Flannel Friday Round Up: February 9th

Hey, hey, it’s the Flannel Friday round-up!  Thanks to everyone who contributed their ideas this week. I am always impressed with your felt skills.  Need some felt story inspiration? Check out these lovelies.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Lauren and Christy from Storytime Out Loud shared a set of heart shaped riddles that are absolutely adorable! You can see their entire set on Instagram or Twitter. What’s even better? These two started a podcast all about storytime!

Kathryn at Fun With Friends at Storytime shared a collection sea creatures that comes with a guessing game! Check out her post to see all five. I love the way she used the blue background to make them pop.

Peter, also known as The Lego Librarian, shared a fantastic version of Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani as part of his numbers storytime. Also, his library hack on how to make flannels is going to save me A LOT of time in the future.

Jessica at Storytime in the Stacks made a version of I Lost My Sock! A Matching Mystery by P.J. Roberts; illustrated by Elio. I had never heard of this book before and am excited to check it out!

In anticipation for spring, Jennifer at Adventures in Storytime made a set of “Five Little Robins” to accompany her rhyme. I like how something one person thinks looks “rushed” looks to me like something that would have taken me weeks to make! You rock, Jennifer.

I was on the bird train this week too and shared my felt pieces for the extra verses of “Two Little Blackbirds.” Great for learning opposites with a touch of silliness. And yes I realize the birds are actually blue (I have a black felt board!).








Wendy at Flannel Board Fun shared a St. Patrick’s Day themed version of the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I love how big and bright her pieces are!

Thanks to everyone who participated this week! As always:

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.  This is changing though! Soon Flannel Friday will convert to a Tumblr account where anyone can submit an idea anytime!
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.

Flannel Friday Placeholder: February 9th

Hello fellow flannel and felt story enthusiasts!  I am hosting the Flannel Friday round-up this week! Please leave a comment with a link to your post by Thursday night and I will gather them all together to showcase on Friday.

New to Flannel Friday?

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.  This is changing though! Soon Flannel Friday will convert to a Tumblr account where anyone can submit an idea anytime!
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.

Want to share a flannel or felt story and don’t have a blog? Let me know and I’d be happy to host you here!

An Open Call for Guest Posts

Fellow people who serve children in libraries:  We are an amazing group, you know that?  The willingness to share ideas and resources is one of our best features.  You can go on Facebook or Twitter, ask a question, and hundreds of people are there to engage.

You can also check out the many youth services blogs!  Maybe you’ve thought about starting a blog before.  Maybe you’ve quickly decided against it because it looks like a lot of work. Or because you think you’re not tech savvy enough. Or because you’re not sure what to say. Or because you simply have too much on your plate right now.

I totally feel you.  But I also know that so many of you out there have these absolutely outstanding ideas! I see them on Twitter. I see them on Facebook. And I would absolutely love to feature them here on Jbrary.  Writing up these ideas in a blog post is good for many reasons, such as:

  • It lets you try out blogging without having to create your own blog
  • It allows us to categorize and store your ideas for easy access in the future. A link to your post will appear on one of our programming pages.
  • It shines a light on the creative work your library is doing to serve children. Your library and staff get a virtual fist bump.
  • It helps other people! Many people use our blog and other blogs to do research for programs they are considering running.

So this is an open call for guest posts of any nature related to youth services work in libraries.  Have an idea for a post?  Shoot me an email at jbrary@gmail.com.

Give blogging a chance. You might just discover you love it.

New Songs & Rhymes

We are almost there people, ALMOST THERE.  At least for those of us in Vancouver, kids go back to school in about two weeks and the Summer Reading Club is finally starting to wrap up.  And you know what that means – fall storytimes!  I’ve been browsing our Fall Pinterest board for books, songs, rhymes, and felt stories for ideas.  Last year Dana picked out some of our fall favourites that I’m itching to bust out again.

But I also wanted to share some of our recent uploads that I’m also excited to share in storytime this autumn.  Here’s 5 new-to-me songs and how I plan to use them over the next few months.

I have a few moms in my babytime who are teaching their babies sign language and I am so excited to incorporate these common signs into storytime.  Before we sing the song, I plan on going over each sign and practicing them as a group. This will be one we do every week to help us all memorize the signs.  I’d love to bring in some props too to help babies make the connection between the sign and the object, but I can encourage caregivers to do that at home too.

New favourite action song for toddlers and preschoolers! My storytimers love An Orca Whale, so I feel confident this one will be a hit. I’d love to hear any versions you create with animals and plants specific to your region.  My legs are sure to get a workout from the up and down movements involved in transforming from a tree to a mushroom!

