Parachute ideas for all kinds of programs!

Stumped for ideas for using the parachute at storytime?

Think outside the picture books stacks!

Here are some great ideas for incorporating material from other areas of your collection.

Want to make your own clip art?

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started!

Some easy ways to spice up your site!

Be sure to suggest your favorites in the comments!

Ideas for incorporating factual materials into storytime

There is lots of great nonfiction for kids out there. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Inspired by #flannelfriday: Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton

I wanted to share another project that I have been inspired to make from all of the wonderful #flannelfriday posts. The idea was first shared by Abby the Librarian to do a felt story of Fifteen Animals by the wonderful Sandra Boynton. I thought it would be fun to recreate this story using paper and the library's Cricut machine.

I did have to change one of the animals from a hamster to a frog, but I like frogs better anyway, so that worked out for me. ;)

Here's how it looked in-progress:

Here's how it looks with eyes:

(Eyes aren't glued on, as it still needs to be laminated)

This project only took about an hour and a half. It would have taken me much longer to make with felt and it was fun to use the Cricut for storytelling.

I'm thinking I might draw in some more detail on here before I have it laminated, but the jury is still out. What do you think?

Cricut details:
Animals are from Create a Critter cartridge. Most of the animals are cut at about 5 inches, some more or less (for purposes of scale). The fish bowl is 9.5" (fit to page). Numbers are from Sesame Street Font (Sunny Day) and are cut at either 2" or 1.25".

Dog's Colorful Day

I think a lot of us out in The Flannel Friday Club already have a Dog's Colorful Day felt story, but here's mine!

Meet Dog...
As the title promises, Dog does indeed have a very colorful (and messy day!)

In the end, he gets a bath and is left with his original black spot.

This is a super quick felt story to make! I free hand cut a whole bunch of colored spots. To make Dog, I photocopied one of the illustrations from the book and traced it onto some white felt. You could also use these patterns from Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker.

Emma Dodd's books are all great storytime reads, so be sure to check them out!

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Little Fire Trucks!

Today's Flannel Friday presentation is brought to you by the thrift store steal of a lifetime: a Tonka trucks sheet! For 50 cents, I was able to buy a twin-sized sheet with all of these lovely trucks on it. All I had to do was cut them out and find rhymes to go with 'em. This is a great use for any fun patterned sheets you might be about to throw out or stumble upon at a Goodwill or Salvation Army store, like me. These don't even have hook and loop on the backs either. Just static electricity!

1 little fire truck (thumb up)
2 little fire trucks (index finger up)
3 little fire trucks (middle finger up)
4 little fire trucks (ring finger up)
5 little fire trucks all in a row (pinkie finger up)
Back to the fire station all of you go! (Thumb into palm with fingers folded over the thumb.)

There were also green fire trucks:

Friday, May 13, 2011

5 Green and Freckled Frogs

I originally learned this week's #FlannelFriday song back at summer camp. I learned it as "Five Green and Freckled Frogs" but it is also known as "Five Green and Speckled Frogs." I prefer the alliteration of "freckled" though, so that's how I sing it! They have glitter on them and it makes a wonderful mess everywhere! YAY GLITTER!

Here are the lyrics the way I learned them:

Five green and freckled frogs,
Sat on a freckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs...YUM YUM!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green freckled frogs.
(And so on...)

I used a pattern from Also, Discount School Supply sells a really cute puppet (as part of a set) to go with this song.


This post is part of the Frog ABC'S Blog Hop! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

2011 Summer Reading Bulletin Board

I wanted to share with you all quickly our summer reading bulletin board. My state is part of the CLSP so we have "One World, Many Stories" for our theme this year.

The postcards were either mailed to the library from staff's friends and family, or purchased at a garage sale. We didn't have a lot of luck getting them from people we know, but we hit the mother load at a garage sale.

Once we had the postcards, I cut the words using the library's Cricut (the font is from Sesame Street's font cartridge and is Sunny Day, which is my favorite font for kids' stuff). 

I can't believe it's almost time for summer reading. We start mid-June, so just a few more weeks to go!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mini Summer Reading Decor-Post!

Here's some fun decor items I've been working on for the library while we are on a break between storytime ending and summer reading starting.

Here is the (unfinished!) box where kids will put their entry slips for our weekly drawings during the summer reading program. The leaf is a piece of scrapbooking paper:

And I cut a piece of scrapbooking paper in half to cover the sides as well. (there's nothing on the back because it will not be visible to patrons where it is going).

