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, March 30, 2012

Little Moon

Today Flannel Friday is celebrating the 2012 Summer Reading Program theme of "Dream Big--READ!" Appropriately, my flannel board today was inspired by a page (#144, actually) in the manual which has a "Moon and Clouds Game" that you can print and send home with the kids after storytime. I thought it would be fun to make it a felt board. The manual suggests numbering a bunch of white clouds and having the kids call out a number, but I used colors instead.

Little moon, little moon, 
Are you behind the cloud of __________?  

This is very similar to felt boards from the past like Little Mouse, Worm Hide and Seek, and Snowball, Snowball. Kids love these guessing games and I include one in each storytime. I started with Little Mouse and have been trying to create one new game for each storytime session we start.

I used 2 images I found on a Google Image search for "cloud coloring page" and "crescent moon coloring page" as my basis for the shapes. The cloud is from here and the moon from here. I copied them into Microsoft Publisher and then adjusted the sizes to the dimensions I wanted. The clouds are about 8 inches wide and the moon fits just under the tallest "bump". This wound up cutting really nicely from a craft felt sheet as there was very little waste on the sides.

Another great cloud flannelboard I posted previously is It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. This book is a wonderful, wonderful storytime gem and if you don't know it, you are missing out!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blog Suggestions from Spring Institute

I mentioned a few weeks ago that Travis from 100 Scope Notes and I would be speaking at the Michigan Library Association's Spring Institute for youth services librarians. Well, today was the big day! As promised to the attendees, here is the list of our favorite blogs that we discussed this morning. 

Travis's Top  5 10
A Fuse 8 Production
Waking Brain Cells
Watch. Connect. Read.
Book-a-Day Almanac
Abby (the) Librarian
Collecting Children's Books
Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Good Show Sir

Anne's Top 5
Beyond the Book Storytimes Incredible ideas for extending kids' books with puppets and other props
Hi Miss Julie! Always interesting, often provocative commentary on the state of our field. 
Mel's Desk A wonderful mentor to me and the storytime presenter I aspire to be one day. 
 Storytime Katie When I have to plan storytime in a crunch, I turn to Miss Katie
 Tiny Tips for Library Fun Another seasoned pro still passionate about creating the best possible  youth library.
We each talked about some of our projects.  Here are some of the ones covered: 
On Hold @ the Library (#holdshelf)
Covering the Newbery 
Flannel Friday (Archives and Pinterest)

Blog: 100 Scope Notes
Twitter: @100scopenotes

Blog: so tomorrow 
Twitter: @sotomorrrow

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's a Flannaversiary!

Today is my 1 year anniversary of participating in Flannel Friday! I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite posts from the year.
Flannel Friday Stats and Superlatives
# of my Flannel Friday posts so far:  49? (I missed some weeks, others I posted twice because I am a crazy person. Also I am not good at math.)
Most popular Flannel Friday post by # of hits:  Moose in Love
Most pinned Flannel Friday post: Little Worm Hide and Seek
Coolest opportunity from Flannel Friday: Speaking at Spring Institute
My most used Flannel Fridays: Moose in Love, Little Mouse
My personal favorites: Little Worm and the upcoming Little Moon (look for that on March 30) Mostly because I wrote them both and while they're hardly earth-shattering, I'm proud of myself for stretching my skills.
Most paper: This is Big, Big, Big

Best Flannels for Newbie Librarians
I know that a lot of veteran children's librarians have been doing storytime since before I could read, but I think the following flannels are great for library students, beginning librarians/storytellers, or anyone who just wants something simple but effective (always the way to go, if you ask me): 
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
Moose in Love by Diane Briggs
Little Mouse, Little Mouse by Unknown
Little Worm Hide and Seek by Anne Clark
Alice the Camel by Traditional
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
I Have a Little Pocket by Unknown

Thanks to everyone who reads my ramblings for an amazing year!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quick Display Idea: Titanic Anniversary!

I hadn't been working in a public library for long when I learned that many kids are totally obsessed with the Titanic, in the way that I was obsessed with fine music (cough) when I was their age. Since we are nearing the 100th anniversary of its sinking, I thought I'd throw together a quick little display of our many Titanic books. I had enough material from the children's collection but you could include items from your adult section as well.

I used an image from, a librarian's lifesaver, so feel free to use my sign

Also, if you are itching to put together a program to commemorate this occasion, Abby has a great post on hers from a few years ago