I’d only ever heard the extra alligator verse before filming this video.  I think this bounce or action song would work great with a mixed age group or in a babytime. Have older kids act out the rowing with you and have caregivers bounce little ones. I love sharing ways to modify old favourites, especially ones caregivers may get a bit tired of hearing.

We don’t offer snacks after storytime, but I visit a lot of daycares and Strong Starts that do offer a snack.  I’m going to sing this one when I visit them this fall not only because it’s easy to learn, but also because it teaches proper handwashing techniques.

All hail the lyrical genius of Brytani!  I can’t wait to use this one with scarves and shakers. I’m going to write the lyrics up on a poster so it’s easier for families to learn.  This one gets stuck in my head every single time I sing it!

What are you looking forward to sharing in storytime this fall?  Let me know in the comments!

That Time of the Year

It’s that time of the year.  The time when my voice is on its last leg after speaking to over 2,000 kids in 4 days.  The time when I have an ever expanding list of things to do and not enough hours at work to get them done. The time when I eat a piece of dark chocolate every day at lunch.

Summer Reading time. My library’s Summer Reading Club starts tomorrow. I’m both excited and exhausted.  My mind and body don’t have the energy this week for a substantial blog post, so I thought I’d share my favourite moment from my Summer Reading school visits this week. To give you some context, our theme this year is Book a Trip! To introduce the theme I show them a bunch of suitcases with different items inside (all belonging to book characters) until I get to the last suitcase which is mine.  I always ask the kids what they think is inside.  Here’s what happened when I visited a Grade 2 class.

Me: Can you guess what I brought with me?

Kids: Books!

Me: It’s better than a book.

7-year-old boy: *gasps* An avocado??

I could adopt that kid.  It was actually a library card, but he’s got my vote for best answer.

Happy Summer Reading!

Call for Canadian Youth Services Library Content!

As the new year rolls around, Dana and I have been thinking a lot about the direction we want to take Jbrary. Since the beginning, one of our goals with this blog and our YouTube channel is to highlight the youth services work taking place in Canadian libraries.

When we first debuted the maple leaf tag on our blogroll to draw attention to Canadian bloggers and YouTubers, our dear friend Angela said, “We need more maple leaves!”  And we couldn’t agree more.

Over the past few months I’ve been mining Twitter for Canadian library staff who serve children, trying to make connections with as many people as possible.  And it’s been a good start. But we’d like to do more here on the blog.

Are you working in a Canadian library and serving children and families in some capacity?


We would love to highlight the work you are doing!  Our goal is to feature a monthly guest post written by children’s librarians, library technicians, or any other staff who answer yes to this question. We have no rules or guidelines for the guest posts –  just tell us what’s going on in your part of Canada! You could describe a recent program, share some favourite storytime books, or even talk about your community. The options are endless.

Interested? Send us an email at jbrary@gmail.com!

Please share this call for Canadian library content with anyone you think might be interested in contributing. As we slowly build our network, we rely a lot on word of mouth and the reach of social media.  Thanks so much!

Help Us Celebrate 1,000,000 Views!

We’ve been counting our zeros and we’re almost at 1,000,000 views! To celebrate this momentous occasion we’re asking for your help.

We’re asking you to send us a short video featuring you, your storytime crowd or your little one singing a song you learned on our channel. It doesn’t have to be the whole song – a small clip is fine! We plan on compiling all the clips and making a celebration video to show off all the amazing faces that have been part of our journey thus far.

To submit a video please upload your video file to Google Drive. Then “Share” the video with Jbrary (jbrary@gmail.com) by our January 31st, 2015 deadline. Google Drive accepts most formats including .WebM files, .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files, .AVI, .MPEGPS, .WMV, .FLV and .MTS. If you have any questions or need any help, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

Flannel Friday Placeholder

It’s our first time hosting the Flannel Friday roundup and we are so excited!  Thank you Meg for the GIFs!


In case you’re new, here’s the run down:

What is Flannel Friday?
Flannel Friday is a weekly event in which participants post a description of a flannelboard, puppet, or prop storytime activity on their blogs every Friday. It is a way of sharing ideas, encouraging new techniques, and building community among children’s library staff around the world.

Where is Flannel Friday?
Currently, Flannel Friday can be found through:
*Posts on participating blogs (see archive or list of participants)
*Conversations and links under the hashtag #flannelstorytime on Twitter
*Posts gathered and organized on the visual bookmarking site Pinterest
*Conversations on Flannel Friday Facebook page

Who Can Participate?
Anyone can participate in Flannel Friday! Find out how at Get Involved.

If you’d like to participate in this week’s roundup, just leave a comment on this post!