Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flannel Friday ~ Mice are Nice!!

Find the Mice!
(book by Melanie Watt)

Do you see any mice yet?


Is that mouse hot glued to a stick?
(paint stirrer from your friendly 
Sherwin Williams Paint Store!)

Mice?   Eeeeekkkk!!!  

Mice-on-sticks!  Really?  Yes!

This week the Capitol Region Children's Round Table met at The Cora J Belden Library in Rocky Hill, CT, for Flannel Fest!  Piper and I came home with mice!  Six mice...but now there are twelve! 
More mice each night..mice with pants, mice on sticks!

My thanks to Heather Baker for the mouse template and this adorable idea:

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock
(move your mouse-on-a-stick back and forth)

Hickory, Dickory, Dock
The mouse ran up the clock
(run your little mouse-on-a-stick up your arm)
The clock struck one 
(tap your head one time with your mouse-on-a-stick)
and down he run
Hickory, Dickory, Dock

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock
Hickory, Dickory, Dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck two
(two taps)
(hide your mouse behind your hand...twice!!)
Hickory, Dickory, Dock

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock
Hickory Dickory Dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck three
The mouse squealed "wheeee"
(slide him down your arm three times)
Hickory Dickory Dock!

I plan to make about 20 mice on sticks!  One for each child to use in story time. 
Ellen Stoll Walsh has written a series of mice books.  This one is great fun!  


Piper found another pony!!
 There are two ponies in the Children's Room at The Cora Belden Library... and lots of room for riding!  This is a beautiful, spacious, and friendly library.  The displays of student artwork, the flags from many countries, and the rainbow with a pot of gold made it all very inviting and exciting!  Piper took a rest before we left...take a look!

Thank you Miss Cathy, we loved visiting your library!
The Flannel Fest was great and so were the m&m's!!
P.S. (Piper script):  Read to Toby , a reading therapy dog, in the library!  I want to visit Toby!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Spring Spring said the Robin!!

It's a gorgeous Spring day in Connecticut!   Piper and I are off to the Rocky Hill Library this afternoon for the Capitol Region Children's Round Table Flannel Fest!!!  We are bringing birds with us!  We have two little dickey birds from the Mother Goose Rhyme.  Many thanks to Betsey Diamont Cohen and Mother Goose on the Loose for making this popular all over again!  

Two little dickey birds sitting on a cloud
one named Soft, one named LOUD
fly away Soft
come back Soft

I have the children use their voices to indicate the soft and loud.  And we pretend that the birds are sitting on our pointer fingers.  We fly our pointer fingers behind our backs and bring them back again!  Such a simple rhyme and it works perfectly.  We do this at least twice.

We have a similar rhyme done in a very different and equally popular way.  Take a look at our blue birds!
One blue bird, made with pale blue tulle, tied to my pointer finger!  Think bird wings!  We have many of these already tied for little fingers to just slip on.  Birds for Mommies too.

Two little bluebirds sitting on a hill
one named Jack and one named Jill
fly away Jack
fly away Jill
come back Jack
come back Jill

(no shouting in this version)

Again, this is so simple!  Place a blue tulle bird, or blue yarn, or blue ribbon on each pointer finger and fly away little birdies!  
Vida Kova Lashgari showed me tulle birds last year, she may have done it with two little black birds...and black tulle is beautiful...or yellow birds?  Just think of all the ways you can do this!!

Two adorable books to suggest for Spring reading:



P.S. (Piper Script):  Read with your child today, or your dog!  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flannel Friday Freaky Monsters!

Once upon a time...a little boy named Eli had a red bedroom...with a big boy bed and two white pillows, a white sheet and a beautiful blue blanket.  Eli loved the color blue.  Eli had a blue shirt, Eli had blue eyes and Eli had a blue blanket!  One night when Eli was not about to go to bed and was indeed rather naughty...something was happening in his bedroom....Monsters!  yes...Four Freaky Monsters! 
 Eeney, an orange fellow with little arms and little legs, one green eye and the very bad habit of screaming EEEEEE!    

Then there was Meaney, an odd shaped monster, with sleepy eyes and a sharp tooth and a pointy tail.  

Next was Miney - he had four arms and always called out "mine, mine, mine!"

And lastly there was Poor Moe.  Moe was green, with three eyes and a mouth shaped like an O.
These Four Freaky Monsters were all over Eli's fact...they were jumping on it...oh no!

Four freaky monsters jumping on the bed, 
one fell off and bumped his head
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monsters jumping on the bed! 

You all know how this goes...
3 monsters, 2 monsters, 1 monster.  

Now, would their momma let them sleep on the floor with bumped heads?

 No way!
She picked up her monsters, and kissed their heads, tucked them in bed...
and whispered...shhh, Good Night, Sleep Tight...don't let the bedbugs bite!  

good night freaky monsters!
good night Eli!

Piper and I have a new favorite monster book...

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Meet Bo! The Presidential Puppy!

Bo, the Presidential Puppy has made a TOP SECRET trip to the Library!!   This is very exciting for the staff as well as all of the library families.  Isn't he great?  He snuggles and he cuddles and he is very smart.

He is our newest very real puppet and he will make his debut during our Spring Story Time Session!  We can't wait.  You may already know about this book, it's his favorite!

