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Flannel Friday: Popsicle

Jodi Koplin Is Awesome!

Jodi Koplin is my new hero. Founder of Jigglejammers and an early Wiggleworms instructor at the Old Town School of Folk Music here in Chicago, and  she’s been leading tiny tots and their old folks in sing-alongs for many years. She made a delightful album many years ago, but has mostly been touring and teaching for the last several years. I ordered it for the library about a month ago, after going mad for the short clips available on cdbaby.

Ms. Koplin’s ears must have been buzzing because she walked into the children’s department the next day to talk to our delightful program coordinator, Ms. Shelley, to talk about performing at the library.  To this day, I feel a bittersweet mixture of sad and relieved that I was working with a patron at the time. Had I been the first person she met at the library, I may have squealed, jumped up and down and/or tackled her into a bear hug. Suffice it to say her introduction to NPLD would have been less than professional.

Anyway, she will be performing at the library this summer, so I will try to get my star-struckness under control by then. Oh and, I highly recommend everyone get their hands on her new album, Jumpin’ Bean. It has many songs that are perfect for storytime.

Jumpin' Bean by Jodi Koplin

Flannel Friday: Popsicle

My #FF is a story stretcher (or rather a song stretcher) for track 8: “Popsicle“. As you can see, it’s doesn’t fit into the Summer Reading Dream Big: Read! Extravaganza. (Sorry!) My library is going with the iRead 2012 theme: Reading Is So Delicious. So this flannel board will fit that theme.  Popsicles are, after all ssssooooooo delicious!

I made 2 storytime props to use with this song. One is a flannel version, and the other is a folder story. I used both of them in my 3 storytimes this week (Prek Storytime and Toddler Time on Tues. morning; and a drop-in on Thursday), and they almost went too well. In fact, I wrote to Jodi last week and asked if she would mind if I made props for some of her songs. She agreed, and asked if I could send her a video. Now, I did try, but as I said the presentation were not exactly “film-worthy” The first day we did the flannel board version:

This is the flannelboard. The tongue overlays stick to the backside of the popsicle.

the kids bum-rushed me to get to the popsicles.We had fun, played the song twice, and then added more of our favorite flavors.  I got distracted, and wasn’t thinking about the camera placement. When I watched, the board was pushed completely out of the frame. The second time was toddler time. It’s a lapsit, and some of the parents didn’t want to be on camera.

On Thursday, which can be a total madhouse, I decided to try a folder story. Folder stories are a awesome for stories about changing colors, so I knew it would fit the song:

Slip construction paper into folder, and pull the sheets out whenever you change colors. Since the last verse is about eating rainbow popsicles, I taped one of the rainbow popsicles on the back of the folder.

I also decided to make sets of popsicles to pass out to the kids so they could have a prop to do the movements along with me.

Here’s a pattern if you want to make this story prop yourself: Popsicle Face. And here’s a pattern for the popsicle sets: popsicles

We had a packed house, nearly 50 kids and parents packed in to our storytime room. It was simply too crazy for a video. Also the parents were not behaving very well. Boo000000000. So I apologize there is no video.

I am planning make a prop for another one of her songs, and since that one won’t be quite as appetizing, there’s chance it will go a little more smoothly. So check back next week!


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Flannel Friday Update: Felt Board App for Android


Dave from Software Smoothie just sent me an update on Felt Board:

We have rolled and android version out on and Google Play. We don’t have a lot android devices to test on so let us know how it works.

You’ll find a version for Android on both Amazon and Google Play.

They’ve been super responsive, and open to suggestions, so let them know what you think!


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Let’s Make Something! Storytime

I started this blog with the intention of sharing my storytime plans. I want to do this more. So here I go:

I do about 2-3 storytimes each week. I do PreK Storytime and Toddler Time back-to-back at 10am and 11:30 am. I do the same theme for both. I also use some of the same stories, but switch out titles where developmentally appropriate.  Below I’ll indicate which titles I used for PreK, TT, or Both

 Name tags:

Handprint die cuts


My new favorite hello song is Kathy Reid-Naiman’s “Clap Everybody and Say Hello”. You can find it on Sally Go Round The Sun

Hi Gertie! Gertie, my storytime mascot comes out and greets each child. When she’s through making the rounds we all sings

Good night Gertie
Good night Gertie
Good night Gertie
We’re glad that you are here!


Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia

This is one of my all-time favorite picture books. This book works best if you use your whole body to demonstrate what each machine does as you read it. I have found it works best when I am consistent with my motions (duh, right? well, I’ve actually messed it up…AWKWARD!)  So before the kids arrive, choose a motion for each machine, and you’ll have kids and parents diggin’ it! (I’m not sorry for the terrible pun, HA!) Both

Two Little Pigs whose small homes in the woods have been accidentally destroyed by Bear and Moose decide to build a house they can all share, and with the help of Beaver Builders they soon have a fine new home. It’s a British import (I believe). The pictures are delightful. This story worked well with my preschoolers, but it’s a small group (around 10). I wouldn’t think of using it in my toddler time (which is about 20-28, including parents), even through they’re a very attentive group. I think some of them would love it in a 1-on-1 situation, but 1) it’s a bit long for them, and 2) the illustrations are loaded with detail. Regardless of age, I think you have to be able to get up close to appreciate it. PreK

Build It Up and Knock It Down by Tom Hunter

This is a really fun concept book about opposites. TT

The Magic Toolbox by Mie Araki

The preschoolers connected to Fred the Rabbit big-time. They were all jumping out of their skin to tell their own stories about their towers falling down, and how bad they feel when their towers fall down before they’re ready. They even started cheering Fred on at some point.  They also loved identifying the tools. And when they got to the bandaids, they all wanted to show me their boo-boos. PREK

Click here for more titles on this theme I will update this list in the morning.

BTW… A Few Words On Booboo Checks:

I’m a big fan of boo-boo checks. Whenever the topic of boo-boos come up, I’m always willing to pause the group activity for a boo-boo check. When it comes to pain, kids have a one-track mind. If the topic comes up, they can’t just move on. It’s as if the memory or idea of pain is so intense that it immediately takes over their whole brain. They can’t just filter it out, or move on.  They need some sort of release. They need to tell a story about a past/healed boo-boo, or show someone a cut they got this morning.  I don’t know why I started doing this, but at some point I realized that when I tried to shut it down, they spent the rest of the time staring and/or picking (ick!)  at their most recent boo-boos.

So now, if the topic comes up, I take a pause, and I go around the room and do booboo check. It goes like this:

Me: Austin, do you have a boo-boo?
Kid: Yes, (pointing to a tiny dot on his finger) I was running fast, and Jake was…
Me: Youch! What did you do?
Kid: Jake got Mommy, and we got a bandaid, and we talked about it.
Me: It looks like it’s healing up really nice. How does it feel now?
Kid: Hmmmm, good!

Once this is out of their system, they’re usually ready to go back to the story.

Action Rhyme

Hi My Name Is Joe (Both)

  1. Hi my name is Joe and I work in a button factory
  1. One day, my boss came up to me
  1. He said,”Hey Joe, are you busy?”
  1. I said, “No”.
He said “Push the button with your right hand.”
(repeat with the left hand, right foot, left foot, head, belly, and butt until the final round. When the boss asks if you’re busy, shout YES! and freeze.)

Goodbye Song

“The More We Get Together” I don’t need to write it out… right?

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Flannel Friday: 5 Fluffy Puppies

Happy Flannel Friday!

I have digging into our music collection lately for several reasons: 1) I manage the collection for our department (so I have to for purchasing and weeding purposes, 2) I’m developing a spin-off the Bibliobop Dance Parties (a popular program I developed the summer before last): Bibliobop Sing-Alongs, and 3) I’m in love with ECRR2.

I plan to start blogging regularly about storytime music. I’m thinking Music Mondays as a compliment to Flannel Fridays.

This storytime gem is a must-have for every storytime collection:

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump by Pam Donkin

this #FF is paired with an adorable counting song: 5 Fluffy Puppies by Pam Donkin (here’s a link to the mp3 download on amazon). It can be done in one of 2 ways: 1) a prop story using plush dogs like these:

pile of puppies

or 2) a reader/singer’s theater

Or make some cute felt dogs necklaces for kids to wear as costumes

I am hosting the #FFRU this week. And for more storytime ideas checkout the archive on pinterest

Sharon is hosting the 2012 Summer Reading “Dream Big, Read” Theme Extravaganza next week.


