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Friday, April 20, 2018

Week of the Young Child 2018

Well, somehow I missed the fact that this week was the Week of the Young Child!  But there's still today to celebrate all those little and amazing people (and then of course there's every other day of the year, too :) ) 

So how to celebrate?!  I'll pick two of my favorites from NAEYC's site...

NAEYC suggests fitting in an art activity or two, and has some nice guidelines to help parents fit it into their busy days.  I think these work for teachers and librarians, too, of course!  If you're scrambling for ideas, I've gathered a ton of ideas for preschoolers and toddlers over on my Pinterest Boards.



In the art area of my classroom, I had the following blurb posted, so that teachers new to my philosophy of "encouragement rather than praise" had some ideas for talking with children about their art...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What to say at the easel/in the art area:

Nothing!
Or...
You used lots of paint today!
That yellow is so bright!
Do you want to talk to me about your painting?
Your hands were moving in big circles when you made those marks…

Say what you see!
(and remember that it is ok to say nothing)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As you probably already know, many of my flannel boards are musical, and if they aren't, I sing them anyway :)  Below are just a few of my favorites--I love the fact that singing and dancing with children builds so many skills--fine motor, gross motor, early literacy, math...the list goes on!  Best part?  It's FUN!






And don't forget to check out Flannel Friday's Pinterest Boards and Tumbler Page for a zillion flannel board ideas!



Friday, April 13, 2018

Over in the Meadow

I presented a bunch of flannel board songs and games to a lovely group of librarians this past week, and on the drive back home I started down memory lane.  I miss doing circle times!  I love singing, dancing, reading, and playing with kids!  (My cats just don't interact the same way ;)  )

One of the songs that stuck out on that lane of memories is this fantastic version of Over in the Meadow.  It's a Barefoot Books version, which I was introduced to by one of my past student's mom.  I just love, love, love it.  Here it is!


I have a felt set of this song, too:

I love combining books and music, and this one throws in math as well!  Hey!  Learning IS fun!

Happy spring!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mary Had a Little Lamb

I love nursery rhymes, and they provide so many early literacy skills (singing with kids helps them hear the sounds in words; rhyming helps with phonological awareness; rhythm helps with understanding syllables!)  It's fun to just share them with children while you're playing, talking, and reading--and sometimes during a story or group time they need a visual to hold their attention.  Enter Mary and her little lamb (and everyone else pictured, of course :) )



Here's the rhyme to go with this set:

Mary had a Little Lamb
Mary had a little lamb
Little lamb, little lamb
Mary had a little lamb
Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went
Mary went, Mary went
Everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
School one day, school one day
It followed her to school one day
Which was against the rule!
It made the children laugh and play
Laugh and play, laugh and play
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned him out
Turned him out, turned him out
And so the teacher turned him out
But still he lingered near...
And waited patiently about
Patiently about, patiently about
And waited patiently about
Til Mary did appear.

Mary had a little lamb
Little lamb, little lamb
Mary had a little lamb
Its fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
Mary went, Mary went
Everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go!

How about a few books to go along with this set, in case you're doing a lamb, spring, or farm story time...

Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B004CFA9IW/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_U_x_5UVIAbFCSNZVV



And here's my Pinterest board on Farm Books!

You can check out my shop right here:  FlannelBoardFun
Sign up for my newsletter here:  Flannel Board Fun Newsletter

And don't forget to check out Flannel Friday's Pinterest Boards and Tumbler Page for a zillion flannel board ideas!


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cats!


I happen to have two kitties who are in my lap as I type this.  I've been a cat owner for the past 25 years, and yet I've not had a cat flannel board set!  Thanks to a recent request from a librarian, I was able to make this stinkin' cute set :)  





So many ways to use this set!  You can pass out the cats and ask the kids to bring them up by color, and use position words like over, under, next to, above and below as you ask them to place them on the board.  Doing a color theme or story time?  Ask the kids with a cat the color of a night sky, or a violet, or dirt, (or whatever clever ideas you have) to bring their cat up.  Increase their visual discrimination skills--"If you have a sleeping cat, bring it to the flannel board!"

I've also come up with a rhyme for using five of these:

Five Little Kitty Cats
Five little kitty cats sleeping on the floor
One pounced away, and now there are four!

Four little kitty cats, cute as can be,
One leapt away, and now there are three!

Three little kitty cats, hunters through and through,
One caught a mouse, and now there are two!

Two little kitty cats, basking in the sun,
One slinked away, and now there's only one!

One little kitty cat got up to stretch and yawn,
I looked away...and now he's gone!

Thinking about doing this with puppies too!

