Thursday, December 20, 2012

Theme Thursday: Wheels Roll

For our last story time before winter break- a two week stretch where we don't have any programming so we can plan for story times and elementary programs into the next year- we focused on wheels. A surprise visit from a local school group doubled our story time size.

Song: Good Morning Dear Earth
Flannel: Little Mouse
Finger Play: I Had a Little Turtle
Book: Bicycle Race by Donald Crews

Action Rhyme: Big, Big, Big
Song: Open, Shut Them
Flannel: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider
Song: Turn Around

Make and Take Craft: Color Wheels
These little guys are great for hand eye coordination and if you launch them just right they'll fly like helicopters too!

-card stock
-masking tape
-hole punch

Process: Before story time I cut the cardstock into circles just larger than a normal jar lid. I also punched one hole in the center of each circle. After story time we colored the disks, stuck a straw through the hole and taped it in place. When you roll the straw back and forth between your hands, the colored disk spins and the colors blur together.

Time: Prep took 10 minutes, the craft took 15 to make and another 20 to get over how cool playing with it was.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Could Have

I could have spent the time in between story time and the kids getting out of school shelving books. I could have spent it weeding the 900s. I could have been planning programs for the new year. I could have been cleaning off my desk.

There were a whole lot of thing I could have done with that time. I made this instead.

Happy Holidays Y'all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Theme Thursday: Hej Denmark

Let's take a trip across the ocean to Denmark, home of the Little Mermaid, trolls and very fat cats.

Song: Good Morning Dear Earth
Flannel: Little Mouse
Flannel: HEJ (Hi)
Finger Play: I Had a Little Turtle
Flannel/book: Fat Cat: A Danish Folktale adapted by Margaret Read McDonald

Baby Bounce: Criss, Cross, Line, Line
Finger Play: Two Little Blackbirds
Song: Shake Your Sillies Out from Raffi's The Singable Songs Collection (20th Anniversary Special Edition)
Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes
Flannel: Let's Go Out on a Starry Night
Flannel: Alphabet Soup- FARVEL (good bye)
Song: Turn Around from Hap Palmer's Getting to know Myself  

Make and Take Craft: Little Mermaid Coloring Sheets

Even though we didn't hear her story during story time, the Little Mermaid is one of the most famous stories to come out of Denmark. For our craft, I drew up some mermaid coloring sheets.

-coloring sheets (I didn't save any of the one I drew, but here are some from the internet)

Process: You know how this works.

Time: Prep took about 5 minutes to draw and run off copies of a mermaid, the craft took 10.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cleaning the Office

A incomplete list of things I have found during the never ending process of cleaning out the back office, with some visuals.

1. A program for the 1994 Coretta Scott King Award presentation

2. Black History Month posters from 1964

3. Professional grade artist's tools for creating block prints, including ink, brayers, linoleum sheets and cutting tools

4. Creepy, creepy Kindercise flyer which looks like a mustached man flashing you

5. Animal masks from the 80s (which we are so totally using for something)

6. 4 packs of developed film from my predecessor's predecessor's son's kindergarten graduation

7. Christopher Columbus mobile (500th Anniversary Collector's Item)

8. Unicorn (with a broken horn) mobile

9. A stack of Ranger Rick magazines from the late 80s

10. Frisbees from 1987 advertising a local law firm

11. Typewriter balls

12. Reading Rainbow catalog from 1996, advertising a Levar Burton TV special about domestic violence and kids

13. Fes'tival Figures cut-outs, UNICEF 1978

14. Gardening hand tools

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flannel Friday: Fat Cat

And I'm back. One new FancyPhone and picture taking capabilities later, I've got some Flannel Friday catching up to do. Let's start with a prop story that I made for my Denmark story time, way back when my library system was celebrating the European Union (oh, there's an Ireland one coming up, don't you worry.)

The story of the Fat Cat is a pretty standard Scandinavian tale. Basically, one animal eats a lot of stuff you wouldn't expect it to be able to. This prop goes along with Margaret McDonald's version, and it goes something like this...

