Friday, 16 December 2011

Flannel Friday - Owls and Longevity

These owls were inspired by What a Hoot, the owl storytime post at Sunflower Storytime - I loved the colours and variety, and of course, the template!

Lately though, I've been concerned that some of my flannels are getting a little brittle and falling apart - I'm thinking I should look at a different type/brand of glue.  However, for these owls I thought I'd use a tip given by another FlannelFriday-er who stitches her flannels, and so I reinforced mine with a little hand stitching to see if it made any significant improvement to my flannel's longevity.

Five Little Owls
Here's what they looked like. I was fortunate in that I have a heap of leftover embroidery threads, so could match up the colours quite closely. My stitching isn't the best, but on closer examination, not too shabby, either! It was a little hard to stitch where I had already glued (so there are some areas I couldn't get a needle through).

Do have suggestions for keeping your flannels looking good through repeated usings? If so, please pass them on by leaving a comment below.

Owl closeup

Here are some links to Owl storytimes which will inspire my owl storytime for 2012!  Of course there's Sunflower Storytime's What a Hoot! and more at Storytime Katie,  Rain Makes Applesauce, and Recipe for Reading (apologies for ommissions). You'll find even more if you use Mel's Custom Google Search.

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Linda at Notes from the Storyroom and links to past and future roundups can be found at SoTomorrow. Images of flannel friday posts are displayed on Flannel Friday Pinterest.

If you still need a last minute holiday flannel there are loads of them on the Holiday Extravaganza Roundup.

FF Holiday Roundup

Friday, 9 December 2011

Almost Christmas - Last Storytime of the Year

Today we had the last public librarytimes of 2012.  We didn't have a huge turnout, but sometimes that makes for great group dynamics and participation!

Almost Christmas Storytime
As it was our last session before Christmas, I couldn't get away without doing something Christmassy so we followed the usual format with the addition of some holiday tweaks.

SONG: Hello, how are you? The great thing with small groups is that we can include a verse for everyone.  Most went a bit shy when in the limelight, but beamed when it passed on to the next child.

ACTION SONG/RHYME: This is big, big, big  I use this song (written by Mel, of Mel's Desk) so often, that now my Storytime and Rising 3's groups start singing before I've finished saying that we're about to do it!

NURSERY RHYME: Little Jack Horner

Little Jack Horner, sat in the corner

Eating his Christmas Pie.

He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum

And said "What a good boy am I!"

This is the only nursery rhyme I could think of with a Christmas connection - If you know any others, please leave a comment. 
We did it a couple of times with actions.  One of today's visitors can only communicate with a few hand signals and facial expressions (she doesn't sign). This rhyme could have been made just for her, 'thumbs-up' is her best sign! I got lots of those, and lots of smiles too (it made my day, I hope we made hers a little happier too!).

Home made mincemeat a la Delia Smith's Christmas
We had a good chat about pies and things that we leave out to sustain Santa and Rudolph - carrots, cookies, sugar lumps and mince pies. BTW mince pies are a UK Christmas pastry made with mincemeat filling (a sweet jam-like mixture of dried fruits, nuts, citrus peel and juice and spices). I make my own filling, although it can be bought. I've included a picture as evidence!

COUNTING RHYME: Counting Pies This is an adapted version of  Miss Allison is Blogging's Reindeer Cookies. I used clip art mince pies on a paper plate covered with clear contact paper.

Five mince pies sitting on a plate
Waiting for Santa
But he was running late.
Along came a reindeer and guess what he ate?
CRUNCH! [pull off one of the pies]
One of the mince pies sitting on the plate.
[Removing pies until there are none]

We also had carrots and cookies, just in case.

ACTION SONG: If you want to read a book, clap your hands

ACTION SONG: The Wiggle Song

STORY: Aliens love Panta Claus by Claire Freedman [This was very popular, lots a giggles and laughter from adults and children]

STORY: Happy Christmas, Boris by Sam Lloyd [A book with a built in hand puppet, who likes to do a lot of 'kissy, kissy!']

ACTION SONG: Rudolph! Rudolph! Turn around [an adaptation of Teddy bear, Teddy bear turn around ] We did it with our hands on our heads as a pair of antlers and the had a lot of fun 'touching the ground' and 'turning off the light' with our antlers. 

