Category: Using Music in Storytime

Today is Monday Felt Story & Song



I love this classic story and song. I use it with all kinds of themes: food, Thanksgiving, animals, family, days of the week. Greg & Steve’s song is a perfect way to extend the story after reading it. I made a flannel board so I can use this in many different ways. I can use it over and over and not get bored! I just found out that Scholastic sells the Big Book format, so I’ll be getting a copy soon!

The animals and food pairings are:

Monday = Porcupine = String Beans

Tuesday = Snake = Spaghetti

Wednesday = Elephant = Soup

Thursday = Cat = Roast Beef

Friday = Pelican = Fresh Fish

Saturday = Fox = Chicken

Sunday = Monkey = Ice Cream

I Love My Hat by Douglas Florian


This is one of my new favs–it reminds me of Pete the Cat! The story is so versatile to fit a number of themes: getting dressed, farm, animals, tractors, stories in rhyme, stories you can sing! I had to flannelize it! I made a Farmer Brown complete with all the clothes:


And I made a tractor with all the animals in their rhyming clothes:


This should come with a warning! I can’t get this song out of my head! Now you won’t be able to, either:

For more storytime ideas check out Katie’s Story Time Secrets, she’s hosting Flannel Friday this week. To find out more about Flannel Friday, check out the website, the Pinterest board, and the Facebook Group.

The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming


This is a new-to-me story, even though it’s about ten years old. I just fell in love with it and so have all of my kids. I had to make a flannel to accompany it, so I could use the story in different ways. I made all the pieces featured in the story. This way we can each get a piece and count along as we sing. I also added animals to the story, some can be found in the picture book and others I added that can be found in our own backyards. The children gave me this idea after reading it to one particular class.


If you don’t know this one, I made a video!

For more storytime ideas, check out Storytime Katie’s blog. She’s hosting Flannel Friday this week. To find out more about Flannel Friday, check out the website, the Pinterest board, and the Facebook Group.

Musical Melodies

Musical Bottles (5)

I will be doing a Musical Melodies program this summer with my school agers. Since the setup is a little time consuming, I have done it ahead of time.

You’ll Need:

  • 5 glass bottles (12 oz.) (Since we don’t drink much of anything except water, I asked the local package store for clear,  glass bottle donations and they gave me free, empty Coronas.)
  • Water
  • Measuring cup with ounces
  • Food coloring
  • Optional: rubber gloves and newspaper (if you’re clumsy like me and spill food coloring all over) and a skewer to stir food coloring
  • Wood tipped drumsticks
  • Optional: Bottle capper, bottle caps, can opener (Again, I’m lucky because my husband has some cool tools around the house. You can ask a local brewery if they could do this for you, or you can purchase the capper and caps for about $20.00. Or, you can setup an hour before the program. I made four sets of five and it took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I will use a bottle opener to open the bottles before the kids walk in the door.)
Colored Bottle Amount of water Food coloring drops
Red 11.4 oz 5 red
Orange 7.8 oz 1 red + 8 yellow
Green 6.6 oz 3 green
Blue 4.8 oz 3 blue
Purple 3.6 oz 2 red + 1 blue


1. Measure the ounces into each bottle.
1. Measure the ounces into each bottle.
2. Place drops of food coloring in each bottle. Stir with skewer.
2. Place drops of food coloring in each bottle. Stir with skewer.
3. Optional: Cap bottles and store until you're ready for the program!
3. Optional: Cap bottles and store until you’re ready for the program!

I will have some easy songs for the children to learn how to play, using wood-tipped drumsticks:

OLD MACDONALD Jingle Bells Mary Had a Little LambBryce Don’t Play is hosting this month’s school age programming blog hop: Thrive Thursday.  To check out past roundups, click here. For more information check out the schedulePinterest board, and Facebook Group. Email me if you want to host in the fall!


Preschool Egg Maracas

Preschool Egg Maracas

Egg Maracas (8)If you’re looking for an easy, last minute Easter craft here’s one! I did a special spring program for my preschoolers and they loved it!

I read Press Here by Herve Tullet and had all the children help me press, rub, shake, and clap along with me to make the magic happen. This also was a good springboard for ideas for families to take home and do with their children. Then, we got straight to the craft to leave plenty of time for dancing. You’ll need:

  • Small cups
  • Cheerios (not the best for sound, but non-toxic/no choking hazard)
  • Plastic eggs
  • Duct tape (there are so many cool kinds nowadays!)
  • Electrical tape
  • Spoons (2 per child)
  • Stickers to decorate
  • Scissors (for yourself while setting up)

Egg Maracas (6)


  • Pour the Cheerios in the cups. I made sure to be generous. Of course the little ones are going to have a snack while they’re working!
  • Cut strips of duct tape and electrical tape. Stick them to the wall or edge of the table.
  • Place spoons, eggs, Cheerios, and stickers on each table.
  • Highlight your music collection for checkout!

Directions for families:

1. Add Cheerios to fill egg.
1. Add Cheerios to fill egg. Close egg tightly.
Egg Maracas (4)
2. Place egg between two spoons and wrap handles with duct tape.
3. Place electrical tape over the egg and hold spoons and egg together.
3. Place electrical tape over the egg and hold spoons and egg together.
4. Decorate with stickers and shake away!
4. Decorate with stickers and shake away!

I taped directions all over the room, and gave parents a crash course before we got to work. I played music during the program so as children finished, they could dance around with their new instrument. I always have extra, so some children make extra for their siblings, cousins, or friends who they will be seeing for the holiday.