Once there was a cat who was always hungry. This cat was made out of poster board with a clear stomach (one side of a gallon ziplock bag and a paper bag taped behind it). His mouth was also a hole, which can be hard to see with the black background.

On his back he had 3 dots of velcro that helped him stay on the board and keep the path from the mouth to the bag open.

This cat went around eating everything he could get his greedy little paws on. In this case it was photocopies of the books illustrations, blown up and glued onto heavy cardboard.

And when the cat ate the pieces, they showed up down in his stomach!

This one was a huge hit with the toddlers who just wanted to stuff every single piece down the cat's mouth at once. To that end I would recommend reenforcing the mouth area and if at all possible laminating the smaller pieces. I normally like to leave flannels out for kids to play with after story time but I quickly had to take this one away for fear of it getting utterly destroyed.

And there you have it. Oh it feels good to be back. Flannel Friday is being hosted this week by Cate at Storytiming. If you're interested in learning more about Flannel Friday or browsing past editions, check out the official website!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Theme Thursday: Toys

Oh toys, we can never have enough, can we? Here's a story time dedicated to favorite playthings.

Song: Good Morning Dear Earth

Fingerplay: I Had a Little Turtle

Flannel: Alphabet Soup -TOYS

Book:The Marvelous Toy by Tom Paxton

Song: Open, Shut Them

Book: Where's My TRUCK? by Karen Beaumont

Song: Jumping and Counting from Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense by Jim Gill

Song: Baby 1,2,3 from Sing it! Say it! Stamp it! Sway it! Vol. 3 by Peter and Ellen Allard

Song: Clean Up Song

Flannel: A Hunting We Will Go (framed as putting toys in their proper place)


Song: Turn Around from Getting to Know Myself by Hap Palmer

Make and Take Craft: Paper Bag Puppets

-Paper bags
-pom poms
-glue sticks
-construction paper
-pipe cleaners
-bottle glue

Process: There's virtually zero prep, just have all the stuff out and ready to go after story time. Working with caregivers the kids can create faces for the paper bags. Stick your hand inside the bag and use your hand to manipulate the flap as a mouth.

Time: 5 minutes for prep, which was basically gathering all the materials into one place, and 30 minutes for the craft.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


So while I was on my mini-hiatus, a very big thing happened. The blog turned one year old. That's right, I've been doing this for an entire year (and one month). I was going to do something special to celebrate what seems like a pretty big milestone to me. But of course, without regular posts during some of October and all of November, I forgot. 

But never fear! I know from experience that some of the best moms out there forget their own childrens' birthdays (to her credit she remembered like 4 minutes later and called to apologize (I love you Momma)), so we'll just do what you gotta do in that situation- suck it up and have a 13 month celebration featuring a look back at the last year.

First of all, I wanted to say thank you to everyone out there who reads this blog, and have stuck with it through the fallow period. When I started I thought it would be me, my family and a few friends that I could guilt into reading it. I'm pretty sure that's still my core audience but getting feedback from others in the library and kids' crafty business has been beyond valuable and a thrill.

As of today there have been 17,790 total page views for In the Children's Room (that's almost 20,000 y'all!)

The most viewed post is Little Mouse, Little Mouse.

The most viewed post that isn't related to Flannel Friday is the 3-Dimensional Sign tutorial.

The most popular search that brings people to the blog is some variation of learning how to make Hunger Games parachutes.

26 people have searched for my blog by name!

And Google and Pinterest are responsible for over 77% of traffic referred to the blog.

Speaking of Pinterest...

The most pinned most was the Flannel Friday (surprise, surprise) Monster Lunch.

The most liked pin was the super cute Paper Plate Masks we made with our farm themed story time.

So that's the year looking back. Thanks to everyone who made it as much fun as it was. Looking forward, I'm going to spend the next few weeks re-learning what keeping a regular blogging schedule feels like, as well as back-date some posts to fill in some of the two month gap. I'm hoping to find the time, patience and learn the wherewithall for a redesign at some point in the next year.