Tag: Video clips

Mr. Shark

Mr. Shark

Mr Shark

My Mr. Shark puppet has a life of his own. He swims to Connecticut for the spring, then returns to the Caribbean for the fall and winter months. (When my husband and I went on vacation in St. Maarten, we sent a postcard from Mr. Shark!) I had to create a life for this puppet, or I wouldn’t be able to read a story that isn’t shark-related to any child in the area! I’ve perfected ways of using him with two stories:

I couldn’t find a copy of Shark in the Park that wasn’t damaged, and the board book was too small to use in storytime. So I made my own version:

Shark Park Board

This is a canvas board (you can find at a craft/art store) that has felt glued to it and painted with fabric paint. (Notice the black crow, black cat, and Timmy’s dad hiding behind the newspaper.)

Shark Park

I then bought a white piece of felt to cover the board and cut a hole in it for the telescope.

Shark Park Peek

To tell the story, I ask all the children to put on their telescopes. I say the rhyme with them, and as we are rhyming I slip one of the animals in between the board and peek hole.

Shark Park Animals

Here are the things found in the book: bird, cat, Timmy’s dad, and of course, Mr. Shark.

Shark Park Cat

When I take the white felt off, the children love to laugh when I show them what’s hiding.

I’m trying to think of ways to expand the story…I guess I need to take my viewfinder out for a hike!

I also, love to use The Three Little Fish and the Big, Bad Shark with Mr. Shark and finger puppets:

What’s your favorite Shark activity? (Mr. Shark needs something new for his suitcase. Haha.)

For more ideas to use in storytime, check out Lisa’s Libraryland. She’s hosting Flannel Friday this week.

Little Beaver and the Echo

Amy MacDonald’s Little Beaver and the Echo is a sweet story about friendship. After crying for a friend, he hears from across the pond that someone is also looking for a friend. He picks up pond creatures along the way and realizes that he does now have friends. I’ve made this into a flannel board to tell, and have recently added it to my puppet story collection.

I recently acquired a Puppet Stand for my storytelling. I’m still working out the kinks…take a peek:

Mouse’s First Snow

Mouse’s First Snow

Mouse's First Snow

I love Lauren Thompson’s Mouse series. They’re the perfect size for my 2s. I pretty much made the entire series in flannel stories so the children can match up what Mouse finds on each spread. This story, Mouse’s First Snow, features: a sled, skates, snow angel, snow house, snow ball, and snow mouse. I used glitter puffy paints so they sparkle! Next week is supposed to be our first snowfall in the northwest hills of Connecticut, so I’ll be breaking this one out!

To answer Lois’ question, here’s a video:

Here’s a craft for Snow Mouse. I plan on using glitter paints for this!

For more flannel ideas, check out What is Bridget Reading? She’s hosting Flannel Friday this week!

Using Scarves with Stories

Using Scarves with Stories

Scarf storytime

Scarves are one of my favorite manipulatives to use in storytime (Future Librarian Superhero loves them, too!). In addition to using them with music and freeze songs, you can use them with books in a variety of ways:

  • Matching colors: In stories such as Dog’s Colorful Day, The Day the Crayons Quit, Freight Train, and Tip, Tip, Dig, Dig, you can hand out scarves before you begin reading. When a color comes up, give all the children with a green scarf a turn to come into the center of your circle and act out the story.
  • Body awareness: In stories such as From Head to Toe and Itsy Bitsy Spider (the Keith Chapman version), you can ask children to place the scarf on the body part of each page layout.
  • Stretching it: Using scarves to spruce up classics is a great idea. You can match up scarf colors to animal cages in Good Night Gorilla. When the gorilla gets out of his cage, have the children with orange scarves tip toe around the room like a gorilla would.
    Gorilla: orange
    Elephant: pink
    Lion: blue
    Giraffe: green
    Hyena: yellow
    Armadillo: purple
    You can also match up monsters to scarf colors in If You’re a Monster and You Know It. When the pink monster snorts and growls, have the children holding pink scarves stand up and show off.
    Pink: snort and growl
    Yellow: smack claws
    Blue: stomp paws
    Red: twitch tail
    Green: wiggle warts
    Orange: give a roar

Here’s a video with a couple extra tips with using scarves and stories:

What did I miss?

For more ideas on flannels and storytime, check out Read, Rhyme and Sing. She’s hosting Flannel Friday this week!




