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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: Hurty Gertie!

My Flannel Friday this week was stolen from the brilliant storytime katie. I fell in love with her band-aid storytime activity. According to her blog post, the idea was inspired via crowd-sourcing…GO TEAM #FF!!!

In the past I have mentioned that I am one of the all-time worst puppeteers. For a while I tried to improve my skills, but I’m a lost cause. I am simply too used to my hand being a hand, I just can’t carry on a conversation with it. I get distracted, and I forget who is saying what… it’s pretty pathetic. At some point I noticed it was making parents uncomfortable, and I decided to give it up, and go puppetless.

Then one day I was walking through Constructive Playthings, and came face-to-face with the cutest, fuzziest little puppet face I have ever seen. It was love at first sight. I actually tried to talk myself out of buying her. But once, I picked her up, I just couldn’t leave her at the store.  (writing this, I realize it is very similar to the story of how I ended up with my 2 dogs) Still, I wasn’t convinced that the kids would like her. She kind of intense, not subtle at all.

Oh I forgot to mention my favorite thing about Gertie. The real magic is that she has a squeaker. So I don’t have to worry about providing a voice for her.  I tell the kids that Gertie, “talks funny, in her own special language” and that seems to suffice.

The kids llllloooooovvvvee her. I’ve only been using her for a few weeks, but already if I forget to bring her out, the kids start asking about her. “Ms. Cate is Gertie sick?” “Ms. Cate, it’s time for Gertie to wake up for storytime.” “Ms. Cate, did you leave Gertie at home?”

As much as kids hate boo-boos, they lllooooovvvvee band-aids. And this will give Gertie a little more face-time. I will try it next week, and let you know how it goes.

We’ll say something like, “Uh oh! Gertie bumped her ear! Is it hurty, Gertie? Let’s put a band-aid right here!”

I’ll try to come up with a decent rhyme over the weekend.  In the meantime, here’s a picture of Gertie convalescing on my sofa.

Poor Gertie! She's had a rough day.

Katie is hosting the #FFRU this week.

Hit the colorful #FF button in the sidebar for the growing archive.


Flannel Friday: The Was A Bold Lady Who Wanted A Star

This week’s (very late thanks to technical difficulties) #FF is:

There Was A Bold Lady Who Wanted A Star by Charise Mericle Harper

I love this version of the well-worn storytime rhyme. Sadly my library doesn’t own a copy, and it’s out of print. But I want to use it for storytime. So I was thrilled saw this pattern for a flannelized version in Storytime Magic.  What can I say, I love a broad has chutzpah! Anyway, here’s a picture:

(sans the airplane. I set it out to dry, but now I can't find the #*@#$ thing!)

Anyway, I may be too late for the #FFRU… Sorry folks. But check out Andrea’s blog and the #FF pinterest archive for more storytime ideas.

Cheers dears!


Flannel Friday: Hey, Mr. Snowman

I swiped this one from the lovely Miss Allison. My storytimers went soooooooooooo bananas over it, that did it twice.

Hey, Mr. Snowman

It goes like this:

I went walking through a winter wonderland
I spied a snowman who needed a hand.

“hey Mr. snowman what do you need?”
“I need 2 eyes so I can see.”

“hey Mr. snowman what do you need?”
“I need 1 carrot nose so that I can sniff”

“hey Mr. snowman what do you need?”
“I need 2 stick arms so I can wave.”

“hey Mr. snowman what do you need?”
“I need 2 blue mittens to warm my hands”

“hey Mr. snowman what do you need?”
“I need 2 red boots on my feet”

“hey Mr. snowman what do you need?”
“I need one purple scarf to stay cozy”

“hey Mr. snowman what do you need?”
“I need a top hat to look snazzy!”

Once again, thank you Allison for such a delightful flannel board. My storytimers and I will enjoy for many storytimes to come!

For more awesome storytime ideas, check out the #FFRU Anna’s blog

And if you need 600 more awesome ideas, hit the rainbow-licious button on in the sidebar of this blog.

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Flannel Friday: The Jelly Bean Countdown!

