Flannel Friday Guest Post Palooza: STEAMy Flannel in Outer Space

guest post finalHappy 4th birthday, Flannel Friday!  To celebrate, we are featuring Julie Crabb as a guest blogger who is sharing the felt stories she created for a STEAM program called Story Explorers.  Julie is a Children’s Library Associate at the Olathe Indian Creek Library in Olathe, KS, and is currently working on her Masters in Library Science at Emporia State University (go, Julie, go!).

Take it away, Julie!

Inspired by the likes of Amy Koester and Abby’s Preschool Labs, I set out to create my own program series celebrating all things S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) and Story Explorers was fully realized in January! Each month (once for toddlers/preschoolers and once for Kindergarten through 2nd grade), I choose a theme, present a brief Storytime, and then let the little ones explore a room filled with hands-on activity stations. One of these stations is Flannel Board Fun!


I set out my flannel boards, some directional prompts, and rhyme signage. Not only do children simply love getting to place and pull the felt pieces (yay tactile learning!), but the caregiver/child interaction has been fantastic! The above picture is a child who, with mom’s help, created his own story that involved the Hey Diddle Diddle characters floating in space. The bunnies were on their way to rescue them!

Okay, on to the pieces:

First up, I re-used a set I had from an Outer Space Storytime. I love the rhyming text presented in Astro Bunnies by Christine Loomis, but the illustrations just didn’t work for a crowd. Guided by the Flannel Friday Facebook group, I created the following set:

Astro Bunnies (with removable blue helmets)

astro bunnies

See a star, think they’d like to go that far.
Climb aboard the rocket!

rocket ship

Once their rocket whooshes around a bit, they arrive in space.
They measure comets and meet bunnies from another place!


We also counted stars,


Hey Diddle Diddled it up,

hey diddle diddle felt

And explored the phases of the moon (having preschoolers attempt the phrase ‘waxing gibbous’ is beyond precious!)

phases of moon flannel

Thank you to Flannel Friday for creating the Guest Post-Palooza and to the wonderful Jbrary for hosting this newbie. I cannot put into proper words how much those of you who share online have inspired me this past year. I resolve to rock in 2015 and get my own blog up and running so I can contribute to the community too!

12 thoughts on “Flannel Friday Guest Post Palooza: STEAMy Flannel in Outer Space

  1. Julie! Awesome Guest Post-Palooza!
    1. I can hardly wait to see what you do with your blog!!!!!
    2. I lived in Olathe for 3 years (I worked at the Borders that used to be on Schram, and then became their District Marketing Manager – so worked w/ all the Borders in the area). I really enjoyed Olathe (most of my family moved to the KC area after I left: D’oh!). I don’t miss Borders.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement Rebecca! Now that I have sent out my blog plans into the world, I better get on it! I actually worked at Border’s for a winter once way back in college. I do miss the Seattle’s Best hot chocolates I would get every shift.

  2. Astro-bunnies! I love them. Did we inspire you to get your own storytime blog? I hope so, and now you know the Jbrary team if you need any mentoring. They’re so good! Nice work, Julie!

    1. Sharon, you have all inspired me to start my own blog! …….and get on twitter, and present at a conference, and so on……I don’t know how you all get so much done!

    1. Thanks so much Jane! I hope I can bottle up my current enthusiasm and make it last.

  3. Brilliant! I cannot wait to see your blog. And could those bunnies be any cuter! Great work!

    1. What kind words Anne! Those bunnies were my first flannel story and I just love how they turned out!

  4. Love this post!! Space and bunnies together are brilliant!! Looking forward to more of your posts from your blog!

    1. Thank you Kathryn, I am working on ideas for my blog right now!

  5. Wow, great felt board learning theme! I really like Julie’s creativity in laying out the activities. Just pinned it… thanks for sharing a superb post.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind comments! This was such a fun program for me to put on and I am glad to share it with the community.

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