Engaging programs to keep kids coming back to the library
I’ve been looking for a saddle to use with my puppets for months. I couldn’t find one anywhere that would work, so I decided to make one. I used 1/2 sheet of tan felt, 1/2 sheet of dark brown felt, and two 2″ book rings to use as stirrups. I glued a piece of poster board underneath the seat of the saddle to reinforce it. The book rings help to let the sides hang down from the horse…or my friend Roy from Are You a Horse? (If Roy is busy, I use my girl puppet and call her Cowgirl Kate.)
This is one of my favorite stories. The kids just laugh out loud through the whole thing. I made a flannel story long ago, and now can use it with puppets and you can, too. I always begin the story by asking the children to sing “Happy Birthday” to Roy. I wrap up the saddle in a box and have my puppet open the box. I ask the children what his present is. Sometimes they don’t know. So I explain what a saddle is and ask them how it is used. Then, Roy follows the instructions on the tag: 1) Find a horse. 2) Enjoy the ride!
Roy goes out looking for a horse and encounters every other animal imaginable! He comes up to each animal and uses two descriptive adjectives. He asks each one, “Are you a horse?” Each one answers no, then gives Roy one description of a horse. At the end of the story when Roy finally finds a horse, he makes sure it’s a horse by checking each descriptive word. I adapted a little since I couldn’t find a red wagon, a cactus, or a sloth puppet. I went to the dollar store and bought a red ATV, a flower, and used my turtle puppet for the “slow” character until I have money for a sloth puppet. Here’s a cheat sheet so you can tell the story, too:
|1||red wagon||squeaky and rusty||living thing|
|2||cactus||tall and prickly||animal|
|3||snake||wiggly and hissy||has legs|
|4||crab||skittery and pinchy||friendly|
|5||chameleon||change colors||can’t change color|
|6||owl||feathered hooty||doesn’t lay eggs|
|7||pig||fat and snorty||clean|
|8||sloth||furry upside down||fast|
|9||lion||romping and growling||eats grass|
|10||zebra||eating grass||doesn’t have stripes|
I use the horse last and say, “Roy can’t find a horse anywhere. I might as well stop telling the story.” They yell, “HORSE!” and I keep it going a couple of times. When I finally look at the horse, I go down the list and ask the children if this is actually a horse. Is it a living thing? An animal? Has legs? Etc.
Here’s the punch line when he finally finds the horse…
I guess the directions needed to be more specific! Haha.
Here’s a video of the storytelling:
Here are a few craft ideas to use with this story: Are You a Horse Crafts