Tag: Video clips

Shark in the Park

Shark Park Peek

To celebrate Flannel Friday’s celebration of Shark Week I decided to expand my storytelling version of Shark in the Park. It’s one of my most asked for stories with my preschool crowd. I wrote about using my popular “Mr. Shark” puppet in a previous post when I debuted the story. The kids always ask for more, so I decided to add more animals.

Shark Park Board

Here is the original story featuring: cat, bird, dad, shark:

Shark Park AnimalsI added: dog, bat, butterfly, bear, rhino, and bee:


Here’s a video if you’re not familiar with the story. Unfortunately it’s out of print. You can still find small board books, but too small for storytime. I made a canvas felt board for this story.

And, I even made a craft! Just copy this (Shark in the Park Craft) double-sided. Fold in half. Cut out the black part around the shark fin and watch the children shout, “There’s a shark in the park!”

For more shark ideas to use in storytime, check out Rain Makes Applesauce. She’s hosting this week’s Flannel Friday blog hop extravaganza. To find out more about Flannel Friday, check out the website, the Pinterest board, and the Facebook Group.


Press Here: A Story Mob

Ever since I heard of Toronto’s Story Mob, I’ve been wanting to try it. I wasn’t sure exactly how I could make it work as an after school program, but I finally figured it out! I have great success with series programming at my library. I decided to run this program as a series:Press Here All Lights Out

  • Week One: Design and Decorate Props
  • Week Two: Design and Decorate  Props
  • Week Three: Practice
  • Week Four: Perform for parents

I chose one of my favorite stories, Press Here by Herve Tullet, to be the inaugural story. I ordered the following materials for the props:

  • DIY Knight’s Armor from Oriental Trading. I ordered 2 dozen: you need 15 for the story, plus a few in case of mistakes! $22.99 with shipping
    Or, you can use two pieces of 11 x 17 white construction paper and two strips of 3 x 11 for shoulder straps
  • Glue sticks (about 1 stick for each prop: total of 15)
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper in 9×12 size:
    • 12 Yellow  (2 for each Yellow dot costume, plus 1 for 1 Red, and 1 for 1 Blue)
    • 10 Red (2 for each Red dot costume)
    • 10 Blue (2 for each Blue dot costume)
  • Construction paper in 11×17 size:
    These will be used to create the dots dancing and getting bigger at the end of the story. You can cut a variety of circles: whole, half and quarter. 

    • 7 Yellow
    • 7 Red
    • 7 Blue
    • 7 Orange
    • 7 Purple
    • 7 Green
  • Circle stencils (I used the lids of my pots and pans set from home)
  • Black crayons
  • 2 pieces of masking tape or Velcro to add 2 Yellow dots on top of 1 Red and 1 Blue for the beginning of the story
  • Optional: Musical instruments: I already have egg shakers and scarves from storytime
  • Optional: 5 small flashlights and hole puncher
  • Optional: I laminated each Dot costume because I used this for class visits and for professional development.

Instructions for Props:

Assemble 15 DIY Knight’s Armor into three equal piles:

  • 5 for yellow
  • 5 for red
  • 5 for blue

Please note: Yellow’s construction is different than Blue and Red.

5 Yellow Dots:

Press Here Yellow Front
Yellow Front: Front side: One yellow dot in front. Backside: Plain white back.
Yellow Back:  Front side: Yellow dot in front with black crayon for lights out. Backside: Big circles of different colors.
Yellow Back:
Front side: Yellow dot in front with black crayon for lights out.
Backside: Big circles of different colors.

Optional for 5 Yellow: Add small LED flashlights to light up the yellow dots.

Press Here Yellow Flashlights

4 Red Dots:

Red: Front side: One red dot. Backside: Black crayon for lights out.
Red front:
Front side: One red dot.
Backside: Black crayon for lights out.
Red Back: Front side: One red dot with black crayon for lights out. Backside:
Red Back:
Front side: One red dot with black crayon for lights out.
Backside: Big circles of different colors.

