Flannel Friday: Song Cube!

This week I made myself a new storytime accessory. I’ve seen awesome songcubes all over pinterest and my favorite blogs (I think Storytime Katie’s was the first I saw). I love them! I made a cut-out version for my library’s Every Child Ready To Read cut-out page, but it’s too dinky to hold up in storytime.

Thanks to a late season cold, I have plenty of square tissue boxes around and that’s what I used to make my storytime version. It’s too easy! I filled the box with craft paper and taped over the top to reinforce it.

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I traced the sides onto cardstock to cover it. Here’s a heads-up: I knew that the top and bottom were smaller than the sides, but I did not realize the sides have different dimensions too! The flat sides are a little larger than the sides with the folds.

I made pictures for each song and glued them to my cardstock. I used scotch tape to attach the cardstock to the box to hold it in place when I covered the whole thing with packing tape.

photo 3 (3)And there you have it! I included all of the songs I repeat frequently in storytime and two oldies but goodies that I don’t use often. All together, I have:
Shake Your Sillies Out
Old MacDonald
The More We Get Together
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
I’m a Little Teapot
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I used it in storytime for the first time and when the stars landed face-up, I asked, “What song could this be?” A little girl shouted, “TWINKLE!” and all of my storytime kids immediately began to sing without prompting. I can’t wait to use it again!


Flannel Friday: The Three Billy Goats Gruff

One of my favorite things about children’s librarianship is how many “firsts” I get to experience with kids. I get to watch them learn and hear songs, stories, and rhymes for the very first time every week in storytime! So this week, I bring you one of my favorite folk tales to tell to the kiddos. It’s a classic! And being the first person to introduce it to a kid is pretty special.


This set is special to me for another entirely separate reason. It’s the very first felt board I ever made! I made it in my storytelling class in grad school, when I really began to realize that children’s librarianship was what I wanted to do. That was only about a year ago- I can’t believe I’m here, living that dream every day!

piiicIt’s kind of rough craftsmanship and I have no doubt that it would look pretty different if I made it today, about forty felt boards of experience later, but I don’t see this one retiring for a long, long, long time.


Program: Artsy Fartsy

Last month my school age art club was on an art style, pointillism. This month we focused on an artist that many of us know and love- Eric Carle!

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Eric Carle’s process is a collage style. He creates his own textured paper with paint and other tools and uses that and tissue paper to create his vibrantly beautiful illustrations.

I split the program into three parts. First, we each picked an Eric Carle book from my display and looked through it. Then we picked a favorite picture in our books to share with everyone else. At this point I introduced a new art word: texture! We talked about what it meant and where we saw it in the books.1795_LG

Then we created our own textured paper using a variety of tools: paintbrushes, coffee filters, puffballs, toothpicks… All sorts of odds and end I had lying around in the art room cabinets.

photo 5 (1)While that was drying, we used paper I had created the day before to make some collages. I didn’t go all out for my paper. I painted 25 sheets of card stock different ways to get the texture and left it at that. All the colors looked something like this:

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Painting all of that paper took about an hour, but I really enjoy mindless artsy tasks, so it was fun for me. I do think that with an older group that’s more paint-conscious you would be able to use the paper they’ve painted. But with younger kids? It’ll probably take too long to dry.

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The end results were SO FUN! Some of them tried to imitate the pictures they found in the books while others created something entirely original. I received some lovely comments from parents who enjoyed that their kids were working with new mediums and learning about different styles of art. It’s so much fun to see this program grow; I can’t wait for next month!