I know the colors of the rainbow.
Do you know them too?
If one color were missing,
Would you know which hue?
I start with the paintbrushes in random order and then after a few tries, I mix them up and make it a little harder. I’ve used this one with two preschools and two sets of storytime kids and all of them loved this new game!
I cannot resist the dollar section of Target. It calls to me. It whispers my name. Lately for good reason- every season they have AMAZING felt pieces! I’ve scored candy canes, snowmen, cats, bunnies, and these super cute eggs. What I love about these is that I could 100% have made them myself, but the idea never occurred to me until I saw them.
I used them with Kevin Henkes’ new book “Egg,” which is why there is a teeny little crocodile inside. I also use a little bit owl with them when I read “Wow! Said the Owl” and “Night Owl,” but you could put anything at all inside. Dinosaurs, snakes, a platypus!
They work the same as the little mouse game (closed eyes, hide, guess the color), except we all knock on the floor and say,. “Mr. Crocodile, Mr. Crocodile, are you in the (yellow) egg?”
This is the easiest flannel board ever! I found these adorable little bunnies in the dollar section at Target ready and waiting for me.
And they were pretty good… but we can do better.
I play Little Mouse almost every week in storytime. It’s great for interaction and conversation but it’s also excellent for color recognition. With these little bunnies, I thought we’d practice another skill: number recognition!
I cut some numbers out of flannel and now…
They’re also excellent for vocabulary and learning order numbers: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth!
My bunnies are still perfectly for a Five Little Bunnies rhyme or Five Little Bunnies Jumping on the Bed… basically anything!
Like many of you, ECRR principles guide my storytime plans. What I love most about flannel boards is their ability to help us talk, sing, read, and play (not write so much, unless you hire some preschoolers to make your felts for you!) in a natural, fun way. We sing with them, use them to tell our favorite stories, play Little Mouse 89 million ways, and just… talk.
This month in storytime we’re exploring the weather and I use felt boards two different ways to do this. First, we sing our weather song and pick which felt pieces line up with the weather that day (and also earlier today and last night and when they were in the car on the way here and last Christmas). This felt board comes from While She Naps, although I discovered it from Storytime Katie (and borrowed pretty heavily from her interpretation).
The first time I used this, I found it wasn’t entirely satisfactory for my preschoolers. It was partially sunny, but the clouds are grey! It’s not THAT sunny, they told me. Another asked me what we would do if it was raining but not a thunderstorm.
So I created more pieces, which took all of ten minutes (most of that was waiting for my hot glue gun to heat up). We have the possibility for a lot more combinations and rich conversation. What color are the clouds? How many are there? Is it raining hard, or just a little bit?
Now we sing our weather song and decide which of the first six pieces best fit the day’s weather. Then we build upon that and they start putting names and concepts together. We’re having increasingly complex conversations about the weather really easily- something we do all the time without even thinking about! We teach colors, one-to-one correspondence, even geometry simply by putting up felt pieces and singing our songs and letting kids talk. If that’s not super cool, I don’t know what is.
Flannel Friday is being hosted right here this week! Post your links and check back on Saturday for the round-up!
I use my travel felt board all the time in my outreach storytimes but it’s a real pain to keep track of all the pieces. I keep them in baggies or pockets in my purse, but things still get lost- few things are more disappointing than telling the group it’s time to play Little Mouse and then not being able to locate Little Mouse (at this point, a little voice piped up, “I have a piece of yarn!” He did and it actually worked fine). I want everything all in one place and so I made myself a pocket!
I definitely forgot to take progress pictures, so I recreated the steps with a post-it.
All you need is felt and glue. Start by measuring and cutting two symmetrical squares from the bottom corners.
Your glue will go along the flaps you just made, so make sure they’re big enough to glue down without gluing your fingers together. About a half-inch is sufficient.
Starting with the bottom, glue along the bottom lip. The glue goes on the top side of the fabric. Fold the lip underneath itself, then repeat the process on the sides. You might want to pin your sides straight while you glue, but be careful not to glue the pins to the felt!
At this point you should have a pocket that looks like this! You can leave it like this or glue along the sides to make a more secure pocket.
And that’s it! This probably took about ten minutes from start to finish and hopefully I’ll never lose another Little Mouse again!