I used to be very resistant to using flannel boards in my programs. I was always afraid that the kids would rush to the flannel board, begging to rip off pieces and generally causing havoc. It hasn’t turned out that way, though, and I find myself having a least one new flannel board ready for each program.
I got the idea for this one from Storytime Underground, though I changed the rhyme up a tiny bit to fit the natural cadence of my voice.
The basic chant is “Little Pink Mouse, Little Pink Mouse, are you hiding in the _____ house?” I ask this question to the kids and adults, lifting the house off to reveal what’s underneath. I go through three houses, which all have something other than the mouse hiding underneath, and say, “Is that the little pink mouse?” The kids tell me that it isn’t, and then name the actual object. Finally, the last house has the mouse underneath.
All of the pictures are printed out on a color printer. I then run them through the laminator to make them nice and sturdy. Each house has a velcro piece affixed to the top and bottom of the back portion. Each object (cat, dinosaur, letter A, pink mouse), has just one velcro circle on the back. I made sure the objects were small enough to fit under each house.
It starts off like this:
Little pink mouse, little pink mouse, are you hiding in the orange house?
Little pink mouse, little pink mouse, are you hiding in the red house?
It would appear not.
Little pink mouse, little pink mouse, are you hiding in the green house?
Actually, just the letter A. Sorry ’bout it.
Soooooo, what’s behind the blue house?
Little pink mouse, little pink mouse, are you hiding in the blue house?
Yay! Finally! Good job, everyone!
I’ve used this several times in Toddler Time to great success. Toddler Time at my library is too busy to let the kids physically handle the flannel board pieces, so they just make guesses and watch me move the objects around the board. We also have a much more informal program at the library on Saturdays, called Story and Play. During the play portion, I let the kids come up to the board and move the pieces around, letting them name the different objects and colors. That has been pretty fun, too. Soon enough, I’ll swap out the cat, dinosaur, and letter A for different animals, letters, and shapes.
And hey, we’ve been identifying colors, animals, letters, and patterns, so it’s a great activity for growing toddler brains.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid
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