Not a Flannel Friday: 5 Green and Speckled Frogs

Welcome to Flannel Friday! I will post a round up of all the Flannel Friday posts at the end of the day, so make sure to come back to see the full line up. You won’t want to miss any of the fabulous ideas. You can check out the other Flannel Friday Round Up posts while you wait! [Ed: Flannel Friday Round Up 5 is here!]

Here’s a prop I just made for our bookmobile storytime librarian. I have seen this idea before (on the Internet? In a storytime storage closet?) and liked it because it is an all-in-one prop, no flannelboard or separate pieces necessary. I have no idea what it’s called. “Storytime Paper Towel Tube Song Prop Thingy”?

The frogs are on construction paper rings that slide around the paper towel tube. When you start the song, all frogs are right side up, on top of the log. As you sing and as each frog jumps into the pool, you rotate the ring around the tube until the frog is upside down and facing backwards, and the “pool” is facing the audience instead.

Here’s how I did it:

First, cover a paper towel tube with brown construction paper. I used a plain old glue stick.

Then use more brown construction paper to cut five strips 2 x 12. You can find your own frog images, or use the adorable ones I found in Microsoft Clip Art. If you use your own frogs, resize the images so they are no more than 2″ wide, and a uniform height. (Ed. 11/11: I am no longer sharing my clip art files due to copyright concerns, so I’ve taken down the link to the photos. However, if you search in Microsoft Word clip art you may find the original files I started with.)

Take each strip and wrap it around the tube. What I did was match the ends, then crease the paper where it met the tube. Don’t glue it yet!

When you have the creases on the strips, you can draw on some “speckles” to the center portion, on what will be the outside of the ring. I also tried gluing a strip of wax paper to the center portion on what would be the “inside” of the paper ring. I was thinking it might make the ring easier to slide around the tube, but now that I did it, I’m not sure it makes a big difference.

Cut a 2 x 12 inch strip of blue construction paper, and cut “waves” along one edge.

Take your brown strips and glue the top and bottom sections together so that your speckles are on the outside and the wax paper is on the inside. You’ll have a ring with a flap on top.

Then, cut out your adorable frogs, and cut your blue strip into 2-inch sections. Hold a ring so the flap is on top, and glue the frog on, right-side-up. Flip the ring upside down, and glue a wave section onto the other side. Remember, you want the tips of your waves to be near the ring, so they will be right-side-up when you slide the ring around the tube. Check out the picture to make sure you’ve got it:

Trim off the extra flap at the top of each ring.

Carefully slide the five rings onto the tube. Make sure your frogs are all facing the same direction!

Looks like they all jumped into the pool!

Hear the tune and the words to this song over here.

I’m trying to think of other songs or stories you could use this type of prop for. I guess any “Five Little Whatsit” rhyme would work! Do you have any ideas?

If you make your own Storytime Paper Towel Tube Song Prop Thingy, let me know! I’d love to post a photo of yours here too, or link to a post on your blog.

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25 Responses to Not a Flannel Friday: 5 Green and Speckled Frogs

  1. Anne says:

    I have seen those in some of the old Jan Irving/Robin Currie planning books. I think they called them tube stories but I like your term better! 🙂

  2. Anne says:

    Oh! And you can do Jack and the Beanstalk like this. You hold it vertically and the characters (and things Jack steals) can appear and disappear.

  3. Melissa says:

    Aha! Thanks for the lead…I will try to track down those books and see for myself. And thanks for the tip about using them vertically! I love it!

  4. Melissa says:

    Can’t take the credit–I stole it from someone else!

  5. Melissa says:

    Toni, of course! That’s a good idea! You could put blue sky and clouds on the reverse…or word bubbles with the word “Quack” on them…now I need another tube!

  6. Toni says:

    You could almost use it for the 5 little ducks went out on day song. That is waht I thought about.

  7. Katie says:

    I have never seen one of those before, but now really want to try to make one. I’ll have to wait until I use up my paper towels first though…

  8. Melissa says:

    Just wait till you start stockpiling all your recycling “just in case” you get a good idea for something! Have fun!

  9. marfita says:

    Ohhhh, I LOVE this!

  10. Melissa says:

    Hi all, Anne was right on the money! I requested some of the Irving/Currie activity books and they have ideas for “tube stories” in both “Straw Into Gold: Books and Activities About Folktales” and in “Raising the Roof: Children’s Stories and Activities on Houses.” There might be some in their other books, too, but I haven’t seen them to check. I searched on Google for “tube stories,” but only came up with references to YouTube and, um, stuff that’s NSFW, so I haven’t found any other examples yet.

  11. Tee says:

    What about the “no more monkeys jumping on the bed” rhyme? That would be cute to do tube-style!

  12. Coti Weeks says:

    What are the lyrics to the 5 little frogs and how does the tune go??? That is a cute idea!!!

  13. Deni says:

    This would be great for the story of The Chocolate Chip Ghost. Plain white ghosts on top, the food they eat on the tube and then the different colored ghost instead of water on the other side of the flap.

    There’s also the poem “5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate…” and the songs “5 little ducks went out to play…”, “5 little bears sitting in the bed and the little one said….” and “5 little snowmen fat….”

    The 3 little pigs story could be told this way. A pig on one side, his house on the tube, and destroyed house on the underside. Then at one end, the wolf and the wolf falling into the fire.

    Also, if you used a longer tube like a wrapping paper tube, you could tell the story “A Fly Went By”.

    LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Melissa says:

    LOTS of great ideas there, ladies–I love the 5 monkeys idea! Great thinking to include the tube as a place for an extra visual, like the house in the 3 pigs. The longer tube would be so entertaining! I’m going to have to get to work! Thank YOU for sharing!

  15. Melissa says:

    Coti, sorry! This is one I know so well I didn’t think of including links. I’m going to go back and add some right now!

  16. Janie says:

    love the tube prop- thanks for sharing!

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  19. Christy says:

    what a wonderful idea…the kids could use these as well to “retell a familiar rhyme / story”
    you could also do Brown Bear what do you see? and when you roll it over it is a hint to the upcoming animal (either color or animal)….
    the possibilities are only limited by what we can think of…this is awesome!!!!

  20. Melissa says:

    Thanks Christy! These are fun and I’m so glad I remembered seeing them! Do check out the Irving/Currie storytime books for more ideas!

  21. Vee says:

    Five Fat Turkeys Sitting on a Fence.
    5 little Pumpkins Sitting by a gate….
    If you do 10 sections you can have The Ants Go Marching.

  22. Melissa says:

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Ten ants would be kind of fun. 🙂

  23. Scott says:

    I’ve used this for a BINGO variant on fathers day. We did D-A-D-D-Y and it worked great!

  24. Melissa says:


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