? From Tara’s blog I borrowed the idea to pair a “star-catching” activity with Oliver Jeffers’ book How to Catch a Star. I read it to a smaller Family storytime group, and we did the Galaxy Stretch, and while they were all still on tiptoe I walked around as Miss Tara did and gave every child one of the flannel star pieces from the Outer Space Set. They really had to stretch to grab them, it was very fun! When everyone had their star, I invited them to come up to the flannelboard and make a constellation, then we sang Twinkle Twinkle.

Last but not least, the closing song I used sometimes is the Milkshake Song, which is on Songs For Wiggleworms. It is a big, big hit with lots of our kids so when I sub I have to close with it or there is trouble in River City! <3

OK, *whew* that’s the end!

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One Theme, Three Storytimes: Outer Space

Now that I am supervising a team of storytime providers, I have the super fun opportunity to sub a lot more storytimes as I fill in for sick days, vacations, and other times the schedule needs a little help. This is awesome because 1) [spoiler] I love storytime, and 2) for the last 6 years or so, I only presented baby storytimes. I have had to exercise my wiggly-toddler and big-kid storytime muscles again and it’s been very rewarding!

Sometimes I know in advance I will be subbing, but sometimes I fill in at the last minute for sick days. I’ve started to put together a storytime kit every month that has everything I need for any age storytime, so I’m ready to go no matter what.

Here’s my “kit” for this month! In order to not make a mile-long scrolly post, I’m going to split it up into two. This post will be the three (okay I have alternates so it’s more than three) plans, just listing the titles of books and songs and naming any activities. The second post will have the words & longer descriptions of the activities. Both posts will link out to other blogs and sites that I gathered ideas from.

My three age groups are: Baby (0-24mo), Toddler (2-3yr), and Family (all ages, but usually planned for 3-5yr). You’ll see some overlap among all three plans!

BABY

Opening Song: Good Morning
Opening Fingerplay: Open Shut Them
Book: Higher, Higher, by Leslie Patricelli
Flannel Song: One Little Rocket Went Out to Play
Action Song: If You’re Going to the Moon (3 verses: boots, gloves, helmet)
Flannel Song: A-Hunting We Will Go
Book: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Fingerplay: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Bounce: Johnny Looked at the Moon
Action Rhyme: This is Big Big Big
Action Song: The Sneeze Game

TODDLER (version 1, smaller group)

Opening Song: Good Morning
Book: Astronaut Piggy-Wiggy, by Diane Fox & Christyan Fox
Action Song: If You’re Going to the Moon (4 verses: boots, suit, gloves, helmet)
Action Song: Zoom Zoom Zoom
Book: Higher, Higher, by Leslie Patricelli
Flannel Song: One Little Rocket Went Out to Play
Action Song: I’m a Little Rocket
Flannel Activity: Build a Sky
Fingerplay: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Closing Song: The Milkshake Song

TODDLER (version 2, larger group)

Opening Song: Good Morning
Book: Astronaut Piggy-Wiggy, by Diane Fox & Christyan Fox
Action Song: If You’re Going to the Moon (4 verses: boots, suit, gloves, helmet)
Action Song: Zoom Zoom Zoom
Book: Higher, Higher, by Leslie Patricelli
Action Song: I’m a Little Rocket
Flannel Song: I’m Going Out in Space
Flannel Song: One Alien Went Out to Play
Fingerplay: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Closing Song: The Milkshake Song

FAMILY (version 1, larger group)

Opening Song: Good Morning
Book: Light Up the Night, by Jean Reidy
Flannel Game: What’s Missing?
Action Song: I’m a Little Rocket
Book: Moon Rope, by Lois Ehlert OR Mooncake, by Frank Asch
Action Song: If You’re Going to the Moon (4 verses: boots, suit, gloves, helmet)
Action Song: Zoom Zoom Zoom
Book: Astronaut Piggy-Wiggy, by Diane Fox & Christyan Fox OR Higher, Higher, by Leslie Patricelli
Flannel Song: One Alien Went Out to Play
Closing Song: The Milkshake Song