Click below for more circle time ideas, 
as well as tips and tidbits for anyone who loves young children: 



Discover Flannel Friday--and join in if you like to make flannel boards, too!
Here's the Tumbler Page if you'd like to check it out, and here are the many amazing Pinterest Boards!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pot of Gold (a Little Mouse Variation)

Yep, it's that time of year again.  Leprechauns will be coming around to classrooms, clues will be left for scavenger hunts, maps will be used, songs will be sung, rainbows and good luck and clovers and shamrocks will be discussed, green beer will be...oh wait--that's not preschool!  

Okay, on with today's flannel board!

This set was made as a custom request, and of course as with most of those, I thought--why didn't I think of that?  Well actually, I sort of almost did--here's my Leprechaun Hide and Seek set from last year!  In case you don't click, I'll repeat the adorable Mr. Leprechaun song below, because it's worth repeating :)




(Here's a link to my recent Mr. Leprechaun set, which is available 

So, this set is pretty self-explanatory if you're familiar with the Little Mouse game, but I like to assume you're a newcomer, so here's the deal:

You place your pots on the board one at a time, commenting on or asking the children to help you name the color of each pot as it's placed.  Sneakily hide the gold coins behind one of the pots as you're putting it on the board, and then begin...

The chant is as follows, subbing the bold words as appropriate:

Gold coins, gold coins,
Playing hide and seek...
Are you behind the red pot?
Let's take a peek!

And then you use all kinds of dramatic techniques to check behind the pot, act confused/disappointed/stumped/etc. as you seek out those sneaky gold coins! We like to pat our legs as we do the chant, just to get the kids even more involved and aware of the rhythm...  And of course invite them to tell you which color to check under (sometimes just lightly touching the one YOU want to do next will send a subliminal message and they'll 'choose' it for you!)

As with all the Little Mouse variations, this is a great set for increasing color knowledge, exposing the kids to rhymes, building interactive social skills, and just plain having fun!  Do it again and again--you're bored, but the kids aren't ;)

And the Mr. Leprechaun song I mentioned above:

Mr. Leprechaun 
(credit goes to a past co-worker, Angela Lenz)

Mr. Leprechaun, Mr. Leprechaun, Mr. Leprechaun--Hello!
Mr. Leprechaun, Mr. Leprechaun, Mr. Leprechaun--I Know...
...you're a cute little elf,
If I say so myself!
In your suit all of green,
You come on March seventeen!



Discover Flannel Friday--and join in if you like to make flannel boards, too!
Here's the Tumbler Page if you'd like to check it out, and here are the many amazing Pinterest Boards!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Create a Car (or really, a vehicle :)

Another custom order that's turned into something I'll carry regularly in my shop!  This set is along the same lines as many of my other do-it-yourself sets, and this time the theme is vehicles.  If I were still teaching, I would love to see what kind of crazy combinations the kids would come up with by mixing the various vehicle parts together...  


This set is great for color and number naming and recognition, and could easily be used in a group time by handing out the pieces and letting the kids come up and decide where their piece could go!  You could also ask things like "If you have a red piece that is BIG, come put it on the board...or..If you have an orange piece that is small, come put it on the board."  You could play a color sorting game, and just have them bring their pieces to a designated area of the board, not building anything, or you could decide as a group that you want to build four vehicles--you could build the bases and then ask them to come put the wheels, windows, and other accessories on.  What a great team work project that builds vocabulary at the same time.  I love these sets as both a group time activity and for kids to use on their own...

Discover Flannel Friday--and join in if you like to make flannel boards, too!
Here's the Tumbler Page if you'd like to check it out, and here are the many amazing Pinterest Boards!

And hey--feel free to check out my shop right here:  Flannel Board Fun

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Anytime Mapleson

  I recently had a request from a lovely librarian in Vermont for this set. It's based on a story I've never read, and it's out of print--Anytime Mapleson and the Hungry Bears by Mordicai Gerstein.  If you can find a copy, I recommend it--it looks pretty adorable!  I don't know the story in detail, but I'm sharing it here anyway in case anyone else knows the story and is also inspired to make their own set.  Or I can make one for you ;)  



Flannel Friday is going through some changes.  It will no longer be hosted each week on a blog--but it's got a new home on Tumbler, and and will still be pinned monthly to the Flannel Friday Pinterest Boards :)

Here's the Tumbler Page if you'd like to check it out, and here are the many amazing Pinterest Boards
 And I'd love it if you come visit my shop right here:  Flannel Board Fun.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Leprechaun, Leprechaun, What Do You See?

I made this set as a custom order, and I didn't actually ask what she was going to use it for-- but after a quick google search, it looks like she may have been inspired by Jen in the Library or The Lion is a Bookworm.  In any case, this set can certainly be used in various ways, but will work really well as a St. Patrick's Day version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?



I've recently started making my sets even bigger than I used to.  This is my second upgrade in size, and I'm so pleased with the results.  Better for engaging larger crowds of kids--not to mention easier to cut, glue and paint!

