Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Flannel Friday - The Ultimate in Scottish Aliens - Aiken Drum!

Aiken Drum - the ultimate alien!

This is a revised version originally posted on 27/Jul/2011.

In preparation for an Aliens storytime I put together a non-flannel Flannel Song - Aiken Drum

This was simply made with laminated clip art pieces. My inspiration was a digital flannel board assignment set by Dr Annette Lamb as part of ALA's Every Child Ready to Read. I have shamelessly copied the flannel ideas, but changed the words of the song to please myself.

As far as I can gather, Aiken was actually a Brownie (not of the cake variety), deeply entrenched in Scottish history/folk lore.  Superficially though, the man in the moon has to be the ultimate alien, doesn't he?

Want more?

Find out about Flannel Friday on the new website. Features include past round ups, host schedule and how to participate.

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Search for flannels and storytime ideas at Mel's Desk.

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This week’s round up will be hosted by Andrea at RovingFiddlehead Kidlit.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

To flannel or not to flannel?

Work in progress - I love my white shoes!

I have been so inspired and entertained by the offerings of Flannel Fridays and other storytime blogs and web offerings that I really must express my thanks!

Of course I've wanted to 'have a go' myself, the combination of using my craft skills while enhancing our storytimes and rhymetimes is TOO great to resist! However, for the school vacation, our normal timetable of librarytimes has been suspended and I've taken the opportunity of using the extra space (from no school classes, as we are a combined high school and public library) to have extended sessions with older siblings and craft activities.  So I've found my time taken up with design and prep of those things. Some of these such as astronaut helmets and mini rockets are shown in earlier posts.  Others, including alien masks will be published in the weeks to come.
Aside: in case you are wondering about the choice of crafts, our summer reading scheme slogan this year is 'Take Off with a Good Book', incorporating all things space and rocket related.

I've been symied by choice of flannels and books, and initially opted for simple, and tried out Dog's Colourful Day. However, our biggest hit in new books has been Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes, so when I saw Moxie Librarians's post I just had to try it out! I may have bitten off more than I can chew, and am beginning to wonder if it would have been easier, although maybe less effective, to use clipart. 

Benefits (as I see it) of using felt are:
  • novelty
  • opportunity to experience new textures
  • my own enjoyment/entertainment
  • sticking to board w/out velcro dots
  • simplication of images
  • avoiding copyright issues (mostly)
  • preparation time
  • cost
  • safety of participants (choking hazzard?)
  • encountering copyright issues!
I love to hear what you think are the advantages/disadvantages, and please complete my poll to see which are the preferred materials. [poll expired and removed from blog] Much thanks from a flannel newbie!!!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Mini Rocket Craft

These rockets were a winner at a recent craft session.  They were not the main event, but a side craft for older siblings.  The younger children however loved playing with them, and I had the teen volunteers make them to hand out towards the end of the session, when interest in the main craft was flagging (i.e. when the parents had decided to 'help' just a little too much).
Full instructions on How to Make a Soda-Straw Rocket can be found at NASA's website and the pictures on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory blog help too.
The rockets were very economical to make - to make 10 rockets it took:
  • 2 sheets white paper (for the fins),
  • 1 sheet red paper (for the bodies),
  • 10 drinking straws (bendy straws are best),
  • some sticky tape, and
  • a few pencils (which could be re-used after).
I also set out a measuring tape in case the kids wanted to measure how far the rockets went.  However, we had such high attendance that there just wasn't room!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Using Scarves in Rhymetimes

I am a novice to using scarves at librarytimes, but feel sure they would be popular for both baby and toddler rhymetimes.  A quick trawl of the Internet brought up some interesting resources:
  • Tracey, a librarian from Ohio, has some fun and practical ideas. She suggests ways of using them with Pattie cake [Pat-a-cake in the UK], Here we go round the mulberry bush, and Peek-a-boo. Also for directed movement, hiding parts of the body and to act out weather, leaves etc.
  • Kathy MacMillan & Christine Kirker, authors of Storytime Magic have more ideas, some for older children in their item Super Scarves. 
  • Finally a rhyme I adapted from 10 Little Fingers at Storytime Rocks.  

One Bright scarf

One bright scarf waiting for the wind to blow (hold in hand)

Wiggle it high (wiggle scarf above head)

Wiggle it low (wiggle scarf by knees)

Shake it fast (wiggle scarf quickly)

Shake it slow (wiggle scarf slowly)

Put it behind your back,

Where did it go? (bring out empty hands)

I'm collecting rhymes to use with scarves and can't wait for my new set of ten scarves to arrive!  If you have more suggestions, please post them as comments.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Astronaut Space Helmet

This paper plate craft was very easy and cheap to prep.  The adults did most of the construction and then let the kids get on with the decorating.  We just used foil stars and matt flag stickers, but holgraphic ones would be really good. Best of all the children looked adorable in them (better than my teddy). Inspiration for this craft came from an image at KidsSoup a subscription site, but I couldn't find free instructions anywhere so made up my own.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Crafts for Spring

This craft is suitable for a wide age range.  If you can hold the glue stick the right way up, you can make one of these - with a little help! I've attached instructions on how to make this simple egg card.  I used a mix of wrapping papers (the patterned parts) and paper off-cuts (the plain strips - a little goes a long way). This craft could be adapted to many different themes, just substitute the egg-shape and the colours - how about a bell-shape and red, green and shiney bits for a Christmas card!
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