One of the first felt stories I made was I’m the Biggest Thing in The Ocean by Kevin Sherry. It’s a pretty fun story and translates well onto the flannel board. I used this one in my Same & Different / Opposites Family Storytime a while back and am sure to us it again.
I used the template from Kidz Club. This site is a treasure trove of felt stories! If you haven’t checked them out for some reason, I recommend you do so. New templates are added semi-regularly so it’s always worth giving them another look from time to time.
I spent a while matching up the colours to the illustrations in the book. Was this necessary? Probably not but it seemed very important at the time.
All the characters are backed on black felt except for the mondo-huge-o version of the whale that I made.
The giant sized whale allowed me to fit all the characters onto the whale to indicate that they had been swallowed. Again, this seemed very important at the time. Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night!
One day, I would like to make a puppet and shadow puppet version like this awesome video from Salt Lake Public Library. You know, once I figure out how to manipulate the squid puppet and all the shadow puppets at the same time since our storytimes are typically a one-person show…
This week’s Flannel Friday Round-up goodness can be found over on Libraryland. Check it out!
Here’s one of the felt stories that I made last year for one of our Halloween programs. The story comes from Judy’s Sierra’s Mother Goose Playhouse. I saw many versions of this on the internet, including So Tomorrow, Jen in the Library, and Busy Crafting Mommy, to name a few. These examples provided the inspiration to try my hand at this sweet and simple little story. I substituted a mouse finger puppet from Folkmanis when I told the story, mainly because I thought she was so darn cute!
Mother Mouse found a big orange house. Lucky her!
Well, that orange house had the perfect brown chimney and a nice little bit of green on the roof. Mouse must have had an excellent real estate agent to find a gem like this.
Mouse nibbled a door so her children could come inside the house.
Then Mouse nibbled two windows so her children could see outside.
Then Mouse nibbled a wide hole at the bottom so her children could run in and out.
Then Mouse turned on the lights, lighting her house up.
Well, now. What a nice little house for Mouse and her children. Hey, isn’t that house a jack-o-lantern? Why, yes, yes it is! When I told this in storytime, one of the boys in attendence shouted out “Jack-o-Lantern!!” with so much glee that I decided this story was a keeper.
I used Judy Sierra’s double felting method, making these felt pieces extra sturdy. I’m sure I can find some double duty uses for them as Halloween rolls around again this year.
Check out Flannel Friday‘s 2nd Annual Halloween Extravaganza Round Up over on Storytime’s ABC!
**UPDATE** — here is the link to the template that I used for the jack o lantern. I’ve tried to track down its source, but it’s one of those mysterious Pinterest pins that doesn’t list credentials. Please let me know if you know where this came from and I’ll be sure to give credits!
My first foray into the land of shadow puppets was the Lego Song by the Kerplunks. I had a school-aged Lego program back in November and was having trouble finding a great book to open with, but had heard a rumour that my coworkers had made shadow puppets to go along with the Lego Song.
This fun little song goes like this:
Sitting in my Lego house
In my Lego chair
Reading my Lego newspaper
In my Lego underwear!
In subsequent verses, the Lego man sits in a car, airplane, castle, and rocket ship, each time with his chair, newspaper and underwear.
Using my coworkers’ shadow puppets as inspiration, I looked up various clipart on the internet and printed off some to use as templates. I made sure I was stocked up with black card stock, coloured tissue paper, a sharp cutting tool, metal ruler, and cutting mat, then I queued up some movies and got to work. I’m particularly proud of the newspaper and the underwear!
Here’s a photo of the results — sorry it’s so bad but the lamination made things tricky– excluding the airplane and castle that got damaged during the performance. I laminated these pieces for stability and will be remaking the missing pieces soon. I attached chenille stems/pipe cleaners and wooden stir sticks to the back of each item and used double sided sticky tape to attach them to our shadow puppet theatre screen if needed, adding each new piece with each new verse. I didn’t use any sticky tape with the Lego man so he could dance around in his underwear each time, mainly because I found it funny. The kids laughed too.
I am just loving shadow puppets now! So glad I got to sit in on a coworker’s shadow puppet program for kids back in the fall so I could see how fun and easy they are.
Check out the complete Flannel Friday line-up this week over at Fun with Friends at Storytime.
What do you get when you add late night audiobook listening with a Summer Reading Club theme of Up, Up and Away, plus big-time inspiration from Storytime Katie? I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that’s the formula for a new set of felt rockets!
Original / inspirational version by Storytime Katie
My version of 5 Little Rockets
Storytime Katie’s original/inspirational 4 Little Rockets have been pinned to my to-do Pinterest board for ages. I’m headed out on my first Summer Reading Club outreach visit of the year on Monday and needed something for the flannel/felt board for the younger kids, just in case. Maybe this will become an out of this world version of Little Mouse, Little Mouse? Still deciding.
Mine definitely aren’t as perfect as Storytime Katie’s. She’s a hard act to follow! Just look at the funny shape of the yellow one I made, for example. What’s going on there? Isn’t that one looking a little more streamlined/aerodynamic than the others? Also, I don’t know how other crafters do it, but I find circles one of the harder items to cut out of felt. Luckily, I have a number of the fuzzy sides of velcro dots hanging around — the hook side of the dots are on the back of some laminated clip art — and they became the perfectly circular white portholes. I used the double felt technique that Judy Sierra describes in her books, so all of these are backed on black felt for sturdiness.
All in all, pretty happy with how they turned out. Thank you, Storytime Katie, for the inspiration!
This felt was so fun to make! It’s based on the book by Keiko Kaszo. Sadly the book is on the smaller side and the light coloured illustrations made it tough to share with a crowd of storytimers. And so came the felt.
The story of Pig’s Picnic goes like this: Mr. Pig (with the blue bowtie) wants to ask Miss Pig (with the pink hair bow) out for a picnic but he isn’t feeling very confident. His friends Fox, Lion, and Zebra meet him along the way to Miss Pig’s house and each one loans Mr. Pig his best feature — Fox his tail, Lion his mane, and Zebra his stripes. Mr. Pig feels pretty darn handsome by the time he gets to Miss Pig’s door, but Miss Pig has a different opinion. It’s a lovely little tale about being yourself.
I told this story with the flannel/felt for my A Good Case of the Stripes Family Storytime.
When choosing the perfect animals to flannelize, I found the pig design on Mel’s Desk, the fox design from Elli.com’s woodland cuteness and the lion from Elli.com’s Valentine goodness. Her Valentines inspired the zebra too!