Flannel Friday: Ladybug, Ladybug Flannel Game

Remember when I tried to find all the renditions of Little Mouse, Little Mouse posted on the internet?  Good times.

My family storytime loves the Little Mouse flannel game. The toddlers faces light up with delight when we finally find the mouse.  Even the older kids get into guessing which colour house it is hiding behind.  I knew I wanted to create a summer themed version.

My 4-year-old niece Sophie loves ladybugs. The other day we were at the park and I snapped this picture of her with her little friend. Two seconds later it flew away and she said, “Bye, bye sweetie. I love you.”

sophie ladybugI made this ladybug felt game because it reminded me of her, and I wanted a chance to talk to my storytimers about the importance of ladybugs (they eat aphids which are killing some of our trees!)  It’s also super easy to make!

The rhyme goes like this:

Ladybug, Ladybug
Are you behind the (colour) rug?

When I do it in storytime we practice saying the rhyme two times before playing the game.  A great early literacy tip to share before or after is about phonological awareness: “Rhymes slow down language and break words into sounds children can hear. In this rhyme, we really stretch out the word “ladybug” and break it into three clear syllables.  Being able to hear the sounds in ladybug can help kids later when they learn to read.”

Now for the flannel set! I completely free-handed the ladybug.  Just cut out a black circle for the body, a smaller black half circle for the head, two black antenna, four small black circles, and the red shell. Grab some hot glue and you are ready to go.

ladybug 2

For the rugs, I cut out six rectangles in different colours.  Then I frayed the ends by cutting some fringe on the ends.   Seriously, this is the easiest flannel set you will ever make. Now I was content to leave them plain, but my awesome co-worker Karen saw my rugs and asked if she could decorate them.  But of course!  Imagine my delight when I came back the next day and they had the most adorable patterns on them!

rugsNow I have a second early literacy tie-in: patterns and shapes.  Before we play the game, we talk about the shapes and patterns the kids see.  I give a second early literacy tip to caregivers that goes something like, “The next time you see a pattern or a shape, try talking about it with your children.  Being able to distinguish between patterns and shapes will help them later when they need to recognize the differences between letters and numbers.”

ladybug

The kids have been loving this Ladybug version just as much as Little Mouse. Thanks to Laura at Library Lalaland for hosting this week’s Flannel Friday!  Check out her blog for the full round-up this Friday, and check out the Flannel Friday website for information on how you can participate.

13 thoughts on “Flannel Friday: Ladybug, Ladybug Flannel Game

  1. What a great lady bug activity. Thank you for sharing this!

    There is a song with a catchy tune that I adapted and recorded with my friend Rahel called “Five Little Ladybugs.” I have put a link to it on my blog, http://www.mgol.net/2015/08/ladybugs/ The song would go well with the Ladybug, Ladybug Flannel Game. It is fun counting song that can be used with Folkmanis ladybug finger puppets, homemade felt ladybugs, or even construction paper ladybugs that can be taped onto fingertips.

  2. True Kathryn, very true! There can never be enough versions of Little Mouse. They love it! The ladybugs/rugs are adorable Lindsey. Think I shall create this too. Thanks for the idea ~ jane

    1. Thank you, Jane! The rugs were at just the right level of difficulty for a novice like me. They’ll take you 5 minutes!

  3. Thanks for your inspiring felt show Lindsey. The shape/pattern idea on the rugs is a nice change from colour only. I decided to make dust bunnies to go under the rest of the rugs. Can’t wait to try this with our toddlers in September 🙂

  4. I love doing this activity, and the toddlers love it as well. But I always run into a problem with this one, because every child wants to pick a color, and we don’t have enough time to let every child choose (our toddler storytimes are large, sometimes 30+ kids). Do you ever run into this problem?

    1. I’ve definitely had large groups where multiple kids are shouting out different colours at the same time. At that point, I do one of three things usually: pick a colour myself (I might say something like, “Oh I think I hear some wings fluttering over here”), call on one child directly by their name (say something like, “It’s Sophie’s turn to choose a colour today. Sophie, which rug do you think the ladybug is hiding under?”), or have a puppet whisper a colour to me and go with that one. You could set it up from the beginning to do one of these things for the whole activity to avoid chaos. Not every kid is going to get a turn each week, but that’s okay. I add in something like, “If you didn’t get a chance to choose a colour right now, you can come play with the felt story after storytime.” And I’ll leave it up for families to interact with. Hope those ideas help!

      1. I’m definitely going to try the puppet route first. How cute is that? Thank you for the awesome suggestions and an especially huge thank you for responding so quickly. My coworkers and I are rabid fans of you and Dana.

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