1 Red Dot: Add Velcro or tape and add Yellow Dot on top of Red for the first few pages:

Press Here Yellow on Red

4 Blue Dots:

Press Here Blue Front
Blue Front: Front side: One blue dot. Backside: Black crayon for lights out.
Press Here Blue Back
Blue back: Front side: Blue dot with black crayon for lights out. Backside: Big circles of different colors.

1 Blue Dot: Add Velcro or tape and add Yellow Dot on top of Blue for the first few pages:

Press Here Yellow on Blue

Now you’re ready to create a Story Mob! You’ll need 15 children to be each dot. All extra children can have scarves and shakers to dance around with and shake. If you have under 15, you can use parents or adapt the story to fit the amount of children you have. For example, tap the Yellow dot three times.

Are you ready for the story? Here we go…

Press Here Ready

“Ready? Press Here and see what happens.”

Press Here Two Yellow

“Press the yellow dot again.”

Press Here Three Yellow

“Gently rub the dot on the left” (do the same with the right and rip off to expose a Blue dot):

Press Here Yellow Changes to Red

“Five quick taps on the Yellow dot.”

Press Here Five Yellows

“Five quick taps on the Red dot.”

Press Here Five Yellow and Red

“Five quick taps on the Blue dot.”

Press Here Five Yellow Red and Blue

“Not bad. Shake them up a bit!” (Kids dance and shake.)

“Perfect, let’s see what kind of pattern we’ve made…Blue, Yellow, Red, Blue, Yellow, Red. An A-B-C pattern!”

Press Here Patterns

“Uh, oh! Who turned off the lights?!” (Notice that the yellow dots are illuminated by the flashlights?!)

Press Here Yellow Lights Only

“I bet our dots can make a rainbow!”

Press Here Dark Rainbow

“What happens if we clap our hands?” (Clap 1,2,3,4,5 and let the other kids shake shakers, clap hands, wave scarves and run by everyone.)

Press Here Big Dots

“Oh, boy! Should we do it again? Press Here and start from the beginning!”

Press Here Last Yellow The EndMy school collaboration partner, Joanne Moore, and I worked together with the kids to create a video so you can see how it came out. We did this program as a class visit to promote my awesome summer reading programs. I think I’ll have maximum attendance!

You Can Do Anything, Daddy!

You Can Do Anything DaddyI just learned that one of my other favorite superhero stories is no longer in print (blowing nose now). If you can get your hands on this, I highly recommend it! (Or, you can watch my video and create your own flannel!) This adventure story is great for many storytime themes: Dads, superheroes, pirates, bedtime. I use it frequently and am asked for it over and over! I do apologize to Michael Rex, though, because there is one page spread that I dislike so much I actually stapled the pages together in my copy and never read it aloud (it features Dad plucking the feathers off of vultures).

You Can Do Anything Daddy Flannel (1)
The various pirates that kidnap “Michael”: pirate, gorilla pirate, robot gorilla pirate and the robot gorilla pirate from Mars.
You Can Do Anything Daddy Flannel (2)
Daddy fights sharks, snakes, tigers and saves the day with his gold watch.

You Can Do Anything Daddy Flannel (3)

You Can Do Anything Daddy Flannel (4)
You can make a bunch of band aids to pass them out to the children so they can participate in the story.

Here’s my version:

You Can Do Anything Daddy with Bandaid

Here’s a craft (make sure you buy cool band-aids to accompany this craft to make Daddy feel better!): You Can Do Anything, Daddy

For more flannel ideas, check out the weekly blog hop called Flannel Friday. I just happen to be hosting this week!

Captain Pajamas

Captain PajamasThis was one of the first “flannel” stories I ever made. I began the journey because I fell in love with Captain Pajamas, but didn’t love all of the parts of the story. I didn’t think Brian’s sister Jessie was a good character, so I changed her to be co-heroes with her brother. I also didn’t like how Jessie called Shadow “stupid” over and over. And, the ending doesn’t work well with all preschool groups (I didn’t want children going home thinking there were aliens in their beds!). So, after careful thought and some paper engineering, I made my first story. I tried to find the dittos I used, but I looked everywhere and I must have left them at my old job. Someday I’ll create this story with felt, but for now it works. Here’s a video of my version of the sadly out-of-print story. I suggest making your own version to use with a superhero or bedtime theme:

Captain Pajamas (2)
Brian in his Batman pjs and pirate bed.
Captain Pajamas (3)
Jessie in her princess cape and Tinkerbell bed.
Captain Pajamas (5)
The three elements you’ll need for the story: refrigerator, bathtub and TV.
Captain Pajamas (1)
Silly Shadow disrupting the evening.
Captain Pajamas (4)
Shadow in Jessie’s bed.