FAMILY (version 2, smaller group)

Opening Song: Good Morning
Book: How to Catch a Star, by Oliver Jeffers
Action Song: Galaxy Stretch
Activity: Catch a Star!
Fingerplay: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Book: Astronaut Piggy-Wiggy, by Diane Fox & Christyan Fox
Action Song: If You’re Going to the Moon (4 verses: boots, suit, gloves, helmet)
Action Song: Zoom Zoom Zoom
Book: Higher, Higher, by Leslie Patricelli
Flannel Song: One Alien Went Out to Play

Resources:

Welcome to Storytime: Flannel Friday, Five Little Rockets

Storytime Katie: Space
Surlalune Storytime: Space
Miss Meg’s Storytime: Space
Library Village: Blast Off!
Loons & Quines @ Librarytime: Flannel Friday: Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer
Storytime with Miss Tara and Friends: Pre-K Outer Space
SLC Book Boy: Outer Space Storytime
Jbrary: Flannel Friday Guest Post Palooza STEAMy Flannel in Outer Space
Jbrary: Zoom Zoom Zoom
Miss Mary Liberry: Flannel Friday Monsters the Easy-Peasy Mac-n-Cheesy Way

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Flannel Friday: Outer Space Set

This week is the 46th anniversary of the first Moon Landing! I didn’t know that when I planned my Moons and Rockets storytimes for this week, but it was happy coincidence when I found out.

I was subbing for Toddler and Family storytimes in addition to my usual babies, and I wanted to make a new flannel set that I could use in different ways all week. Our storytimes are limited to around 25 kids, so whenever I can, I like to make enough pieces for everyone to hold one just in case that type of activity works out.

Some of the books I knew I would be using were:

higherAstronautPiggyWiggyLightupTheNight

Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli
Astronaut Piggy Wiggy by Christyan & Diana Fox
Light Up the Night by Jean Reidy (local author!)

The set I made had pieces that linked to these books in different ways:

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The set includes: five yellow stars, five white stars, three moons in different phases, one sun, two rockets, ten planets in different colors, one constellation, one alien face, and one glittery galaxy. So, there’s at least one alien in all three books, and a rocket in all three, and Light Up the Night has planets and constellations, you can see the Earth in Higher! Higher!, and so forth.

I used these pieces in a few different ways, depending on whether I was working with toddlers, or older kids, or had small groups or large groups.

Once I handed everyone in a 10-15 child toddler group a star, planet, or moon, and first asked the kids with yellow stars to come up and put them on the board, then the white stars, then moons, then planets. Yes, it got a little mixed up as kids became excited. No, we did not put everything up in perfect order. But it was manageable and at the end we looked at our outer space scene and oohed and aahed. Then we sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together!

Once I only had two 3 & 4 year old kids! So I gave them each a stack of pieces and they took turns putting them on the board wherever they wanted. I kept up a running commentary, saying things like, “Oh, you put that white star near the other white stars! Nice sorting.” and “That planet is purple with pink stripes…I notice that’s kind of like your t-shirt today.” Again, when we were all done, we sang Twinkle Twinkle together. After storytime, since there were so few of them, I gave them the pieces again to play with during our play time. When they were all on the board this time, I started playing “I Spy:” “I spy a red planet near a yellow star.” “I spy a rocket that is blue and yellow.”

For the big kids in a large group, instead of giving them each a piece, I chose 10 pieces and put them on the board. If we had just read Light Up the Night, I asked them to remember some of the things we saw on the outer space pages. As they remembered things like planets, rockets, stars, I put them on the board from my pile. When we had all 10 pieces up, I told them we were going to play a game, and I was going to take one piece away and see if they could figure out which one it was. I held up a the lid to a large plastic bin so they couldn’t see what I picked.

IMG_0042IMG_0043 2

That’s right, the Earth is missing! Good noticing!

