Flannel Friday: Ready-for-Spring Flowers

I’m sure we’re all ready for spring emotionally, but if your storytime plans still need a boost of floral/sunny/rainy/fresh ideas, try this easy song I found at Sunflower Storytime. I made a foam board prop to look at as we sang each week. As I sang the counting verse, I pointed at each number; on the second verse, we made arm motions for Rain, Sunshine, and Grow Up Tall.

One little, two little, three little flowers,
Four little, five little, six little flowers,
Seven little, eight little, nine little flowers,
Ten little flowers in the spring!

Give them rain and lots of sunshine, Give them rain and lots of sunshine, Give them rain and lots of sunshine, So they grow up tall!

(tune of: Ten Little Soldiers, aka Ten Little Indians)

IMG_2840I made this out of foam board, construction paper, tissue paper, and numerals printed out from a word processor.  I used spray adhesive to attach the blue sky and green grass, then added my free-cut flowers and stems with a glue stick. For the 3d tissue paper flowers, I cut out the flower shapes on a thick stack of tissue, then stapled them at the center and glued them down – then glued the yellow center to cover the staple. None of the steps are difficult, but the end result makes it look like they are. This photo was taken after use in 16 sessions and a few weeks of flat storage, so with a little care, this prop can last quite a long time. If you make it:

  • Consider using velcro to make the numbers or entire flowers movable
  • Make it as big as your storage allows
  • Add the lyrics to the back of the board

This week’s roundup is hosted by Ms. Kelly. Learn more about Flannel Friday here.

Five Little Monkeys at iTots Storytime

I’m always looking for ways to expand my repertoire, and this idea is one that I had discounted and revisited several times. A digital felt board story is a natural fit for a digital storytime, and I was interested in using the Felt Board iPad app to do it, but I disliked the inexact controls and the difficulty of placing new items on the screen – I thought it would be distracting for the kids and difficult for me. Luckily, when I thought of doing Five Little Monkeys Swingin’ From a Tree, the whole thing came together!

flannel photo

As I sang 5 Little Monkeys, I would move Mr. Crocodile along the ground and mime a big swinging action with my upper body. I kept the iPad turned toward me the whole time, but the kids saw the action up on the projector screen. Since all the pieces are there at the beginning of the song, all I had to do was tap the trash icon (all your pieces will start to gently wiggle) and then tap a monkey to make it disappear. Then I tapped the trash icon again (to turn off the delete feature) so I could manipulate Mr. Crocodile during the next verse without making him disappear, too.

Where I used it: iTots storytime, for an audience age 2-6. August and December 2014.

What I like: The children were absorbed and listening intently, which is the whole point! Also, I can make the background, tree, and other details look different every time, so the song won’t feel as stale as it does with my regular monkey magnets and Mr. Croc hand puppet.

What I don’t like: It requires practice runs – if you tap wildly and make the wrong thing disappear (the leaves on the tree, for example) it derails the song quite a bit. If you know how to handle that, it shouldn’t be a problem.