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Showing posts from February, 2014

Flannel Friday: The Noisy Counting Book

One of my favorite storytime books is The Noisy Counting Book by Susan Schade. It's only available as a board book currently, which makes it too small for the audience to see the illustrations at storytime. So I decided to adapt it as a flannel board.

The animals are Ellison cut outs onto felt, so it was a quick one to make.The bees are very delicate and I had a couple lose an antennae. I've since added some puffy paint details like eyes for the fish and frog and stripes on the bee. I may try this story using a frog puppet instead of the frog felt piece too.

I dropped the crickets from my version because I didn't have a die that looked like a cricket. The original story has 6 animals and my version has 5. On the other hand, I may go back and add more animals or mix in other animals someday to be silly. Maybe there are dinosaurs at the pond? Or tigers?

If you're unfamiliar with this story, Betsy Bird filmed a video of it for her blog, Fuse 8, a few years ago. As you can…

We Did It!: Michigan KidLib Unconference 2014 Wrap-up

The first-ever Michigan KidLib Unconference was held Friday at the Main branch of Clinton-Macomb Public Library in Metro Detroit. In my completely biased opinion, it was a fabulous first time event! We had some minor hiccups but it was still a great day. In this post, I'd like to write a little bit about the behind the scenes work that went into putting MIKidLib together that I did, in the hopes of inspiring more states to put on a similar event. Please also make sure you read (our host) Lisa Mulvenna's thoughts on the day. I know this topic isn't going to be of interest to everyone, so feel free to skip it (and any other follow-ups I may do). If you are putting on a similar event and would like to pick my brain, please get in touch. You can leave a comment below or my email address is available on the about/contact page.


Where the idea came from Let's go back in time to August 2013. In the Flannel Friday Facebook community, Lisa and I were discussing putting together s…

Flannel Friday: 5 Hearts, 3 Ways

I will be the first person to admit that Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday, but I knew my storytime families were excited to celebrate it, so we did! I never would have been able to pull it off this week without some help from the Flannel Friday community, so thank you so much. To partially repay my debt, here are 3 ways to use the same 5 hearts all ideas from the bloggers credited below. These hearts were cut out on our Ellison machine. I had grand plans to decorate them but as you can see--that didn't happen. In a way, it worked out because they are much more versatile not being decorated as valentines.

Put the hearts on the board
I put the hearts on the boards with "Red Heart, Red Heart, What Do You See?" which I discovered via a link on Brooke's blog. You go "Red Heart, Red Heart, What Do You See?" "I see a blue heart looking at me!" And so on. You could end with "I see a Valentine looking at me and decorate one special heart…

Mother Goose Games!

To celebrate the Winter Olympics, I decided to do a nursery rhyme based track and field day for little kids. I was inspired primarily by the Westerville Library's Nursery Rhyme Olympics, and also paired in ideas from The Preschool Calendar teacher reference book, which had a suggestion for a Preschool Olympics. From there, I took the egg on a spoon race and turned it into a game based on Humpty Dumpty.

The first thing we did is go around the room and say all the nursery rhymes together to reinforce the rhymes for everyone. Nursery rhymes are a wonderful way to develop early literacy skills.

Jack Be Nimble Hurdles: I made candlesticks out of paper towel tubes saved by the maintenance staff and Christmas light Ellison die cuts. The die cuts are taped inside the tube using double stick tape.


Wee Willie Winkie Town Tour (Pillowsack Race): I brought some spare pillowcases from home and the kids hopped from one side of the room to the other.


Humpty Dumpty's Challenge (Egg on a Spoon …

Tween Book Club: Storm Runners by Roland Smith

Last week was our book club meeting and the book of the hour was Storm Runners by Roland Smith. This is a quick read and everyone really seemed to enjoy the fast-paced plot. Michigan has been experiencing some pretty severe winter weather (even for us) so the kids could relate to extreme weather conditions even though none of us had ever been in a hurricane like this story. Some of the kids lamented the lack of character development in the first book, but one astutely observed that it might be because Chase (the main character) himself doesn't know these kids that well. Maybe we get to know them better in the second and third books as Chase learns more about them?

I experimented with two new (to this book club anyway) activities this time around and the kids responded really well. The first was a rip-off of our Minute to Win It program from the week earlier. One of the girls had actually been at the program and she was especially excited. We played "Breakfast Scramble" …