Rudolph! Rudolph! Flannel
FLANNEL RHYME: Rudolph's Noses (Rudolph! Rudolph!) from last week's Flannel Friday Holiday Extravaganza.

ACTION SONG: Five Little Christmas Trees (from Mollie's What happens in storytime post). she was right, the kids DO love the chopping actions!

CLOSING SONG: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star  I almost always use this as a closing song.  We often 'whisper sing' it second time around, and the concentration used on making as little noise as possible, brings the children down to a nice quiet level for choosing books, and/or going home.

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Mrs D at Putting Smiles on Faces and links to past and future roundups can be found at SoTomorrow. Images of flannel friday posts are displayed on Flannel Friday Pinterest.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Flannel Friday: Rudolph! Rudolph!

This is my contribution to the Flannel Friday Holiday Extravaganza!

Rudolph! Rudolph! What will you do?

I first heard about this flannel on the Flannel Friday Facebook page, but dismissed it initially because it sounded as though a heap of people would also be doing it.  However, after trawling and re-trawling the Internet I couldn't find a holiday rhyme that sounded as much fun for my Storytime kids. So, sorry for copying SoTomorrow, but like all the best ideas, they're worth imitating!

It's a lovely festive rhyme and calls for audience participation too!

The first verse starts like this ...

Rudolph! Rudolph!
What will you do?
You can't guide Santa
If your nose is BLUE!

Each verse describes how Rudolph's nose is not suitable, until ...

Rudolph! Rudolph!
The children are in bed.
And now you're ready
Cause your nose is RED!

You can read the rest of the rhyme at the Crafty Chic Mommy's blog.

Download PDF part 1
Download PDF part 2

I have made some PDF templates for you to download; part 1 and part 2. You may need to re size them to fit on to Letter-sized paper.  Please let me know if you can't get them to download.
I drew the reindeer head following a tutorial at Oodle-doodle - I'll be using their tutorials again, as they'd work for many animals. 

This week's HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA is hosted my me, here at Loons and Quines!
Come back and see the roundup and I'll have a little present waiting for you*, as well as a host of fabulous holiday flannel ideas!
*Only available for until the end of 2011!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Flannel Friday: Last of the Leaves

This post is a little late for Autumn/Fall, but here in Scotland there are still a few leaves on the trees!

This rhyme only calls for 5 leaves, so I have one in reserve! I found this rhyme on an older post at Mel's Desk. I also got the idea for the second guessing activity from there too!

The leaf shapes came from a couple of templates found here and here. The first link is from a tutorial to make a very attractive felt Thanksgiving Garland, the second is from a range of fall activities at the fabulous site, Enchanted Learning. 

5 Little Leaves
Five Little Leaves

5 little leaves in the tall, tall tree
As bright and pretty as they can be
Along came the wind
Blowing all around
And one bright leaf
Fell to the ground

Four little leaves…

Three little leaves…

Two little leaves…

One little leaf...

Little Mouse Guessing Game

Little mouse, little mouse,
Are you behind the red leaf ... ? 

Little mouse, little mouse,
Are you behind the orange leaf ... ?

Little mouse, little mouse,
Are you behind the brown leaf ... ?

One Little Mouse
[now from the photo you'd think there are 3 brown leaves, but in reality one is dark red (maroon), and one is light brown (beige, tan), I'd make sure the mouse was behind one of these, after we'd eliminated the 'easier' colours]

Explanations on how to play the game and ideas for variations can be found at these posts:
So Tomorrow's Little Mouse, Little Mouse,
Roving Fiddlehead's Little Mouse in the House Flannelboard Game, &
Sunflower Storytime's Little Mouse, Little Mouse

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Katie at Story Time Secrets and links to past and future roundups can be found at SoTomorrow. Images of flannel friday posts are displayed on the Flannel Friday Pinterest boards.

Next week's HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA will be hosted here, at Loons and Quines on Friday 2nd December! I'll have a little present waiting for you, as well as a host of fabulous holiday flannel ideas!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Flannel Friday Roundup - Holiday Extravaganza

This is truly a holiday extravaganza!  You have produced some wonderful flannels, and I am awed by your resourcefulness.
I’ve tried to organise the flannels by the type of activity, and where some of you have amazingly produced multiple activities, you’ll appear in more than one category. I hope you’ll forgive the minimal narrative, but there are SO many!