Captain Pajamas Shadow Craft (2) Captain Pajamas Shadow Craft (1)

Here’s a craft to go with the story (copy double-sided): Captain Pajamas Shadow Craft

For more flannel ideas check out Future Librarian Superhero, she’s hosting this week’s Flannel Friday blog hop!

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?

Edward Gibbs’ I Spy Series

Edward Gibbs’ I Spy Series

ispyedwardgibbsGibbs’ I Spy series is so much fun! The holey pages beg children to guess who’s hiding behind them.

I have included a video of how I use these stories in flannel form. I also created a craft to pair with these stories: I Spy craft

  1. Copy the first two pages double-sided and fold in half.
  2. Cut out circle.
  3. Copy the animals and cut into quarters. Let the children choose which animal is hiding.

I Spy Craft Photo

For more storytime ideas check out Stories with Ms. Jenna, she’s hosting Flannel Friday this week.

Who Took the Cookies?

Who Took the Cookies?

Who Took the Cookies Flannel

Bonnie Lass’ version of Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? is a southwest party through the desert. Like Who Ate All the Cookie Dough, this story puts a new spin on the classic song.

Here’s a Who Took the Cookies craft. You can copy the pumpkin “cookie jar” on orange paper, then glue the animals to popsicle sticks to create a peek-a-boo craft.

If you’re thinking of storytelling with puppets, you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin “cookie jar” prop
  • skunk
  • mouse
  • raven
  • squirrel
  • rabbit
  • turtle
  • raccoon
  • snake
  • beaver
  • frog
  • ant

What’s your favorite rhyming story?

For more storytime ideas, check out Flannel Friday and this week’s Roundup.

Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?

Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?

Who Ate all the Cookie Dough flannel

Karen Beaumont’s Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? is a new spin on the classic Who Stole the Cookies song. My flannel and puppet story collections are similar because I just love some of these stories so much, I make flannel pieces, then learn to tell it with puppets. My favorite piece is Mama Kangaroo (with the culprit, Joey!):

Cookie Mama

This new version features jungle animals, and it’s the perfect story to showcase your puppet skills. Here’s a list of animals you can use (of course, you can substitute for puppets you have in your collection):

  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Zebra
  • Hippo
  • Llama
  • Monkey
  • Kanga

Kangaroo craft

I pair this story with a Kangaroo craft. You just need to score Mama’s pouch ahead of time, so Joey can pop in and out.

Here’s a video clip of the story:

For more storytime ideas, check out Kathryn’s Fun with Friends at Storytime. She’s hosting Flannel Friday this week!

The Perfect Gift

The Perfect Gift

Perfect Gift

Mary Newell Depalma’s The Perfect Gift emphasizes friendship. It’s a sweet story of friends pitching in and helping when needed the most. I like this story so much, I read the picture book, use flannel pieces to storytell, and recently added this to my puppet repertoire!

Here’s a video clip using my Puppet Bin and Puppet Stand:

What’s your favorite story of friendship?

For more storytime ideas check out Storytimes and More On the Go.

Oh, No!

Candace Fleming’s Oh, No! is mesmerizing with its rhyming text. I have been wanting to expand my puppet stories and decided to add this to my repertoire. After reading Betsy Diamant-Cohen’s Transforming Preschool Storytime, I have been experimenting. In my outreach programs (I see the children once a month), I have been reading a picture book, then telling the same story using either flannel pieces or puppets. Sometimes I change the story a little depending on my puppet collection. After, we discuss ways that the book and puppet story were different. Before I leave, I ask the children to vote on their favorite way of listening to the story.

What ways do you incorporate repetition into your storytime programs?

Here’s a video clip of the puppet version of Oh, No!

For more ideas, check out the first Storytimes and More on the Go Saturday Share.

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