Flannel Friday Round Up 3.23.12

Hello Everybody! Happy Flannel Friday!

Here’s what’s happening in the world of flannel boards:


Hi Everyone. I am so sorry I missed the following posts:

Seth (or is it Sethers?) offers a fish only a mother could love: Ugly Fish

Andrea of rovingfiddlehead offers these lovely simple shapes

Lisa of lisaslibraryland offers these colorful birds

And here’s another sharp-toothed story from across the pond, libraryqune gives us Mr. Shark

Katie from Recipe For Reading offers this ode to a loyal little puff ball: Mary’s Little Lamb

Jeanie of totallytodder wrote an adorable original story for this bookish tale: The Little Red Book Who Wanted To Read

Hurray for Spring!

Kay Leigh of librarystorytimeabcs welcomes the spring with a small gray friend: Mouse’s First Spring

Jane of piperlovesthelibrary is also a friend to the tiny rodents. “Mice Are Nice” says she.

Tara of storytimewithmisstara offers a zillion excellent ideas for spring storytimes

Sarah of ReadSarahRead (holy moly, this is awesome!) is hosting a very delicate guest: The Princess and the Pea

Meghan of busycraftingmommy offers this ode to mommy-arms: Mommy Carry Me Please

Mary of missmaryliberry is splashing in the tub: 5 Rubber Ducks

The floor is rumbling over at @ Kari Ann’s blog mystorytimelife: elephants!

Blub, Blub, Blub: These Stories With Make A Splash

Mary of missmaryliberry is splashing in the tub: 5 Rubber Ducks

And these have bite!

Tracey of 1234morestorytimes is floating gently on the stream: Row Row Row Your Boat (but don’t let the alligator get you!)

Lucy of inthechildrensroom brings you this story from the under of the sea: Chomp Like A Shark

Sharon of RainMakesApplesauce has a litter of long-eared, nibblers: 10 Hungry Rabbits

Katie of Story Time Secrets isn’t the shushing type, so Let’s Make A Noise!

Katie of storytimekatie is rolling the bones to build the Lorax

Shawn of Read!Rhyme!Sing! is flannelizing for funds!

Susanne of Fussy Hen offers this awesome flannelized tangram 

Oh and here’s mine: 5 Little Puppies

If I missed you comment here, and I’ll update asap.

Check out the pinterest archive for ideas of #FFRU from the past.

Cheers dears!


Flannel Friday: 5 Little Robots

Happy Flannel Friday!

My #FF this week was a lucky find in the cheap aisle at Michael’s. This set of 5 rubber robot finger puppets is perfect for a 5 little robots rhyme.

5 little rubber robots!

The best part is it cost $1, and required no work at all. Well, until I realized I don’t actually know a “5 Little Robots” rhyme.  So I wrote this one

Hank has 5 little robots in his shop this week
This one’s microchips are fried  
and that one sprung a leak
Hank will give this one a look-see  (point to the one on your thumb)
He’ll know just what to do
And when this robot leaves Hank’s shop (pull robot off thumb) 
It will be as good as new!  (give an “OK” sign) 
(repeat with 4, 3, 2, and 1)

Anyway, it can use a little work, but it could work.

Anyway, Angela is doing the round up this week, so check out her blog for the flannel fandango.

Oh, and I believe I am hosting next week (that’s March 23rd, right?) YES! I am hosting next week, see you then!



Flannel Friday: Holy Moly, There’s An App For That!

Happy Flannel Friday!

Check it out! Felt Board is a new app by Software Smoothie, a husband-wife software design team focus on making innovative apps for kids.

There are about a zillion combination of backgrounds, animals, weather, outfits, etc.

The app is designed very much like an actual felt board. It costs $3, and you could make a whole mess of great felt boards  without a single scrap of felt! it’s amazing!

I made this 5 Speckled Frogs in about a minute.

5 Green Speckled Frogs thrown together in about a minute using Feltboard by Software smoothie!

Glub! Glub!

But that’s just the beginning. The sky’s the limit with this brilliant app. It’s easy to use, and populated with all the building blocks to make ton of storytime standards/favorites.

I am going to play around with this app quite a bit over the next few weeks!

Linda is our hostess this week!