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, October 28, 2011

Flannel Friday: I Have a Little...


Today's Flannel Friday is based on a rhyme that I found searching the PUBYAC archives. If you are a youth librarian (or aspire to be), you need to subscribe to this listserv. The rhyme is called "I Have a Little" and to make it you will need to cut out 4 pockets and glue them on to a foam core board. I used a pair of shorts I found at Goodwill and an old pair of my jeans. 
"I Have a Little..." Storytelling Board
You hide a key, crayon, flashlight, and clock each behind one pocket. They can be real pieces or you can use clipart. Here's the rhyme:

I Have a Little
I have a little pocket where something can hide.
It opens doors and starts the car. 
Do you know what's inside? (key)

I have a little pocket where something can hide. 
It's used to draw in a coloring book. 
Do you know what's inside? (crayon)

I have a little pocket where something can hide.
It shows you when it's time for bed. 
Do you know what's inside? (clock)

I have a little pocket where something can hide. 
It lights up a dark room. 
Do you know what's inside? (flashlight). 

We looked in all the pockets.
There's nothing left inside. 

Let's do this another time and see what else we can find!  

The great thing about this rhyme is that it is endlessly adaptable. You only have to change the middle line!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flannel Friday: Jack-O-Happy

For today's Flannel Friday, I'm sharing a flannelboard version of the fingerplay "Jack -O-Happy," a fun one for silly faces.  Here are the words:
This is Jack-O-Happy.
This is Jack-O-Sad. 

This is Jack-O-Sleepy. 
This is Jack-O-Mad.
This is Jack-O-Broken
Into pieces small

Baked in a pumpkin pie
That's the best of all.
YUM! YUM!


Source: Felt Board Fingerplays by Liz and Dick Wilmes
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Flannel Friday: Inside a House that Is Haunted

No actual flannel was harmed in the making of today's Flannel Friday, a "clothes line" story version of Inside a House That is Haunted, one of my favorite Halloween books. It's a little long to read at preschool storytime, but I had great success with reading it to school age kids. You could literally string up a clothesline and pin the pictures on, but what I do is have volunteers hold up the pictures. I drew these myself based on Tedd Arnold's illustrations.

If you're not familiar with this story, it is a cumulative tale about a haunted house. It goes like this:

Here is the hand that knocked on the door

that startled the spider who dropped to the floor

that shook up the bat who swooped through the air
and jolted the owl who said "Who-Who's There?"
that spooked the mummy who ran with a shriek

rattling the bones who moved with a creak
who woke up the monster
who stomped on huge feet, 
threw open the door and heard
"TRICK OR TREAT" 
inside a house that is haunted. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Woodland Creatures Storytime

This week at storytime, we're talking about woodland creatures, wolves, and bears, and skunks, oh my!
I start all my storytimes with the following rhymes and activities (see storytime plans page for words):

  • Open, Shut Them
  • "Little Mouse, Little Mouse" Flannelboard Game
  • Let's Hear Your Roar Like a Lion

Books
The Wolf's Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza (Met Ms. Kasza at a conference this year. Super sweet and so talented!)
Wolves by Emily Gravett (and while searching Amazon for the link, I discovered she has another book coming out in March. YAY! I love me some Emily Gravett)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr.

On the Flannelboard
Moose in Love story (fun fact: this is the 2nd most visited post on my blog of all time) 
In the Woods guessing game (like this one from Falling Flannelboards)

Craft
Wolf paper bag puppet


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Texting Bulletin Board

Time for another bulletin board! This one was again inspired by something I found trolling the Internet. The board that inspired me had a black background, but we only had one 1 piece of black poster board left and this size requires 6. The only color that we had 6 left of was magenta. But I think it was a lucky coincidence, because I really like the way the magenta looks with our lime green wall.

Books R lk rly long txts
If there happen to be any bulletin board manufacturers out there, it would be genius if you would install hooks on all 4 sides for the absent-minded people like myself who occasionally put a whole board together the wrong way. And it would super awesome to be able to hang some vertically and some horizontally.

By the way, if you're looking for way more bulletin board ideas for your library than I could possibly ever make for mine, I keep a Pinterest board for just such daydreaming.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Flannel Friday with Milk Filters

My favorite tip from all these months of Flannel Friday has been Andrea's suggestion to try using milk filters. For about $15, I was able to buy a pizza box size of 15 inch milk filters. I can't believe I'd never heard of this technique before, and I live across the street from a dairy farm!

First I traced patterns out of books onto them, but I was also able to trim the filters down to 8.5 by 11 and run them through our printer at the library. Ladies and gentlemen, my mind has been blown by the amazing potential here. Rather than post these individually, I thought I'd share the ones I have made so far all at once. I still need to finish trimming them up, so ignore that, please.  Here we go!

Milo's Hats (Storytime Magic

Little Bunny Foo Foo (Preschool Favorites)



Muscular Family from one of Jean Warren's pattern books


Wolf's Chicken Stew (Preschool Favorites)





















Pete the Cat (Making Learning Fun)



5 Little Monkeys (2's Experience: Felt Board Fun)


My fellow Midwestern girl Anna will be rounding up the Flannel Friday posts this week, so be sure to check her blog later for all the goodness!

Also join us on Facebook or Pinterest. We have archives too.


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Down on the Farm Storytime

I have decided to pop in every now and again and share some storytime plans, since it has been a long time since I did so regularly. You can see an alphabetical list by clicking on Storytime Plans. I tend to only read 2-3 books at each storytime and spend the rest of the time doing repeating activities.

I start all my storytimes with the following rhymes and activities (see storytime plans page for words) :
Open, Shut Them
"Little Mouse, Little Mouse" Flannelboard Game
Let's Hear Your Roar Like a Lion

Books
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox (OK, not strictly a farm book, but who doesn't love Mem Fox?)
Old MacDonald had a Farm by Jane Cabrera

Songs
Baa Baa Black Sheep
"B-I-N-G-O" Flannelboard song
Farmer in the Dell
5 Clean and Dirty Pigs (Flannel Friday contribution!)

I know this isn't exactly an earthshakingly amazing plan, but a coworker covered this for me and I needed to keep it simple. It was also the first storytime of a new session and I find it is best to stick to what you know is going to work well, which means a few great books and some traditional songs.