You can make flannel pieces, or use puppets for this silly story. In David Ezra Stein’s story, Joey hops out of his mommy’s pouch for the first time. Of course, he’s very timid and doesn’t know anything. So when he meets a new friend, he puts his hands on his cheeks Home Alone style and shouts, “POUCH!” and hops back in. You only need to make four animals for this flannel: bee, rabbit, bird and kangaroo. I also love to tell this one with my puppets:

Here’s a cute craft to use: Kangaroo craft. You just need to score Mama’s pouch ahead of time, so Joey can pop in and out.

Kangaroo craft

Wide-Mouthed Frog

Wide-Mouthed Frog

Wide Mouthed Frog

This story is so funny. There are many versions out there, but Ana Martin Larranaga’s is my favorite. Big Wide-Mouthed Frog approaches different animals and asks them, “Who are you and what do you eat?” He meets a kangaroo, koala, possum, emu, and crocodile. Of course, the last animal is the crocodile. Frog thinks he’s a brown log and when he asks crocodile his favorite questions Croc responds, “I’m a crocodile and I eat big, wide-mouthed frogs.” Frog hops away and the story ends. One of my storytimers suggested I change the ending to have Frog say, “I’m a big, wide-mouthed frog and I eat crocodiles.” So sometimes I say that instead!

Here’s a video with a puppet version:

Here’s a stick puppet craft to accompany the story. Copy the frogs on green paper and the crocodile on brown, then tape to craft sticks: Big Wide Mouthed Frog craft

For more flannel ideas check out Storytime Katie. She’s hosting Flannel Friday this week!

Tweak Tweak

Tweak Tweak

Tweak Tweak

A newer picture book by Eve Bunting is a sweet tale about an elephant asking his mother questions about how he is different from other animals. Every time Elephant has a question, he tweaks Mama’s tail twice. I have the kids act it out with me each time and they love it!


Elephant asking if he can sing like Songbird.

Elephant Frog

Elephant asking if he can jump like Frog.

Elephant Butterfly

Elephant asking if he can fly like Butterfly.

Elephant Alligator

Elephant asking if he can swim like Crocodile.

Elephant Monkey

Elephant asking if he can climb like Monkey.

You can use this with puppets as well:

Here are two different craft ideas to use with this story. You can download the pdf files here: Tweak Tweak craft

Tweak craft2

Punch a hole for Elephants nose and push a noisemaker through it to make Elephant’s trunk.

Tweak Tweak Craft

Punch a hole for Elephant’s tail and tape a piece of yarn for Elephant’s tail.

For more flannel ideas check out Check the Possibilities. 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 Trading.com (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.

The Busy Little Squirrel

The Busy Little Squirrel

Busy Little Squirrel

The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri is a nice story to introduce the season of fall. It’s a simple story that I’ve made into a flannel board. I’ve also recently acquired a cardinal finger puppet so I can tell this story using puppets!

Each animal (mouse, bird, frog, cat, dog, and owl) asks squirrel to do something with them. Activities include munch on a pumpkin, rest on a branch, hop on the rocks, lie in the sun, run through the field, and admire the moon. Squirrel cannot do any of these fun things because he is too busy getting ready for winter and collecting goodies to keep him fed. Here’s a short video of me presenting the story with my very cool Puppet Bin:

For more storytime ideas check out What is Bridget Reading? She’s hosting Flannel Friday this week.

Little Mouse’s Big Secret

Little Mouse’s Big Secret

Little Mouses Secret

This is one of my favorite fall stories. Unfortunately the illustrations are too small to use in storytime. So I worked up a way to use this story with puppets and a special handmade prop. You can dazzle your kids with this story. Here’s what you’ll need:

Mouse and Apple

Puppets (you can always substitute with what you have):

  • mouse
  • squirrel
  • bird
  • turtle
  • hedgehog
  • bunny
  • frog


Bouquet Wire

If you buy a bouquet that is made of wire you won’t have to do this step. If you purchase the Ikea bouquet, you’ll need to cut off the bottom of the bouquet and replace it with craft wire for flexibility.

Floral tape bouquet

Wrap it with floral tape.

Feed the bouquet through the mailing tube, keeping the battery end on the bottom to hide in your lap when you tell the story.

You can begin the story with the bouquet hidden in the tube. Each time an animal comes to mouse you can feed the bouquet up a little bit.

By the end of the story, the whole bouquet should be sticking out of the tube. (That’s when you dazzle them by turning on the lights!)

Little Mouse's Secret Tree

And voila! The apple tree. The kids will be astonished!

Mouse's Secret

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

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