Thursday, October 18, 2012

Flannel Friday: Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea

For our fall session of story time, I decided to base my theme around colors! Basic, I know, but it's my first time running a full-fledged story time session on my own, so I wanted something simple that also gave me some wiggle room. It feels like I've got a VERY young group this time around, so having the wiggle room is good.

For week 1, I did red, and borrowed the crafty Miss Sarah's Five Red Apples flannel board. The kids LOVED it; I can't even begin to describe how adorably silent and worried they went when I brought out the farmer's wife to exclaim about how there weren't any more apples.

We did blue my second week, and I decided to make a flannel board based off of Jan Peck's book, Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea. It's a cute story with great illustrations, and it has a lot of repetition, which I like to use with my flannel boards. The animals are made out of craft foam, though the background is flannel.

Here's my full cast of characters:

 Please excuse the dolphin's terrifying eyes. I promise they're normal googly eyes, there's just an unfortunate light glare. (Though based off this picture, I am seriously considering naming him Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. I feel like it fits.)

 My background:

And some close ups:

Ms. Whale and Mr. Octopus are fancy. Probably on their way to an under-the-sea ball. The BEST kind of ball, obviously. I hear life is the bubbles down there.

Oh, Stormageddon. You look so much friendlier now!

But Mr. Seahorse is still keeping an eye on you.

I switched up the book's text a little to work more smoothly for a flannel board. Instead of including the "treasure" stanzas to frame the story, I just focused on "meeting" each sea creature. Here's the rhyme I ended up using!

Way down deep in the deep blue sea,
I spy a seahorse swimming by me!
Hello, seahorse!
How are you, seahorse?
See you later, seahorse!
And we swim away!

I then switched out the seahorse for a hermit crab, a starfish, a sea turtle, an octopus, a dolphin, and a whale. (There was a swordfish in the original book, but I was out of room on my flannel board, and I figured my 2s and 3s would be least likely to recognize a swordfish. Sorry, Mr. Swordfish!)

Then, to wrap up this flannel board, I introduced an exceedingly cute, fuzzy shark puppet (WAY less intimidating than you-know-who a few pictures up):

Okay, he is a wee bit toothy, but I maintain that he is adorable.

And here's the end of our rhyme!

Way down deep in the deep blue sea,
I spy a... a SHARK! Oh no!

Quick, swim away!

And that's it! We ended by waving goodbye to all of the different animals. The first time I did this, I waved goodbye to each animal individually as I took them off the board, which did not hold the kids' attention even a little bit, so we switched to a general goodbye instead. If I do this one again, I also might omit a couple animals - the flannel board as a whole went a bit long, and at one point, I had a little girl inform me, "You're putting too much on there!"

End note: Apologies for the Stormageddon jokes, which you probably won't find funny unless you watch Doctor Who.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Flannel Friday: 5 Little Ducks

This is an old favorite, obviously; I'm sticking to the tried and true lyrics because I love them. (I grew up listening to Raffi's version of this one over and over and over.) I would love to figure out a way to make this flannel board with more bells and whistles: for example, finding a way to make the ducks "swim" across the board, plucking them off one at a time once they disappear around the back. Ooh, magic! [insert jazz hands here] Alas, I'm going to have to save that for some future story time.

Five little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
But only four little ducks came back.

(Repeat with 4, 3, 2, etc.)

For the last verse, I use:

Sad mother duck went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck said, "Quack, quack, quack quack!"
(dramatic pause)
Uh oh... I don't think that was loud enough. Can you all help Mother Duck quack a little bit louder?
And all of the five little ducks came back!

For the actual flannel pieces, I used our ellison machine to cut ducks out of craft foam, then added some orange foam for their beaks and feet. Then I decided that this bunch of ducks loves to play dress up, and so each of them got a different accessory. (Aaaaand I am linking this to the Halloween flannel board post because... you know. Costumes! Totally relevant! Easy way to jazz up an otherwise non-Halloweeny flannel board!)

 There's my whole crew! Flock? What do you call a group of ducks?

Haha, and obviously I had to look that up. According to wikianswer: A group of ducks is called a badelynge, bunch, brace, flock, paddling, raft or team. Also, one might call it a dover of ducks. If it's a group of ducklings (i.e., they've recently hatched and are being looked after by their mother), it is called a brood. The more you know! I think I might like "paddling" the past. Look at that paddling of ducks paddling about! Dover is rather charming, too.

 Superhero Duck and Sir Royal Duck

 The Court Jester!

 Santa Duck and Ballerina Duck (I know, it's barely even October yet, but I figured a Santa hat was nice and recognizable.)
 And here we have poor Mother Duck! She's a sort-of-puppet. Her head is turnable, but that's the extent of it. She's huge and fluffy though, so she gets to sit on my lap and lead the quacking.

And that's it from me! Hope you liked my ducklings.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Story Time Craft: Sunflowers

 I'll have to go back and play catch up on my previous crafts for this session of story time, but for my YELLOW week, I actually remembered to take some pictures, so here they are!

We made sunflowers from yellow fall leaves and black beans!

These were super simple to make and even easier to prep for. I gave each kid a sheet of blue cardstock, with a simple circle drawn in the center (just a little bit bigger than the brown circle of construction paper). The circle was just there as a guideline to help my crafters figure out where to put the glue. We outlined the circle with a gluestick, then pressed the yellow leaves in place. Once the leaves were down, we glued our brown circles on top. Then we made dots with our tacky glue, and the kids pushed the black beans into place. (Tacky glue worked BY FAR the best to hold the beans in place.) Finally, each child got a green crayon to add whatever extra details they wanted.

 And there you have it! A nice sunny, autumnal sunflower. Do keep in mind that leaves can be temperamental beasts; my second day's story timers ended up with sunflowers that were more brown than yellow, since I had collected the leaves a few days previously. If you have the chance, it might be a good idea to press them ahead of time, in the hopes they'll hold their color a bit longer. Otherwise, collect the leaves day of or the day before for the brightest colors.


Happy Fall!