PJ Storytime: Manners

I’m usually not one to harp on manners or go on rants about how disrespectful kids these day are. However,  some really funny new picture books on manners came out this year and I couldn’t help myself. These early years are when children develop social skills and some gently encouragement to be polite never hurt.


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Flannel: 10 Dizzy Dragons

We have an amazing volunteer who creates the most detailed flannels for us. I can’t get over what a great job she did with these dragons! Each one has their own personality and some of the details blow me away. I have the pattern attached as well. If you’re not as crafty with felt, you could color and laminate the dragons.

I also found it helpful to number the dragons on the back


A close up of my favorites. Can you see the toe rings?!

A close up of my favorites. Can you see the toe rings?!

Ten Dizzy Dragons

Ten dizzy dragons lived long ago,
In a land full of magic where few people dared to go

The first dragon wore a garland of flowers
The second dragon had strong magic powers

The third dragon flew wildly through the air
The fourth dragon lived in a jewel filled lair

The fifth dragon rescued people in trouble
The sixth dragon liked to blow pretty bubbles

The seventh dragon wore a crown made of gold
The eighth dragon had a heart brave and bold

The ninth dragon had breath of smokey green fire
The tenth dragon was a terrible, awful liar.

Ten dizzy dragons lived long ago,
In a land full of magic where in your dreams you can go

Ten Dizzy Dragons (pattern)

Flannel: Five Green and Speckled Frogs

This is a classic song that makes a fantastic flannel board.

I love using the pocket pond (just two pieces of blue flannel glued together and shaped) so my frogs can disappear into the pool.


And, yes, they are different shades of green. I originally only had three frogs for my baby storytime and couldn’t find that same froggy shade of green.

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Five green and speckled frogs
Sitting on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs
(yum yum)

One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green speckled frogs
(ribbit, ribbit)

Another option with this song is to teach the kids hand gestures.

Five green and speckled frogs /Sitting on a speckled log
Rest five fingers on your other arm (held horizontal like a log)

Eating some most delicious bugs / (yum yum)
Rub tummy

One jumped into the pool / Where it was nice and cool
Jump one finger off your arm

Giving Yourself Permission to Fall

Batman: Why do we fall?

My blog has been quiet for the past month. I have excuses. It’s Summer of Reading, I took a short “vacation” so my grandma could meet her great-grandson, and I have a 8 month old, and did I mention Summer of Reading started and I’m the branch coordinator? Oh, and I’m human. Sometimes I forget that part as I try to juggle everything. I’ve been feeling guilty about falling behind on my resolution to blog. That guilt actually started preventing me from just starting back up. (Let’s be honest, I don’t have a strong enough following that anyone even noticed my silence) but that didn’t stop me from beating myself up about it. I know that I’m not alone in these feelings, so let this be a reminder to you (and to myself) that it’s ok to be human. It’s ok to make mistakes, to fall behind, to drop the ball. Give yourself permission to fall and then get back up and move on. Here we go!

Flannel Board: Wide Mouthed Frog

I remember the story of the Wide Mouthed Frog from my third grade teacher, who during summer breaks would perform as a storyteller. She left a big impression on me and I can only hope that I do her justice with the telling of this tale. I love really hamming up the southern drawl of the Wiiiide Mouuuuuth Froooog! The puppet is from Folkmanis and is fairly realistic. I use him with laminated photos of real animals, though you could certainly create felt creatures and a felt frog would work as well.

Wide Mothed Frog

I ad-lib the story, but here’s the general tale, if you’re not familiar:

“Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies! What do you eat?” (I always ask the kids first and let them reply)

The wide-mouthed frog ate flies. He liked flies, but that was all he had ever eaten and he wondered if there were other things to eat that were even better than flies. So he went hopping around the lake until he came across a duck. (put up picture of duck) “Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” “Hello, I’m a duck and I like to eat grass and leaves and sometimes little fishies.” “Sounds good! So long, Mr. Duck!”

The wide-mouthed from continued around the lake when he came across a turtle. “Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” (very slowly) “Good afternoon. I’m a turtle and I like to eat worms, and mushrooms . . .” “Good to meet you Mr. Turtle. I’ll have to try that!”

The wide-mouthed from kept on hopping around the lake until he came across a little field mouse. “Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” “Hello! I am a mouse and I like to eat seeds and berries.” “Have a great day, Mr. Mouse”

So the wide-mouthed frog kept hopping along until he met an alligator. “Well, hello there! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” (in your most sinister voice) “Why, I’m an alligator and I like to eat WIDE-MOUTHED FROGS” (purse your lips together) “Well, you don’t see may of those, now do you?” And the wide-mouthed from hopped away as fast as his froggy legs could carry him.

Animal Photos

Sock Hop

I REALLY want to start offering a regularly scheduled music and movement storytime, but in the meantime I will settle for a Sock Hop storytime. This storytime calls for a few books about socks (and ducks apparently, what is it with ducks in socks?) plus some great tunes we can dance to in our socks, toss in a cute sock flannel board and stir in the secret ingredient of a parachute, and I think I’ve got a recipe for success!

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Five Pairs of Dirty Socks

These simple soc???????????????????????????????ks made a great addition to my Sock Hop storytime this week. I stole the rhyme from a co-worker (I did find a similar rhyme from a previous post). They could be used as a sock sorting game as others have done, but they are a bit large and it would have to be a small group. I also did not make an amazing felt washer, maybe for next time. This is an easy flannel to make but it has lots of learning opportunities: colors, matching, counting (I even had the kids count by 2’s).

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2015 CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards!

This past year I had the pleasure of serving on the award committee for a new picture book award, the CLEL Bell Award! This is the second year the the CLEL Bell committee has awarded honors to the best picture books that model and support the five early literacy practices: Read, Write, Talk, Sing, and Play. I think we did a bang up job picking this year’s winners. On the CLEL website you can also view activity sheets for each winning title, and take a look at the award’s short list for more fabulous titles (the competition was fierce).

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Flannel: Shape By Shape

Ever since I first saw the book Shape By Shape by Suse MacDonald I thought, “This should be a flannel story!” The way the pages reveal the dinosaur didn’t translate perfectly onto felt, so it did require some adaptation.

I finally put my mind to it and it turned out great (I think). Unlike the times I’ve used the story book, the kids did not guess right away what it was. I always felt that the cover gave it away.


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