For more preschool ideas, check out Lisa’s Libraryland. She’s hosting the weekly Flannel Friday roundup this week.

One Story, Seven Ways

One Story, Seven Ways


Inspired by Notes From the Story Room, I decided to write about my own ways to tell stories. I will be using Good Night Gorilla to showcase my variations.

I recently read Transforming Storytime, and took a professional workshop about the Whole Book Approach. I began implementing both strategies when I 1) read aloud in storytime.

Good Night Characters

The second way to read a story is to create a 2) flannel board to either a) use to accompany the story and have the children take turns coming up to match their piece or b) use to tell the story instead of using the book. Click on the links for more detailed information on Good Night Gorilla’s flannel set, or how to make a flannel.

GNG Props

The third way to use a story is to 3) make props to go with it. Strong Start’s blog made an awesome set to coordinate with Good Night Gorilla. So good in fact, I won’t bother posting pictures of my set!

I love using 4) puppets when I can! I try to adapt stories using my puppet collection. Check out my Puppet Stories, Puppets Songs, and Video Clip links for more ideas.

The next two ways of telling stories is more challenging. There’s the 5) cut and tell way and 6) draw and tell way. I created one of each to accompany Good Night Gorilla. Click on the links to download stories: Good Night Gorilla Cut and Tell, Good Night Gorilla Draw and Tell

GNG Draw and Tell

My favorite (I know, I say that too much!) is using 7) music. I can always pair up a song with a story. For Good Night Gorilla I use “I Shut the Door” (from Season Sings by Miss Carole):

What other ways do you use to tell stories? What’s your favorite way?

Ten on a Sled

Ten on a Sled

Ten on a Sled

Kim Norman’s Ten on a Sled is a perfect winter read aloud. I made a flannel set to use instead of the book so I can mix up the story with my in-house programs and outreach storytimes. This singable story is perfect to get the crowd rocking and rolling with you! Here’s a detail of all the animals on a sled:

Ten on a Sled Flannel Board

The vocabulary is rich and introduces children to animals they may not have met before including a caribou, seal, hare, sheep, walrus, fox, squirrel, wolf, moose, bear. Each animal comes off the sled in an alliteration way: hare hopped, walrus whirled, bear bailed.

This song will be stuck in your head all day! I’m off to read the “sequel” right now called If It’s Snowy and You Know It Clap Your Paws.

For more storytime ideas check out Storytime ABCs, she’s hosting Flannel Friday this week.

Pete the Cat’s Groovy Buttons

Pete and 4 buttons

I love Pete the Cat, and so do my storytimers. I was so inspired by all the FFs out there that made Pete stories, I decided to try my own. It took a little work (and help from my husband!) but it was well worth the effort. Here’s how:

I found a Creatology felt set on clearance at Michael’s, so I bought it to sacrifice for Pete. (You can cover a piece of cardboard in dark blue to get the same effect.) I cut out yellow felt and hot glued it to Pete for his shirt (don’t forget to leave a triangle piece that comes off to show his belly button). I used white, yellow, and black paint to put the finishing touches on him.

My husband drilled four holes and cut a slit for each rubber band to fit into.

Rubber band in slot

I also found 4 colorful buttons at the craft store and threaded them with rubber bands, leaving a piece to fit into the slit.

Buttons with rubber band

Time Part of song
0:20-0:30 4 buttons  
1:01-1:12 3 buttons  
1:44-1:53 2 buttons  
2:24-2:34 1 buttons  
3:16-3:30 belly button  

Here’s a Pete the Cat Buttons Craft to use with the story. You can find self-adhesive buttons through Oriental (you get 800 for $10.50), or you can use Dot Markers or circle stickers.

For more flannel ideas check out Read It Again, she’s hosting Flannel Friday this week.

There was an Old Monster

There was an Old Monster

Old monster

I’m preparing early for Halloween this year and am making a series of monster stories. Emberley’s There Was an Old Monster is a perfect story to convert to flannel! And, you can download the free song here.

First I made the monster (seen above). Then I made each animal:


Tick (with stomach)

monster with animals

The rest of the animals: Ants, Lizard, Bat, Jackal, and Bear.

old monster tummy


Lion (I love the over-sized piece!) The finished product is about 2 feet by 4 feet!

finished monsterI can’t wait to use this throughout the month of October with my in-house storytimes, and outreach!

For more flannel ideas check out Storytime with the Library Lady. she’s hosting Flannel Friday this week.

If You’re a Monster and You Know It

If You’re a Monster and You Know It

If youre a monster and you know it

I’m getting ready for my month of monster mayhem. Instead of making flannel pieces to go with Ed Emberley’s story / song, I found pre-made “Furry Friends” from Trend Enterprises here. I just taped them to craft sticks and they’re ready to use! You can download the free song to go with Emberley’s story here. I matched up each monster with a color. (Of course you can make your own felt monsters like Falling Flannelboards or Notes from the Story Room.) You can pass one out to each child before you begin the story. When it’s their turn they can stand up and act their monster out:

Snort and growl = pink

Pink snort and growl

Smack claws = yellow

Yellow smack claws

Stomp your paws = blue

Blue stomp paws

Twitch your tail = red

Red twitch tail

Wiggle your warts = green

Green wiggle warts

Give a roar = orange

Orange roar

Now you’re ready to turn into a monster! For more ideas check out Fun with Friends at Storytime, she’s hosting Flannel Friday this week.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira