Flannel Friday: Dog Days (Outreach Storytime)

ff dogs sm

Welcome to my first Flannel Friday post!  I’m so excited to share this storytime with you today.  This storytime was a HUGE hit with my preschoolers when I was doing outreach.  Since I started in a new role at the library, I adapted the plan to include a craft and be more flexible for toddlers/preschoolers.

I love to start storytime with a mischievous puppet.  For Dog themes, I use either Ben the golden retriever or Bob the bulldog.  Here’s what the introduction might look like:

Me: What kind of animal is Bob?

Kids: He’s a DOG!

Me: That’s right!  Do dogs make good pets?

Kids: YES!

Me: What about alligators?  Do alligators make good pets?

Kids: NO! (Yes, my kiddos talk in all caps.  True story.)

Me: Do fish make good pets?

Kids: Yeeessssss.

Me: What about cats?

Dog: *shakes head*

Kids: *laugh heads off*

Me: What are you doing Bob?  Why are you shaking your head?

Dog: *barks like crazy*

Me: I wonder what’s wrong with Bob?

Kids: Dogs don’t like cats!

Silly me.  I should have known!  🙂

From there the story takes two routes: I either transition into a book about cats and dogs getting along and tell my puppet he really needs to listen, OR sometimes my puppet confesses to taking all the cat books out of my bag and the kids laugh their heads off again.

Here’s what my plan looked like for my last outreach storytime:

dog plan

Here’s the books we read:

And here’s the play-by-play:


Puppet Intro

Fingerplay: Two Little Puppies Lying in a Heap

2 little puppy dogs (hold up two fingers)

lying in a heap (lay fingers down)

Soft and furry (stroke fingers)

and fast asleep (lay hands against side of face)

Along came a kitty cat (hold up opposite finger)

Creeping near (move closer to other fingers)

“Meow” she said right in their ears (cup ear)

Two little puppy dogs after one cat! (two fingers chase other finger)

Do you like to play tag like that? (point to children)

Credit: Jodene Smith, Activities for Fine Motor Development

Review Storytime Expectations

“Do my hands go in the air?  Do they go in my ears?  Over my eyes?  No?!  Somebody help me, I can’t see!  Where do my hands go?  That’s right, in my lap!”

Book #1: Is There a Dog in this Book? by Vivian Schwarz

Also known as, the BEST BOOK EVER.  The kids love when we lift the flaps and see what’s behind!  It’s so interactive and funny to boot.

Flannel: Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? (Guessing/Colors)

dog post

Where oh where has my little dog gone?

Oh where, oh where can he be?

With his ears cut short and his tail cut long,

Oh where, oh where can he be?

Little dog, little dog, what did you decide?

Is the yellow sofa a good place to hide?

Credit: In the Children’s Room

Flannel Patterns: Toddler Storytimes II by Dianne Briggs or alternate here (also in the storytime spreadsheet)

Book #2: Dog Blue by Polly Dunbar

This is a sweet book about the friendship that develops between a boy and a dog, even if the dog isn’t exactly what he always wanted.  The preschoolers got way into it, but I probably wouldn’t read it to my toddlers.  After reading we talked about what the boy did to take care of his puppy, which was a nice transition to…

Action Song: “Walk, Walk, Walk Your Puppy” (tune of Skip to My Lou)

Walk, walk, walk your puppy

Walk, walk, walk your puppy

Walk, walk, walk your puppy

Walk him all around!

Feed, feed, feed your puppy

Feed, feed, feed your puppy

Feed, feed, feed your puppy

Feed him till he’s full!

Wash, wash, wash your puppy

Wash, wash, wash your puppy

Wash him all around!

Credit: adapted from I Read to Relax

 Action Song #2: If You’re a Dog and You Know It (tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail.

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail!

If you’re a dog and you know it, and you really want to show it

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail!

(repeat with other actions- bark like this “woof woof!”, scratch your ear)

Credit: Mary Marshall

THEN… TRANSITION TIME!

If you’re ready for a story, have a seat.

If you’re ready for a story, slap your knees.

If you’re ready for a story, if you’re ready for a story

If you’re ready for a story look at me!

Sit quietly… ready in 1…2…3…

Credit: Me! 🙂

Book #3: Dog’s Noisy Day by Emma Dodd

Another great interactive book!  The kiddos love making the animal noises.

Closing Song

Open, shut them

Open, shut them

Give a little clap clap clap!

Open, shut them

Open, shut them

Put them in your lap lap lap.

Wave them, wave them

Wave them, wave them

High up in the sky sky sky!

Wave to me, I’ll wave to you.

Let’s all say good bye bye bye!

Credit: Kim Siffring


This is honestly probably my favorite storytime yet.  It’s just so much fun, there’s so many great books and so many awesome ideas that there’s no way you can try them all at one time!  I wanted to see my master list of ideas and plug them into my plan without having to click through a gazillion pins and places… and voila!  I created THIS color-coded, super storytime master spreadsheets of organizational awesome-ness:

spreadsheet example

Here’s what’s in the super storytime spreadsheets:

  • Two storytime plan templates (one for outreach and one for conventional storytimes)
  • Growing book list with suggested age-groups and favorite features (e.g. Noisy Story, Silly Story, etc).
  • Action Songs
  • Fingerplays & Rhymes
  • Flannelboard Fun (with links to FREE pattern templates)
  • Crafts
  • Coming Soon: ECRR take home extension ideas/talking points

Did I mention you can download it and make it your own?  Click here or on the image above and download the file from Dropbox!  You’ll want to make sure you download the file and open it with Excel if you want everything formatted properly.

Happy Friday everyone!  Don’t forget to make the flannel rounds at Mel’s Desk this weekend!

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About Jessica F

I'm a former teacher turned library lady! These days I tutor, blog, sing in storytime (okay all the time), read books, drink excessive amounts of Mountain Dew and go to grad school.
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2 Responses to Flannel Friday: Dog Days (Outreach Storytime)

  1. Cathy Pruett says:

    This is wonderful! Thanks so much. I will use it and it will also be a great resource for our brand new children’s assistant. I love your organization and wish my brain worked more like this!

    Like

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