Happy Flannel Friday!

I’m nearly forgot today was #FlannelFriday. In fact, I thought this was the first day of our break. I was going to throw up something old, but then a tiny dancer inspired me to create a new flannelboard for our collection.

Today is the 2nd Friday of the month, which means I began my day by hosting my very favorite program: Bibliobop Family Dance Party!  Unfortunately, I’m recovering from a cold. But it’s nothing a zillion cough drops can’t handle.

Anyway, we had decent crowd today considering the icy roads in this neck of the woods: 22 kids, and 17 moms/nannies.  After we cleaned up, and things were winding down.  I always get a lot of hugs at the end of this program (that’s only part of why it’s my favorite program).

When I bent down to hug a pair of sisters, the older one said, “Ms. Cate, you smell like jelly beans.” (I’m thinking it’s the cough drop).  The room went silent. Every child in the roomed turned to me, and I could see this fire flare up in their eyes. Before I knew what way happening, 20 preschoolers we running at me to get a sniff.

I was crouched down on the balls of my feet, so they immediately knocked me over on my butt and started sniffing like a litter of puppies. The moms lost it. They were all laughing too hard to do anything about it.  Once I got over the shock of it all, I started laughing too. It was chaos.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make a flannel board version of Jellybean Countdown.  This is not new to #FF. It’s a well-known rhyme, and a great addition to one of my favorite storytime themes: Yummy Stuff.

I used clip art to make the jelly beans. The originals were in b&w, so I colored them. Unfortunately the files are small, and even through their vector images, they didn’t resize very well. Anyway, might go ahead and trace them to make the images look better.

Jellybean Countdown!

Jellybean Countdown!

Jelly Bean Countdown
(Use real jelly beans 5 colors)
5 little jelly beans I wish I had more! I’ll eat the (color) one
Now there are four!
4 little jelly beans Tasty as can be I’ll eat the (color) one
Now there are 3!
3 little jelly beans Only a few. I’ll eat the (color) one
Now there are 2.
2 little jelly beans Eating them is fun I’ll eat the (color) one
Now there is one.
1 little jelly bean The last one for me I’ll eat the (color) one
I’m as happy as can be!

Happy Flannel Friday!

Check out the Flannel Friday Round Up. The lovely-and-talented Liz is our host this week!

And don’t forget to bookmark the#FF archive on pinterest.

And if you still haven’t had enough join us on facebook!



Flannel Friday: In The Driver’s Seat

Happy Flannel Friday Holiday Extavaganza!

I don’t mean to be a bit grinchy, but I tend to stay away from religious holidays in storytime. So here is a non-holiday-themed-non-flannel storytime activity. I recently came across this hilarious picture book.

In The Driver's Seat by Max Haynes

I made these steering wheels using clipart.


I made twenty of them. I cut them out and glued them to paper plates. I handed them out to each of my storytimers.  As I read the story, they “drove” along with their steering wheels. We all had a lot of crazy, giggly fun. The only problem was that they didn’t want to give them back. This group is an excitable bunch, so I just let them take them home. I can easily make more.

Library Quine is hosting the big Holiday Extravaganza! And check out the archive on pinterest.

Happy Flannel Friday everyone!


Flannel Friday Round Up 11.18.11


I’m here! Sorry for the delay folks, but this #FFRU is ENORMOUS! I think we have 16 so far this week. Is this a record? I’ll check and get back on that one.

I said in my post that I’d be happy to post late posts over the weekend (I refuse to skip a single football game this weekend (I worked Saturday, Sunday AND Monday evening, so I’m jonseing for the gridiron. GO BEARS!)

#FFRU 11.18.11

UPDATE: I am so sorry Tracey and Katie! I just saw your posts in my google reader account. I must have missed them on my twitter search.


Check out Tracey of 1234 More Storytimes awesome hot dogs!

And Katie of Storytime Secrets sings We Eat Turkeys!

We have 2 adorable versions of the classic homage to the matron of gluttony: I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. They are very different and delightful:

Alison of Miss Alison Is Blogging offers her version

Natasha the Arty Librarian’s has hers.