First up we have Katie from Recipe for Reading with
Tracey from 1234 More Storytimes brings us
Sarah from Read it Again! has a
Moxie Librarian of Storytimes with Moxie presents her version of
Froggy gets Dressed

Cate at Storytiming has a prop for the book

In the Driver's Seat

Natasha the Artsy Librarian showcases

Sharon from Rain Makes Applesauce introduces
Mollie from What happens in Storytime … brings us
Abby of Abby the Librarian has
Moxie Librarian of Storytimes with Moxie presents
Anna the Future Librarian Superhero showcases

Erin of Falling Flannel Boards introduces us to two games
Mel of Mel’s Desk has both

Katie of Story Time Secrets brings you
Linda of Notes from the Storyroom has
Andrea of Roving Fiddlehead Kid Lit introduces
Anne from So Tomorrow showcases
And at Loons and Quines, so do I (with a template to download)
Alison of Miss Alison is Blogging has
Mollie from What happens in storytime … has
Moxie Librarian of Storytimes with Moxie presents
Mary from Miss Mary Liberry brings you
5 Little Snowflakes plus a Bonus Snowflake Tutorial!
Anna the Future Librarian Superhero introduces versatile
Katie of Storytime Secrets Secrets and Sharing Soda is collecting memories of The Night Before Christmas at her book blog, to be compiled and published on Christmas Eve.

Meghan the Busy Crafting Mummy has a fabulous giveaway.  Get well soon Meghan!

You can see the flannels on Flannel Friday's boards on Pinterest, and the list of previous Flannel Friday round-ups at So Tomorrow.
Meantime, do download the holiday blogger button (top right), it should link directly to the Seasons Pinterest Board – my present from me to you!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Picture Books for Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011 (part 3)

This, the last in a series of 3 posts, briefly reviews the remaining books from The Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011 shortlist for The Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under. They have been assessed for their suitability as read-alouds for library storytime for pre-schoolers. 

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011 winner will be announced on Monday 8th November 2011.

A Place to Call Home
cover image from GoodReads

A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon 
(2 out of 5)
A family of furry creatures (some kind of endearing rodent) decide that they have outgrown their home.  They venture forth into the dangerous and exciting world of the back yard and have all sorts of daring and scary experiences. Kids might enjoy identifying what (to them) are everyday items and some will see the humour in seeing the world through the eyes of the brave creatures. I fear that this might go over the heads of many smaller children, and therefore recommend it for a one-to-one reading, rather than for a storytime read-aloud for pre-school visitors.

Marshall Armstrong is New to our School by David Mackintosh
Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our SchoolUnfortunately I wasn't able to obtain a copy of this book, and this final review of the picture books in the short list for the Roald Dahl Funny Books 2011 has been delayed in the hope that one would materialize.  It hasn't, so I offer you a link to the BookTrust's description as a substitute for my short review. However, I suspect that the book is aimed a children slightly older than my regular pre-school visitors.

I would like to wish good luck to all the nominees for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011, and especially to the authors and illustrators involved in creating the books reviewed in the Children Aged Six and Under category. 

These are links to the previous reviews:

Friday, 4 November 2011

Flannel Friday - Preparing for a Pirate Party!

Greetings from Pirate Pete!

I've made this new flannel to use at upcoming Pirate Parties to be held for our visiting Nursery (Kindergarten) classes. It is a combination of song and game which came from the site Making Learning Fun.

Pirate Pete Flannel- complete

The pattern pieces came from their downloadable templates. I made a few alterations to make it work better for me, and to make better use of the layered effect. The pieces I cut are shown in the photos below.  I substituted a different hat, as I didn't think the one from their pattern looked pirate-y enough. You'll see I cut one big piece to go underneath it all for better stability. I also added an extra hat-shaped piece to go behind the head for the same reason, although it does seem to have made the whole thing a bit top heavy!

Pirate Pete Flannel - flannel pieces

I layered up the pieces and stuck everything together except the eye patch, and cut out additional eye patches in different colours.

Pirate Pete Flannel -selection of eye patches

A bit of stripey ribbon, and some puffy paint for a mouth, and Pete is good to go!