Something ELSE you can do with these pieces, with a smaller group and older kids, is to hand out some of the pieces and then invite the kids to help you make a chart to see how many of each type there are. Here I used cotton string stuck to my very old fuzzy flannelboard to make a grid, then filled it in with the shapes. (You could also use cheap hairy acrylic yarn on a less fuzzy flannelboard, or masking tape, to do the same thing.)

IMG_0044 2

You can see I chose pieces for the chart that I had at least 2 shapes for: so one of the shapes could go on the top row as the “header.” Ta-dah! STEM! Math! Counting Sorting! Matching!

If you have too many kids to hand out, or kids who are too squirrely, to have them come to the board, you can sing a simple song as you put the pieces on the board. I often sing “I’m Going to the _______” to the tune of Farmer in the Dell, as I pull out props or show photos or put flannel pieces on the board. In this case, for one group, I sang,

I’m going out in space,
I’m going out in space,
I think I’ll see a planet there,
I’m going out in space.

I always stop in between each verse and talk about what we just put on the board: “This planet is blue and green. Does it look like a planet you know? Yes, the Earth! Our Earth has blue oceans and green continents.” etc.

I love making big sets like this because there’s so much to do with them! What would you do with these pieces?

Today’s Flannel Friday Round Up is hosted by Lisa at Libraryland. Check her blog tonight or tomorrow for everyone’s links!

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Calling All Early Literacy Librarians!

It is such an exciting trajectory to look back to when I was in library school (in the olden days) where we talked about storytime without talking much about learning to read–to the early 2000s when we started to learn about early literacy concepts via Every Child Ready to Read–to to the late 2000s, when state libraries and other organizations started to partner together to launch statewide early literacy initiatives–to the last few years, when more and more libraries are adding dedicated Early Literacy Librarians to their youth services departments. How cool is that? How much fun to be a part of such an amazing groundswell of learning and sharing and supporting families!

I’m really curious how the jobs held by those Early Literacy Librarians are shaping up and if you are one of them, either by title or by fact, I would love to hear from you! What are your days like? What goals and objectives are you charged with meeting in your community? What is in your official job description, and what do you actually do? Do you mostly work with collections, or programs, or training, or outreach? Or something else?

I realize that this should properly be a survey, and that I’m asking a lot! But if you are an Early Literacy Librarian, would you please share a few sentences about your job in the comments? I’m particularly interested where your tasks diverge from a more traditional children’s librarian’s tasks. Do you have any advice for libraries considering adding an Early Literacy staff member?

Thanks in advance!

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Flannel Friday: Berries

I am challenging myself to post a Flannel Friday for every week that I serve as Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother this summer! Today I tweaked a flannelboard I made/adapted for my singing storytime on Monday.

Berries Felt Set

I made the gooseberry and cherries a little larger, and added a cranberry. The total set clockwise from the top left is: Strawberry, blackberry, cranberry, cherries, raspberry, gooseberry, and blueberry.

On Monday I sang “Down Around the Corner.” (AGAIN. I *love* this song. And now all my grown-ups know it too and jump right in, no matter if we’re singing about berries or cookies or cowboy hats.)

Choose 5 of the berries and sing to “Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play.”

Down around the corner at the grocery store
Were five little berries and not one more
Along came someone with a nickel to pay
And they bought the blueberry and they took it away.

With babies, you can just choose the berries and sing straight through; with older children you can pause and ask, “What berry should we buy next?” or “Let’s choose a berry that is green. Which one is that?”

Another way to use these berries is to riff off of Jamberry. I saw one of my staff do this recently and it was a great chant for her baby storytime. She had five pictures of berries, and then without worrying about rhyming, just chanted,

One berry two berry
Pick me a … blueberry!

Three berry four berry
Pick me a…blackberry!

Five berry six berry
Pick me a…strawberry!

Seven berry eight berry
Pick me a…red cherry!

Nine berry ten berry
Pick me a…raspberry!

Or you could end with: “Nine berry, ten berry, let’s count again berry.” And then do the chant again!

What would you do with all these berries?

I’m hosting the round up today right here at Mel’s Desk! Check it out for more great ideas for storytime. Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday and upcoming hosts at our website.

Have a great weekend!

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