Anne Clark of so tomorrow has enough to go around in her version of ‎Two of Everything

Mary Kuehner of Miss Mary Liberry gets Froggy ready for his first romp in the snow in Froggy Gets Dressed! (Spoiler alert: He forgets his underwear! hahahahhahah)

The mercury may be dropping, but according to Andrea Flemming of RovingFiddleHead Kidlit (and me!) it’s never to cold for Ice Cream

The Metamorphosis will be flannelized! by Melissa of Mel’s Desk. She’s sharing her version of Very Hungry Caterpillar. (You’re welcome, Mel.)

Sarah of Read Rabbit Read is talkin’ 5 Little Turkeys! Like, gobble gobble, dudes.
Meghan, the Busy Crafting Mommy posted several AWESOME T-Day flannel boards. PLUS, she posted an announcement for a special Holiday Extravaganza Giveaway 🙂
Mollie of What Happens In Storytime… offers these 3 Marvelous T-day flannel boards

Linda of Notes From The Storytime Room adapted one of my favorite 398s: Gluscabi and the Wind Eagle.

Elizabeth of Read Mrs. D posted a delightfully colorful version of Turkey Feathers.

Sarah Holtkamp of AWESOME STORYTIME (and a former classmate of mine, hi Sarah!) offers this awesome autumnal sing-along.

Lisa of Story Time With The Library Lady is quite the foxy lady behind the mask.

Kate of Recipe for Reading offers a great big bowl o’ lemons from which to make sweet lemonade: Five Big Lemons. (I LOVE IT!)

Sarah‘s bears are getting shmushed in here adorable version of Five In a Bed. Those bears are #(&*$ing cute!

And if you’ve made it this far, you’re a champ!

Here’s my Reader’s Theater version of The Glerp by David McPhail. GLERP!

Had enough?

NO?!?! Well then get your butt over to the Flannel Friday archive on Pinterest and the Flannel Friday Facebook Group.

Ms. Anne maintains the schedule of #FFRU past, present, and future.

Did I miss anyone? If so, let me know.

Happy Flannel Friday everyone!


Flannel Friday: The Glerp (Reader’s Theater)

The Glerp by David McPhail

This week’s Flannel Friday is a pre-reader’s theater version of one of my top 10 favorite picture books. I’ve been flirting with the idea of doing RTs with my preschoolers for a while, but I’ve chickened out every week so far this year. Now that I have this one ready to go, I hoping I’ll suck it up, and give it a whirl.

If you’re not familiar with the story here’s a brief synopsis:

The Glerp is a gray blob. He eats anything that gets in his way. Yeah, you heard me…ANYTHING.

The GLERP was going out when an ant walked by.

BTW: Although the narrator opens the story saying “The GLERP went for a walk, a glance at the cover above clearly shows that the GLERP has no legs. PRICELESS!

“Glerp!” went the GLERP.

(The illustration shows an ant inside the GLERP.)

Poor ant.

As he wanders on, the GLERP crosses the path of a mouse, dog, lion… and cow. The more he eats, the bigger he gets. And despite his aching tummy, the GLERP is nothing, if not a blob of his word. So if it gets in his way, it’s going down his gullet. After all, a promise is a promise.

Meanwhile the animals take their predicament very well. (BTW: Since the GLERP is translucent, you get a clear view of the goings-on inside his belly.) Inside the GLERP, all the animals become fast friends. My favorite part is when dog gets eaten, and meets ant and mouse: mouse has his arm around ant’s shoulder. SO CUTE! They chat, dance, and “have a wonderful time.”

Finally, the GLERP meets his match: elephant. He tries to choke him down, but the tusks get suck, and “Poor GLERP” he sort of barfs out all the animals. Good sports that they are, the animals thank their host, and can’t wait for the next go-around.

Anyway, that summary got a little long, but here’s how the RT works. I took a twin-sized fitted sheet, and pasted eyes on it. (OOO, and the lovely Ms. Susan and Ms. Patricia from Matteson Public Library gave me the awesome purple fake fur (turns out, they make awesome GLERP eyebrows. THANKS LADIES!)


