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Flannel Friday: I Ganked This From Mister Rogers!

Some of you may know that I have developed an enormous Mr Rogers obsession. Long story short, about 9 months ago, I found out Amazon Prime offers more than 300 episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood with their Prime streaming service. I decided to watch one, and was immediately hooked. I was like, “this will change the way I do storytime FOREVER!!!” With that, I embarked on a crazy research project. I decided to watch AND read everything I could find about Fred Rogers. It turns out that this is a much more ambitious project than I originally thought. (Sidenote: I am a pretty expert couch potato. I was a film major in college, and I’ve worked for several film festivals, so I know how to get through video.)

I mean, 9 months, and I haven’t even finished these 300 episodes…and it’s not for want of effort or interest. Every single episode of MRN is FULL of CONTENT. What’s more, I have began to explore the MOUNTAIN of archival, documentary, expository, and professional development materials available through PBS, Fred Rogers Foundation, the Fred Rogers Company, and the (independent) and astoundingly thorough Neighborhood Archive. And let’s not forget the books, there are many, many, many books by and about Fred Rogers, Family Communications, friends, fans, etc.

Suffice it to say, I have been taken over by the learning monster. So much so, in fact, that I haven’t even been able to really think about where or how to start. So I am just going to start with the smallest little bit. But believe me, this is just the beginning! In fact, I am cooking up a way to not only share what I know, but I would love partners. I’ve had a few librarian friends contact me with Mr. R questions of various sizes: big, small, general, specific, etc. I think in all cases, I have overdone it. But I CAN’T HELP MYSELF!!! This post is getting away from me, so I will get to the purpose of this post: Flannel Friday.


Ways to Praise a Child is a magnet board I made for my Toddler Timers, but it would be great for virtually any age. In fact, it would a great tool for a parent workshop!

I was reading through old issues Around the Neighborhood on the Neighborhood Archive (This is a newsletter that Mr R’s production company, Family Communications published for parents and childcare workers when the show was in production…Unfortunately, I CAN’T REMEMBER WHICH ISSUE AT THIS POINT AND THERE ARE A LOT TO SCHLEP THROUGH, BUT GIVE ME TIME AND I WILL FIND IT). Anyway, I was reading through these old newsletters when I spotted a little blurb in the sidebar entitled, “Ways to Praise a Child”. I clipped it to hang above my desk. praise

Then, as I was staring at it the next day it came to me…”This would make an awesome storytime activity.” I opened a google doc, and typed up all the phrases, played around with the typography, and Voilà!” I printed it on magnet paper, and had a great magnet

When I used it in storytime, I just asked parents, “Do you ever run out of ways to praise your children? I mean, they learn so much, so quickly, it can be hard to think of what to say without sounding like a broken record!” Everyone loved this, parents, AND ESPECIALLY THE KIDS! In fact, they loved it so much, we didn’t have a chance to read any books. The kids loved hearing the praise out of context. And during playtime, they weren’t only repeating the various phrases, they were demonstrating the behavior that triggered the praise! How cool is that?

It just goes to show, WE NEED TO STUDY MISTER ROGERS NEIGHBORHOOD! Kids, parents, teachers, and especially librarians must dig into this material! It will change your work and your life.

I can share the doc, if anyone would like to use it.  Happy Friday! Megan is our lovely host this week…Thanks Megan!




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Flannel Friday: There’s a Rabbit

Hey two Flannel Fridays in a row–I’m almost on a roll!

This is an adorable piggyback+prop song for toddler times. The best part is you probably have the supplies in an odds-and-ends drawer somewhere. All you need is some sort of small basket and some sort of rabbit toy.

I found it in my new favorite book from our teacher collection, More Than Singing: Discovering Music in Preschool and Kindergarten by Sally Moomaw.


It’s a fun way to explore concepts like inside, on top, behind, etc.

There’s a Rabbit (tune: “Put Your Finger on Your Nose”)
There’s a rabbit in his hutch, in his hutch.
There’s a rabbit in his hutch, in his hutch.
Oh, I think he might be hungry and he’s looking for his lunch.
There’s a rabbit in his hutch, in his hutch.


Cheers, dears!


Flannel Friday: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons… Plus a GIVEAWAY!

Happy Flannel Friday!

I’ve been in a storytime/program tornado this fall. I keep promising to get back in the swing of blogging, but then I’ve seriously been so busy, that I just run out of time and brain power (seriously, I just typed brian power, and could not figure out what was wrong with itIn preparation for our annual teacher workshop on the Latest and Greatest in Children’s Books, I made 3 flannelboards (compete with patterns) so I have 3 #FF posts ready to go!

Anyway this week is that lovable, easy-going feline Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin

I borrowed the pattern from But I wanted to make the shirt open(-able),

Pete is such a dapper dude!

and  (well, and I really I wanted to give Pete a bellybutton)  so I made a few changes.

Pillsbury Meow-boy! Hee Hee!

It’s a little more work, but this one is going to log a lot of  miles, so it’s worth the effort. Anyway click on the link above for MLF version and/or this one: Pete The Cat 4 Groovy Buttons for the pdf pattern I made for the teacher workshop handout.

It occurs to me that I had to do a little trial & error to assemble this little dude. So I will make a copy, so I can take pictures of the  how I put it together. Then I’ll do a special #FF giveaway.

Leave a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered to win the demo version of this flannelboard, and you won’t even need the “some assembly required” follow-up post. Cheers!


Step 1: Lay "head" on a flat surface.

Step 1: Lay “head” on a flat surface.




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!