About a month ago Katie from Story Time Secrets and I presented a workshop for some of our co-workers on using flannel boards in story times.
We talked for a little while about why flannel boards are so awesome, when we use them and how to know if a story or song will be easily translatable. We gave tips for keeping little hands away from the pieces and talked about how to use them with a wider age range than regular story time kids. And then... EVERYONE MADE A FLANNEL BOARD SET! I mean, that was the most exciting part for me.
I like to use actual flannel for many reasons- they're more durable and the kids can play with the sets themselves. I think aesthetically they look nicer and it's fun for me to make the sets. So I brought a pattern and the felt needed for everyone to make their own version of the Little Mouse game.
Everyone got out their scissors and glue and got to work cutting out houses and mice. Here's the pattern if you want to make your own as well. Ignore the fat arm, you can always trim it down to size later.
Katie likes to use clip art, contact paper and velcro for a variety of her own reasons: There's no artistic ability required, you can make sets more quickly and as test versions- if they work you can always make them into flannel sets later and it's easy to make replacement pieces if needed. She brought the supplies and clip art necessary to make Daddy's Ties (or Baby's Bows).
Since we were short on time, most people made the Little Mouse game at the workshop and took the pieces for Daddy's Ties back to their branches to make at a different time.
Katie also made an fantastic handout with links to clip art sites, different ways to participate in Flannel Friday and posts from other blogs about flannel philosophy.
At the end of the day 15 or so librarians left with the makings of two new flannel sets and a deeper appreciation for one of my favorite parts of story time, I'd say it was a success!