The song is sung to the tune of Mary wore a Red Dress, and goes something like this:

The pirate wore a *blue* patch, a *blue* patch, a *blue patch*,
The pirate wore a *blue* patch all day long.

The patches are handed out to the children, and as you sing, the child with that *colour* can place the patch on the pirate. Then the patch can be taken off and a verse with another colour sung instead. 

We could have up to 20 children (although most likely 10 to 16), so thought I'd probably made duplicates of some colours, and have 2 children come up at once, and put one on top of the other, rather than get into colours they might not know.  I'd welcome any better suggestions though!

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Anne at SoTomorrow and links to past and future roundups can also be found at SoTomorrow. Images of flannel friday posts are displayed on Flannel Friday Pinterest.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

More Mittens - and more playing with paint

I made some extra mittens on top of those I posted earlier in the week, and thought I'd share them ...

little piggies ... and

 leaves, but the yellow paint got a bit bubbly ...

festive pumpkins (used a toothpick here to move the white paint around)

white paint went on too thin, so was absorbed into the fabric

Just to show that a fair bit of procrastination is involved!

Flannel Friday Definitions (just a bit of fun!)

Flannel Friday Definitions (just a bit of fun!)

Book on Monitor by Rfc1394 - An image of a dictionary shown on a computer monitor.  Notice the thumbpoints on the gilt edge


Twitter hashtag #flannelfriday, see Flannel Friday


1. people who do or follow #FFRU

2. templates of flannel friday patterns (like freebies, but flannelized)


adj. a story, rhyme, song, or game with the potential to become a flannelboard


n1. a soft fabric made from wool or synthetics with a raised nap used to make flannelboards (aka felt in the UK)

n2. a soft warm cotton fabric, often worn as nightwear or casual outerwear by outdoor hunky-types and Flannel Friday-ers (casual definition)

n3. a story, rhyme, song, or game which has been transformed into a flannel story, flannel rhyme etc.


n. a flannel-covered surface to which other paper or flannel pieces, such as letters, numbers, shapes, and other creations adhere merely by contact. Also includes surfaces to which items stick by magnetism or loop and hook fastening (e.g. Velcro®) and double-sided tape.


v. the transformation of a story, rhyme, song or game into a flannel


n. another ("old school") name for a flannelboard or flannel board story


adj1. –ish, like a flannel, but made of alternate materials (not made of felt or flannel)

adj2. –lish, the best kind of flannel, gorgeous, the top of its game!


adj. shows a condition of excellence in flannelization


v. to transformation a story, rhyme, song or game into a flannel


n. a list of flannel board creations


n. the art/study of flannels, flannel boards and flannelization


n.1. the flannel pieces used with flannel boards

n.2. clothing made from flannel fabric, often plaid, worn as casual outerwear by the ‘other’ Flannel Friday folks (Twitter hashtag #flannelfriday)

Flannel Architect

n. a flannel designer or creator

Flannel Friday

 n1. informal group of children’s librarian storytellers who publish their flannel board blogs on a Friday (Twitter hashtag #flannelfriday). May be regarded as a Community of Practice as individuals share in and learn from the process.

n2. day on which some individuals wear casual flannel clothing (also using (Twitter hashtag #flannelfriday).

Fannel Friday Pinterest

Visual record of images from Flannel Friday blog posts.

Fannel Friday Round Robin
def. Flannel Friday-ers, children’s librarians, and anyone else uses flannel boards is invited to help Cate answer the question - What makes a story (picture book, song, rhyme, game, etc) flannelizable? Details on Cate's blog.

Fannel Friday Roundup

def. Weekly summary of Flannel Friday blog posts, hosted on a rotational basis. List of hosts past and present at So Tomorrow.


adj. sometimes they just work out that way!

Felt software (for iPad)
Felt Board by Software Smoothie
Fun Felt by QuriosApps

Gracelink by, Inc. (Bible Study Guides)

With thanks to the Flannel Friday Facebookers who contributed: Tami, Sharon H, Cate, Anne C & Sarah H.

 Apologies for any errors -  feel free to communicate additions or amendments either as comments here, or on Facebook – I’ll update periodically!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Flannel Friday - Mittens - experimenting with 3-d paint

Armed with 5 colours of 3-d paint and a little spare time these mittens are the result!
The inspiration was from Miss Mary Liberry's Matching Mittens back in July.  I'll make a few more pairs, but I need to go out and get some more felt/flannel colours first.