This cute St. Patrick's Day set is available in my Etsy shop, along with many more of my sets.  All of my teacher and librarian sets are 15% off through 2/15/18!

Flannel Friday is being hosted this week by one of my favorites!   Check it out! 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Chubby Snowmen (a re-post!)

I'm busy. And this week, I don't have something new to post for Flannel Friday, even though it was one of my (million and one) goals for the year.  Is it cheating to do a re-post from a couple of years ago?  If so, I guess I'm cheating!  But these guys haven't seen the light of day in a while since I'm not in the classroom anymore, so they needed to at least come out for a photo shoot and star appearance on my blog...plus they are 15% off from 2/1/18 - 2/15/18 in my Etsy shop (along with all of my other available teacher and librarian sets!) So without further jibber jabber, here are Five Little Snowman Fat!



And here is the accompanying rhyme/song:

Five Little Snowmen Fat
Five little snowmen fat,
Each with a funny hat.
Out came the sun and melted one,
What do you think of that?
Down, down, down, down.
What do you think of that?


I found the poem here, and used clip art as inspiration for the snowmen and their cute little accessories. I made two sets for each snowman--the second set got scattered onto a "puddle" made of  light blue felt. When each snowman melts I take him away and replace him with his puddle :) 

This week's Flannel Friday is being hosted by Lisa and Libraryland.  You can also access Flannel Friday at Pinterest or the Flannel Friday Blog for zillions of ideas!  And please come visit my shop, too:  Flannel Board Fun :)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jack and Jill

My goal this year is to post a new set weekly!  I'm not off to a great start, but hopefully Jack and Jill will be the start of good things for 2018...  Here they are, ready to be shared at a baby, toddler, or preschool story time.  I love good old fashioned nursery rhymes, and this was a fun one to make.


I'm thinking most people already know the rhyme, but just in case...

Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down, 
And broke his crown, 
and Jill came tumbling after!

If you have a bucket in your possession, this is a fun one to act out, too!  Paper crowns are a quick accessory to add.  A towel or blanket on the floor can be the hill...

This is a nice one to add if you're doing a nursery rhyme story time, or just need something fast and quick between stories.

Flannel Friday is being hosted this week by Jessica!  Please also check out the Flannel Friday BlogFacebook, and Pinterest pages, which will give you tons of information and gazillions of ideas to spruce up your story times :)

And I hope you'll come take a look at my other sets at my shop, right here:  Flannel Board Fun :)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Little Miss Muffet (2)

I’m going through some of my sets that were clip art based, and I’m updating them to use my own designs so I can sell them legally :)  Here’s my new set, and a link to My old set for more programming ideas.

Melissa is hosting Flannel Friday this week!  Please also check out the Flannel Friday BlogFacebook, and Pinterest pages, which will give you tons of information and gazillions of ideas to spruce up your story times :)
And hey--come on over and take a look at my shop:  Flannel Board Fun!


Monday, January 1, 2018

Visit my Etsy shop!

Hop on over to FlannelBoardFun on Etsy!  
The soft, colorful felt board sets there are perfect for children, preschool teachers, and children's librarians. My Travel Mats make it possible (and fun) to use the sets on the go--in the car, on a plane, and anywhere with the dreaded long wait! You'll find many of the sets I've featured here on the blog.  For custom requests, please send me a message by clicking the Contact button under my shop owner picture.


FlannelBoardFun Felt Sets and Travel Mats are classroom tested and teacher-made & -approved. Each item you order is carefully prepared and packaged to arrive safely and quickly, so children can dig right in as soon as possible!

Enjoy your visit!

Follow me on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FlannelBoardFun/
and 
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/flannel_board_fun/


Friday, December 15, 2017

My Upcoming Holiday Shows!

*If you're not in the Pittsburgh area, my online shop is always open* 

 I'm so excited to participate in my first holiday craft show season!  Here are some of the amazing events where I'll be selling my sets--if you are in the Pittsburgh area, stop by to see me and many other local artists.  (If you're not in the 'burgh, shop local wherever you are!)












Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

How many times have I started making this set?  Oh, about a million.  Finally, I've come up with a pattern I like!  I'm adding this to my tiny collection of good old fashioned stories, which currently includes Goldilocks and The Three Pigs.  I plan to come up with some more over the next few months--stay tuned!



This set will soon be available for sale on my Etsy shop, and like all of my sets can be made larger if you're using it for larger audiences.  Just click the contact button under my picture on my Etsy shop main page.

Flannel Friday is being hosted this week by Jen at Adventures in Storytime! Please also check out the Flannel Friday BlogFacebook, and Pinterest pages, which will give you tons of information and gazillions of ideas to spruce up your story times :)


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Little Mouse: Hanukkah Variation

I'm a big fan of the Little Mouse game and all its variations!  Proof?  Check out this old post.  I have a Hanukkah set that I've also posted about before, and wanted a new way to incorporate it into story times. Enter a Little Mouse variation! (I like this way of exposing kids to other cultures in a developmentally appropriate way.)