I used clipart to make animal “costumes”

Ruby as an Elephant. Fozzy says, "I'm King of the Jungle"

And here's ant, mouse, dog, and cow

As the narrator, I would hold up the GLERP, and hopefully the cues are clear enough that as I tell the story the kids would be able to follow along, and act out the story.

I let you know how it works out.

I am hosting (the enormous Round Up this week)

I apologize for the delay. It’s coming any minute now. Since I’m late, and I’ll be watching FOOTBALL ALL WEEKEND!!!! GO BEARS!!! I’ll gladly add them if there are late-comers. Happy Flannel Friday.

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Puppet-Storage Advice From the World’s Worst Puppeteer

Here’s another one of those “things I didn’t learn in library school” topics: puppet storage.

Around the time I started this job, they completed a medium-sized  remodeling project in the YS department. A major portion of the work happened behind-the-scenes. They remodeled the office space and built a staff workroom. We have a decent amount of storage space, but any YS librarian can tell you: there’s no such thing as “enough storage space” in the children’s department of a public library.

Two of the toughest storage challenges are puppets. Yes, they’re cute and cuddly, but they are also a huge pain in the ass to organize/store. (Please pardon my French, but I tried “patooty” and it just didn’t cut it.) In the past these were stored on shelves, garbage bags, in hampers, and in piles. Now we keep all of our storytime stuff (puppets, storytime books, big books, flannel boards, ellison machine, and puppets in the workroom.  Maintenance was nice enough to mounted a wire shelf to the wall. Then I heard that adult services decided to stop storing A/V materials in media pouches. I asked tech services what was they were planning to do with them after they finished re-cataloging the materials. They said “toss them”, so I asked if I could have them.

The bags started rolling in about a week later. Eventually, I had 2 ENORMOUS boxes of them.  I’ve put them to good use all over the department. They’ve been particularly good for storing puppets. They’re great because 1) they come in several different sizes (we use 4 sizes to store puppets: S, M, L, XL); 2) they’re sturdy; and 3) the clear window makes it easy to see what’s inside.

Most of the puppets fit in one of the 4 sizes. We place each puppet in a pouch, label it, and hang it from the bottom of the underside of the wire shelf using an “s” hook. Oh, and they’re in alphabetical order.

Ladybug is cozy

The larger puppets sit on top of the shelf. When the top of the shelf started getting cluttered, Ms. Shelley found clever way to repurpose old magazine files. She lined them up on the shelf, gave each puppet it’s own little seat.

This picture doesn't show the whole shelf, but you get the idea....Hey Ms. Cate, got any popcorn?

It’s pretty cute when they’re all facing out, they look like they’re ready to watch a movie.

Anyway, that’s about it. Pretty fascinating stuff, huh?

Cheers dears!


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Flannel Friday: “Buzz,” said the Bee

This week’s Flannel Friday was adapted from an adorable book in the “readers” collection. I nabbed the images from clip art.

"Buzz," Said The Bee by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

I think there are several versions of this story, but this is the one I used.  It begins:

“Once there was a bee who sat on a duck.

“Quack,” said the duck. “There’s a bee on me.”
And the duck said, “Scat,” but the bee just sat.
So the duck quacked again and sat on a hen.

The mayhem continues as each animal responds to the injustice of being sat on by sitting on someone else…

Hen sits on pig

Pig sits on cow.

Cow sits on sheep.

To finish up sheep said “baaaa” (take it off the board)

the cow said “moo” (take it off the board, and repeat with the pig, hen, and duck.

Finish up saying, The bee said, “buzz.” And that’s all there was.

Happy Flannel Friday!

Sharon is hosting the #FFRU this week at Rain Makes Applesauce. (And I see she made an amazing flannel board version of one of my all-time favorite readers, Baa-choo by Sarah Weeks! Does this mean the reader section is an untapped goldmine of flannelizing potential? I will investigate this matter, and report back.) And check out the #FFRU archive on pinterest.