This week’s flannel and storytime was inspired by the song “We Dove in the Ocean” found on page 155 of Ready-To-Go Storytimes: Fingerplays, Scripts, Patterns, Music and More. (Benton, G., & Waichulaitis, T. 2003. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. ISBN 978-1555704490). To make the figures, I found clip art images of each ocean creature, printed that out and used it as a pattern. I used fabric on black felt & some white glue to make the figures which you see below. Click on them for close-up views.
I put the flannel board on a stand, printed out the animal motions (below) and taped those up on shelves for myself and the adults, and placed each felt piece up on the board as we sang the song and did the motions together. The kids loved it so much they wanted to do it again (so of course we did).
Here’s how the song goes:
We dove in the ocean, and this is what we saw (make motions of diving and looking under water, then each creature has a motion as well. “We dove in the ocean proceeds each creature. )
A jellyfish, a jellyfish, drifting with the tide.
A seahorse, a seahorse, going for a ride.
A crab, a crab, running to the side.
An octopus, an octopus, trying hard to hide.
An oyster, an oyster, with a pearl inside.
A Shark! A Shark! His mouth was open wide.
We jumped out of the ocean, his mouth was open wide.
I highly recommend this book; it has some really fun ideas and interactive storytime songs, stories, and fingerplays, with patterns for flannel stories as well. It even includes a CD with the songs.
So, it was “Ocean” day in storytime, and I read “Hooray for Fish” by Lucy Cousins, which has some fun vocabulary in it. Then I did “Can you hear the sea?” by Judy Cumberbatch. I brought in 3 of my big seashells and passed those around after the book – we have a small group for storytime, so this worked well and the kids were pretty good about sharing and taking turns. I also read “I’m a Shark” by Bob Shea. I had a shark fan that I picked up at ALA this summer, and hid that behind the book. When the shark said something funny or loud, I had the shark fan (which functioned as a stick puppet) pop up behind the book. At the end of the book, the shark puppet chased the kids around for a few minutes. They LOVED this simple addition to the story. You could make your own, or use an actual shark puppet.
I also read “Rattletrap Car” by Phyllis Root, because it has lots of fun rhymes and silliness as well as the refrain, “It didn’t go fast and it didn’t go far” (to which one child informed me that SHE did go fast and far). We finished up with some Yoga poses using yoga cards – the kids really enjoyed these. This week we did a craft, with some leftover supplies from Summer Reading Club – paper plate oceans. Pretty easy and very cute—I did some prep by getting the plate with blue cellophane ready, and the children put on stickers and seaweed – then we stapled the plates together. Here’s a link that describes how to do this easy craft, which worked well for school-aged kids this summer, we just allowed them to do more of the craft, including the “prep” that I did for the preschoolers.