We looked at many of the library books about dogs and we decided to share this book at Bo's first story time.

Although this one is very entertaining!

Holy smokes!  Look at this...I think I know where he wants to go!!!  Didn't I tell you he's smart?!


We'll see you at the library.  Check out some of the dog books, you'll love 'em!

Piper hasn't met Bo let's still keep this 
Top Secret!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Flannel Friday Circles!

We go round and round and round in the circle game!  Both Kandinsky and Joni Mitchell inspired the creation of these circles.  I love them and their flexibility.

 Soooo many things we can do with these circles.  Each circle has an exact match..but there are many other ways to group them..outer circle color, button color, which ones have pink, count the circles, circles in a get the picture!  

 I like to start the circles in the shape of a square!  We square up the circles!!  Then all the children are welcome to take a circle off the flannel board, and we begin to match.  Some find their match before they return to the flannel board and two children will come up together. Very Cool!  Others take more time, and others just like taking them off and placing them back on!!  I slowly move the circles out of their pairs on the flannel board until I create a BIG...Circle! 
A circle made of circles.  We are approaching genius, and we are preschoolers!!! 
We make circles with our arms and circles with our hands.  We talk about dancing in circles...and then..we pass out the Lakeshore streamers.  Oh, how I love my job!

There are many Circle doubt you have a favorite, this one is mine and the YouTube video is just adorable: Joni Mitchell's Circle Game with Steven Curtis Chapman.  We dance in a circle with streamers.  We are beautiful! 

I have two favorite books to use with the circles - one was recently borrowed by my Starbuck's friend, Rex, with his new library card!

And the other a perfect Spring choice!

Hurray for Flannel Friday pals and the inspiration you bring to my library!

P.S. (Piper Script) will you please do a a flannel post on bouncing balls! (so much better than circles!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time for Templates

The Sheep template is directly from Google images.  Take a look at the Baa Baa Black Sheep post, (in my blog archive), and see how much fun I had with this!  I cut the entire sheep with the black felt and then cut the wool layer in another felt color.  Changing up stars, squares, triangles or circles is something I really enjoy playing with.  It gives character to the character!  And the kids love to point those things out to me.

Okay, this one...In My drawn by me!!  (as if you couldn't tell!)

I hand-stitched the details on the birds when I created the flannel pieces and made French knots for their eyes.  Visit my blog archive and click the Flannel Friday ~ In My Nest post for colors.

Hope these help with your creations!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Light One Little Candle

This is an incredible non-profit foundation with Connecticut roots.  Piper does her part at fund raisers and we both visit hospitals.  I recently met with an amazing young woman, Sarah Cody, a Fox News reporter as well as a writer with the Hartford Courant.   Please take a look at  Sarah meets Jane!  She will tell you all about Light One Little Candle and Joelle, the founder.

Piper is wearing a bumble bee hat and this is Mouse and Isabella - we are waiting for a train to visit some of our Light One Little Candle friends.

 Treat yourself to a Mommy Minute, Sarah Cody's blog.
P.S.(Piper script): Thanks for reading today!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Baa Baa Black Sheep!

This is one of my all time favorites for practicing sounds and syllables.  We use tapping sticks or chopsticks and we tap out each syllable.  (9 taps in the first line, 7 in the second line for the black and the white sheep)  We only sing the first two lines of this song.  The last sheep is a bit of a surprise...we often call him the naked sheep - brings lots of giggles, and we talk about the wool and yarn and how to keep our naked brown sheep warm...scroll down and you'll see our solution!  The kids love it.  

Baa Baa Black Sheep have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

Baa Baa White Sheep have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.

Baa Baa Brown Sheep have you any wool?
No sir, no sir, I'm cold right through!

Oh, Little Brown Sheep, what can we do?
They shaved off your wool, boo, hoo, hoo!

 He needs to be warm...and we have lots of yarn
let's make him a sweater to wear in the barn!!  

Because the children are not willing to part with the tapping sticks we can repeat this song up to three times with complete focus!  We put the sweater on - off - on.  (we could easily add pants and boots and a keep this going!)  

 We have multiple copies of Mary had a little Lamb at the library... a perfect lap sit book, and we  read aloud together.  

I have templates for the sheep as well as the Flannel Friday post (3/2) - I will post them on the blog asap.  Check back soon.  

P.S.(Piper script)  I hope I get a sweater!  Millie did in Three Bags Full by Ragnhild Scamell

Friday, March 2, 2012

Flannel Friday ~ In My Nest

Loving Flannel Friday!
In My Nest by Sara Gillingham

Making this flannel board was great fun!  It is a warm, gentle, loving story of a baby bird and her family! I tell the story from the board book In My Nest by Sara Gillingham and slowly layer the pieces on.  I give the children the smaller green leaves - hence, do not ever expect it to look like this in story time!!!  Many thanks again to my colleague Kari Ann.  You can find her amazing work at  She introduced me to this book.

I did create a template for the birds and their wings...will add to the blog on Monday or Tuesday.  Ready for Spring and all that it brings!
P.S.(Piper script): I love bird watching!

 Update: here's my drawing for the big bird and the baby bird.  My birds find a warm safe space to build their nest - yellow circle.  Everything else, (twigs from stiff brown felt, leaves, feathers) was just cut free hand.