By using the rhyme...
Little __________, Little ___________
Playing Hide and Seek...
Are you behind the __________?
Let's take a peek!
...you can come up with almost endless variations, all while exposing the children to Hanukkah related vocabulary words.  Examples:

Hanukkah gelt, Hanukkah gelt, 
Playing hide and seek...
Are you behind the Menorah?
Let's take a peek!

Little latke, little latke, 
Playing hide and seek...
Are you behind the Nun dreidel?
Let's take a peek!

(Obviously you'll need to brush up on your Hanukkah knowledge if you don't have much of it (that was me before I started teaching in a school with a pretty high Jewish population!))  Great opportunity for you to learn along with the kids, if that's the case.

Flannel Friday is being hosted this week by Jen!  Please also check out the Flannel Friday BlogFacebook, and Pinterest pages, which will give you tons of information and gazillions of ideas to spruce up your story times :)  And of course, swing by my shop when you get a chance:  Flannel Board Fun!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Build a Snowman

Joining his robot and farm friends in my selection of Toddler Sets, this Build a Robot set is my latest creation.  This is a perfect set to put out at a felt table or wall for kids to use independently, but it can also be used to accompany a snow or snowman story time (see my other snowman post here.)


This frosty fellow is available in my Etsy Shop right here.

Some fun snowman and snow books I like:
One Mitten by Kristine O’Connell George
Red Sled by Lita Judge
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
Snow by Manya Stojic
Snow Happy! By Patricia Hubbell
Snow! Snow! Snow! By Lee Harper
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
A Really Good Snowman by Daniel J. Mahoney
If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor.


Amy is hosting the roundup this week!  You can also find lots of great ideas at the FF Pinterest Boards!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Five Little Gingerbread Men

I have a gingerbread man die cut, and it's been sitting around collecting a bit of dust lately.  So rather than bake actual cookies last night, I made some felt gingerbread.  Yummy :)

These guys are available at my Etsy shop--come on over and take a look!

There are millions of gingerbread poems, songs, and stories available online!  Here's the one I plan to use (stolen mostly from One Little Librarian) with these sticky fellows:

Five Little Gingerbread Men
Five little gingerbread men in a row (Hold up five fingers, waving back & forth)
__________ wants to eat one!
No, no, no! (shake finger at________ puppet))
But they look so sweet from head to toe (touch head then toes)

Crunch, munch...uh oh! (slap thighs on crunch, clap hands on munch, then puppet eats a gingerbread man right off the flannel board!!)

Flannel Friday's Roundup is being hosted by Kate this week.  You can also find tons of ideas at Flannel Friday's Pinterest Pages, the Flannel Friday Blog, and Flannel Friday's Facebook page.



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Little Worm

I picked up some leaf dies this past week, and thought I'd put them to good use by making another variation of Little Mouse.  You can see the rest of them here.


I'm not selling these, but you can find lots of my other sets at my Etsy shop!

So, the rhyme goes like this:

Little Worm, Little Worm
Playing Hide and Seek...
Are you behind the dark brown leaf?
Let's take a peek!

All the instructions and explanation of this game are in the link above--enjoy!

Shawn is hosting the roundup this week. For more FF fun and information, please visit the blogFacebook page, or Pinterest page.  And share these links with your co-librarians or co-teachers. The more we share, the better!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Old MacDonald, Part Three!

What is her obsession with Old MacDonald, you might be asking yourself.  I'm sort of asking myself the same thing!  This set isn't that different than my second set,  This one, though, is just right for Toddlers!  None of the pieces are small enough to be considered choking hazards, so this set is perfect for the little ones to use independently if they are so inclined.




I'm selling these cuties at my Etsy shop--come check it out!


As you can see, these pieces are pretty darn huge, so this is a great set to use with a large crowd where visibility might be an issue.  And of course you're not limited to just singing Old MacDonald with these pieces.  Adapt songs like The Wheels on the Bus (The Chicken on the Farm goes cluck, cluck, cluck...)  Make up stories using all or some of the animals...  Play rhyming games (I'm thinking of an animal, and her name rhymes with that thing we wear outside in cold weather...)

Here are some farm themed books that might work well for you, too:

Clip Clop by Nicola Smee
Hurry, Hurry by Eve Bunting
How Kind  and I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Jane Cabrera
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley
Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails by Nancy Tafuri
Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

Bridget is hosting the roundup this week.  You can also find tons of ideas at Flannel Friday's Pinterest Pages, the Flannel Friday Blog, and Flannel Friday's Facebook page.  And come on over to my shop to check out lots more sets for sale:  Flannel Board Fun!