The yellow pair is an exact copy of Mary's (I think they are my favourites) - thanks Mary! 

However the red ones were all my own design, inspired by a design in a card-making book a colleague gave me as a birthday present earlier in the year.  I shall ditch the white ones - how come they look a different shape when they're cut from the same pattern?

The pattern for the mittens came from the first page of this story template for the Three Little Kittens.

I also plan to post the Flannel Dictionary/definitions/vocab/taxonomy over the weekend, so do check back later.  Do add suggestions for words to include at the facebook group.

Tracy at 123 More Storytimes is hosting the roundup this week.

Sorry this is so rushed, apologies for errors - I'll correct later!!!!!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Flannel Friday - Go Away Big Green Monster flannel story

This seems to be another popular flannel among Flannel Friday-ers and, hoping the advice that 'this is an easy one' was correct, I gave it a try. 
Go Away Big Green Monster

Pattern pieces can be found in various places and I decided on the ones at KidsClub. There are pdfs in black and white and colour, so this could easily be printed onto card too. There is another black and white version at Making Learning Fun and other activities to do with the book (cup cakes looked nice, but not practical for us).

Katie has a super smart flannel at Storytime Katie and Amy at Laptime and Storytime has two versions; conventional and a super pumpkin variation!

I didn't have any light or bright green felt for the face, so used a scrap of quilting fabric (with a sort of tie-dye pattern), glued onto a piece of felt of the same size - the was the first time trying this, and seems to have stuck well without being too heavy. I'll let you know how it works out!

By the way, I used Mel's new Storytime Search to check who else had used this flannel, and I can thoroughly recommend it.

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Anna at Future Librarian Superhero and links to past and future roundups can be found at SoTomorrow.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Picture books for Roald Dahl Funny Prize (part 2)

Limelight Larry
Cover image from Goodreads
Limelight Larry by Larry Hodgkinson (3 out of 5)
We all know that peacocks like to show off right?  Well, Limelight Larry is no exception, and this book is all about him (or so he thinks).  However when all his cute animal friends make appearances in HIS book, Larry's share of the limelight is reduced, and HE IS NOT HAPPY about it. However, he discovers that you can't show off without an audience and learns an important lesson about sharing and all ends well.  The story is written in all sorts of wacky type which makes it more difficult for new readers to read for themselves, but great for adults to read aloud because all the IMPORTANT words and phrases are HIGHLIGHTED for emphasis!

First Week at Cow School
Cover image from GoodReads
First Week at Cow School by Andy Cutbill (4 out of 5)
This is a follow-on book to The Cow that Laid an Egg and The Best Cow in Show, in which Daisy starts school.  Daisy doesn't seem to be so good at the things that all the other cows are good at, and she starts to get a little deflated.  That is, until the chickens visit the head teacher and the curriculum changes overnight.  The tables are turned and Daisy excels whereas the other cows can only stand back and admire her talents.  Kids will find lots to laugh at in this book; who couldn't resist a snicker at cowpat training! It would be a great selection to celebrate difference and individuality.

The earlier post reviews

The final part will include

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Flannel Friday - Pete the Cat - I spent too long making these!

This was my first ever flannel, and I started it way back when I first discovered Flannel Friday.

I loved the book, Pete the Cat - I love my white shoes, and FELT that I had to do more than just read it and sing along! When I discovered several of the flannel friday folks had already made flannel of it, I had to try it for myself.  However, as a complete beginner, I made it way too complicated, and I didn't get it finished in time, so put the flannel idea to one side. It featured in an early blog post in an unfinished state and eventually got finished (the pictures are shown below).

I love all my shoes ...
... but I love my Red shoes best!
Meantime I'd introduced the book and song to all our visiting groups (Nursery classes, Storytimes, Rhymetimes and Rising 3's), and they all loved it too!

I would like to share with you a reading of the book I found which shows how much it has impressed another 'reader'.  I just wished we had the technology to offer to make videos like this in the library.

So, I've ended up with a set of overly elaborate shoes, and feel I need to do more activities with them to justify the time expended on them.  Can you help me out here, and suggest other activities to use them with?

The Flannel Friday Round up is at Rain Makes Applesauce this week. Thanks for the button Mel!
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