And people always seem to miss the book return slot in our circulation desk layout, so hopefully this will help call more attention to it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Here's How I Made Some #FlannelFriday Stories My Own

I thought it would be fun to post some of the Flannel Friday stories that I have also made. It's always fun to see how different people interpret the same material.

First up is my version of "Five Clean and Dirty Pigs" which Katie, Mary, and Mel have all shown us:

I am partial to Mary's shouting for the words:
5 pigs so squeaky clean,

cleanest pigs you’ve ever seen,

Wanted to go outside and play [shout: IN THE MUD!]

1 jumped into the mud,

landed with a great big THUD! [clap or slap leg]

now there are 4 pigs squeaky clean [oink oink]

3 pigs so squeaky clean…etc.
I basically used Mary's template but my pigs are giant (almost 5 inches across). So I may have a nightmare about being stomped to death by giant pigs. I have a big flannelboard so it will work fine for me, just letting you know so you'll know the scale. I plan to use this at a summer storytime so we will have anywhere from 5 to 60 people at storytime that day. Bigger is better.

I also have a version of Dear Zoo that is not even made out of flannel! If you are not artistically inclined or are just short on time, here is a really quick way to tell a story. (I still love Nicole's felt version though).

All I did was print out the Kizclub templates and send them through our laminator. Then I cut them out and used book tape to secure them to a piece of posterboard. Book tape was also used to make the "hinges" for the flaps. The template also includes a label for the pieces so you can show the kids what is "wrong" with the animals the zoo sends the narrator (who I always picture as a boy for some reason, but it is written in first person so it could be anyone).

I put a copy of the words in a plastic page protector and taped it on the back. That way I can remember how the story starts without having to memorize it although I don't need to read the words for most of the book.

So here are two Flannel Friday stories that I have created. I'd love to see any that others have made. I have some other ones I will be making and I hope to share pictures when they're done...whenever that may be!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

#FlannelFriday Roundup for May 6, 2011

I'm taking over posting this week's Flannel Friday roundup so Mel can take a break from all the HTML. ;) We are setting up a schedule so that #FlannelFriday can go on a blog tour, so if you would like to host a weekly round-up, let us know!

Joining us for this first time is Bridget who posted a "Five Little Bunnies" rhyme, so go over to her blog and welcome her please! We'd also like to thank Bridget for reminding us of Abby's excellent how-to post on making flannel stories.

And thanks also to our returning Flannel Friday veterans:
from Tracey at 1234 More Storytimes

Thanks everyone for participating! We are always welcoming new bloggers so feel free to join us if you'd like! Past Round Ups are here. Don't forget to check out what our group of bloggers is posting about on Twitter!

Friday, May 06, 2011

It Looked Like Spilt Milk

Here's an oldie, but a goodie for this week's #FlannelFriday! It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. This is a simple story that would be great for a beginning librarian to make the pieces and learn how to tell stories. I also made a scroll story version once upon a time.

Text is from the picture book (still in print!), and I think this is a story that every library should have, so if you don't own it, please purchase it!

When I do this story, I make sure to leave a long, dramatic pause so the kids can shout out what they think the image is. Some of them are easier than others. The ice cream cone has given me all sorts of great answers (everything from South America to bird poop) and some kids have even called out "MICHIGAN!" when the mitten is up. So the local elementary geography teachers must be doing something right.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

"One World, Many Stories" Summer Reading Resources

Since we are knee-deep in summer reading planning at my library, I thought I'd share some of the awesome resources we are using for this summer's CSLP theme of "One World, Many Stories."

Marketing and Public Relations:
Half-page flyers (these will be distributed through the elementary schools as well as in the library & community)
Full page flyer (these will be on our bulletin boards throughout the building)

I can email you the flyers as .pub files if you'd like to modify them for your library. Just email me.

Programming Resources--Online
Beyond the Book Storytimes (AMAZING blog for storytelling. I wish I had the staffing to do the group events, but I will be adapting many of the ideas posted)

I also love the Texas State Library for putting their summer reading manuals online. They have wonderful storytime ideas. Thanks, TX!

Programming Resources--Print
Of course there is the CSLP manual if you are in a participating state.

Here are some of my favorite storytime planning books for this summer:
Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillian and Christine Kirker

So, those are my top tips for this summer! Please let me know if you have any that I may have missed. Happy summer reading!