Over the past few weeks I’ve been sorting/organizing the craft closet in preparation of hiring a new Chidren’s Librarian. It’s also been a fascinating adventure since I didn’t know that we had half the things that are in our closet. I came across a sad/worn felt board, and then an entire box of commercial felt characters from books (where images are printed on the felt). I decided it was time to invest in a new board, and that I’d have the new librarian go through the box to see if s/he wanted to keep or use any of it. The few that I looked at seemed rather flat, boring, and sad.
Honestly, the only flannel programming I’ve seen in libraries was when I was a child – it was Stone Soup and it was really cool. I really don’t remember much from the flannel board story, but I remember having the sense that I’d just seen a really neat thing, and it’s the single storytime from my childhood that I remember. I’d also seen plenty of felt components to other librarians’ storytimes that they’d shared online, but I didn’t fully get the appeal.
It wasn’t until I stumbled across this post by Abby Johnson on the ALSC Blog that something clicked in me. I think it was that this particular song/felt combo spoke to me on a deep level, and the potential for using felt in our storytimes opened up to me (angels sang, trumpets blared, etc.). Maybe it was seeing a flannel mitt (which I’d never seen before) that made me realize how dynamic this medium could be. And cute. Never underestimate the power of cute. Here’s the song that converted me to a flannel-lover (and like Abby, I couldn’t find the origin of this adorable song – so if you know, then please let me know and I’ll share):
Five Nervous Turkeys
(to the tune of My Bonnie)
Five (4, 3, 2, 1) turkeys were getting quite nervous –
Thanksgiving Day soon would be back!
So one turkey put on a duck suit
(swap a turkey flannel out with a duck flannel)
And now he says “gobble, quack, quack!”
IS THAT NOT THE CUTEST THING EVER?!
Anywho, I double-checked to see if we had a mitt (we didn’t) and so I went and dug through our small plastic bin of felt to see if I could either make one or come up with another idea. And another idea I had! Why not make rings (or super-simple finger puppets)? My only concern is that I could mix them up when doing the song, and the two rings that really won’t work on different fingers are the pinkie and thumb ones. I most likely will subtly number them on their back sides.
I grabbed some felt pieces that we had on hand and made my felt critters. We didn’t have orange felt, but Mary suggested using an orange Sharpie to color some white felt (and it worked – huzzah)! I drew a few outlines, but I mainly just “winged it” (bad pun intended). I would use my first cutout as a template for the rest. Et voila! Turkeys and duckies! Okay, turkeys minus their waddles (seriously I just now noticed that I didn’t make waddles – but I don’t think that I’m going to make them out of fear of destroying the cute Sandra Boynton feel. But now I’m waddling back and forth between adding them or not. Yes, bad pun intended).
UPDATE: They’ve been waddle-fied!
And now for the duckies:
Very randomly, I now have “five turkey/duckie rings” a la “five golden rings” from The 12 Days of Christmas in my head. Now it’s likely in yours. You’re welcome.
Well, this is for later in this month, and I’ll be sure to update here if I have any noteworthy notes to share with y’all. Until then, I leave you with a gif I made to illustrate what goes on in my head when I sing this song: