Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Colorful Ghosts (Flannel)

Color-changing Ghosts Flannel 
(aka “The Chocolate Chip Ghost”) 
***For SALE!!***
The chocolate chip ghost is a well-known story/book. The premise is that ghosts are white, but when they get curious/adventurous and try other foods they turn different colors. Watch my videos or google to see how others use this flannel.

I play this as an interactive game with my own kids where they touch the pieces and pictures (can be done with small storytime groups as a game as well) and I use it on the flannel board in front of larger groups. 

Video: Game Version

***I made extra sets to sell.*** The set will come with 9 standard/solid color ghosts and    1 “surprise” ghost. Your Surprise Ghost can be anything you want your white ghost to eat. For example: ice cream cone, cheese, chocolate chip cookies, watermelon, etc. The set will also include laminated pictures to match with the ghosts.

Ghosts are 8inches tall.

Email me at 
for purchase
Thanks for your support!! 👻🍉🍫🍎🍦🍪🧀🍌👻

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Facebook   @TaraFoxandBear

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ice Volcano Activity

Ice Volcanoes

I came across this volcano extension activity Ice Volcanoes on  These instructions make for easy prep, easy clean up, and lasted us about 25 minutes playtime.  My kids and I talked about textures, chemical reactions, and they shared their "extensive" knowledge on volcanoes.

These volcanoes are the usual baking soda / vinegar reaction, but with an icy twist making them unique and wonderful for summertime play!

Check out the above website for more details, but the general idea is....

Fill muffin pan with baking soda on bottom and water on top.  Add a drop of food coloring, mix, freeze.  "Pop" volcanoes out by turning running bottom under warm water (we turned them upside down on a pan and laid a hot wet towel over the bottom and gave it a good whack).  Use condiment bottles, eye droppers, etc. with vinegar to make them "erupt".

My kids played with them long after they stopped fizzling, enjoying the cold discs and splashing around (slightly messy, but we hopped in the pool after that!!).

Five Volcanoes (flannel)

Flannel: Five Volcanoes
5 volcanoes ready to erupt (hold up 5 fingers)
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble (bubble fingers up)
Boom! (Clap hands above head) 
(slap flannel lava on top of volcano)
And the lava comes down (trickle fingers down)

Watch my adorable 4 year old do this rhyme in this video
 5 Volcanoes video

(The original rhyme templet came from Mel's Desk and is called "5 Kernels)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Flashlight Game!

Flashlight Game! (With "bugs")!! 🐛🐛🐞🐞🦋🦋

This game is not new to us and I LOVE that my kids (4 and 7) still LOVE this game! I hide oversized toy bugs all over the lawn after the sun goes down and they search for them with flashlights. This time I paired it with the book I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd.

Chicken big (my son, 7) read the book to Chicken Little (my daughter, 4)... talk about great descriptive words, vocabulary building, and text and illustrations that encourages dialog!

After they found all the bugs outside we went through the book again to see if any of the bugs they found looked like the bugs in the book and talked about how they were similar or different.
Chicken Little

Big Bugs

Brightly-colored wings bugs

Whiny-buzzy-sound bugs

Springy jumpy leapy bugs

Spiky spiny bugs

The toy bugs are between 3 1/2 and 6 inches (so they are very sizable!) and come in packs of 10. I got mine from Hobby Lobby so I could use the 40% coupon (I bought two packs with two different transactions so I could get both packs using the coupon, making them about $6 a pack.

You can google: "Hobby Lobby Coupon" to get the 40% off coupon

You can google: "Wild Republic Insect Collection" to find out all the other places you can find these toy bugs, including Amazon or from Wild Republic directly.

This is such and easy and exciting game that keeps the kids busy for a while and requires virtually no set up or clean up. I Love Bugs is out of print in hard cover format, but you can still buy it in paper back or check out your local library!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Favorite Picture Book Authors and Why: Post #1
This post is about books that I love to read in storytime, with groups, and even one-on-one!

(I'd love to see comments about your favorite picture books / authors and if you've already read any of the ones I've listed below, or if you decide to check them out)

Jane Cabrera: 
Many of her picture books are traditional nursery rhymes or songs with a fun, modern twist making them super interactive. All of her books invite participation from the young child and adult reading with them. The illustrations are bright and bold and big making them perfect books for group sharing or one-on-one reading. Unfortunately some picture books are out of print, but you can often find them at your library or used on Amazon.

Among my favorites: 
* Row, Row, Row Your Boat 2013
* Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star 2012
* If You're Happy and You Know It 2009
* Mommy Carry Me Please 2006
* Rock-a-bye-Baby 2017
Cat's Colors 2000
The Wheels on the Bus 
The 12 Day of Christmas 2014
Over in the Meadow 2000
Nancy Tafuri: 
Nancy Tafuri's picture books and illustrations have received many accolades awards.... and for good reason! These are among my favorite books to read to young children during storytime and one-on-one with kids (especially my chickens when they were younger). The pictures are big, there is fun repetition, and the text lends itself to being interactive between the adult and child and for using props during storytime.... though the illustrations really don't need any extra help as they are amazing. The stories are simple in the sense young children with follow along with delight and are relatable to this age group.
Reading these one-on-one is SOO fun! There are lots of little details like bugs on each page or hints of what is going to come next.
(From her BIO : Noting her use of “tiny details,” generously sized shapes, and “sunny colors,” a Publishers Weekly contributor noted that Tafuri's picture book Five Little Chicks “proves once again why Tafuri ... is a favorite with youngsters.” )

Among my favorites:
* All Kinds of Kisses 2014
* Silly Little Goose 2010 
* Spots, Feathers, and Curly Tails (young toddlers) 1988
* Snowy, Flowy, Blowy: A Twelve Months Rhyme 1999
Have You Seen my Duckling 1996
Daddy Hugs 2014
Five Little Chicks 2011
Blue Goose 2011
Big Storm 2013
What the Sun Sees 1997

My blog post for Silly Little Goose

Kevin Henkes:

 Official Website
This official website includes: Bio, games, videos, book information, and teaching guides / resources / activities for schools, libraries, and home.
I love Kevin Henke's picture books geared toward the younger age group and the kids are totally engaged while I read these in storytime. (Of course his books for older children are also adored!) Again the text is charming, the pictures are engaging, colorful, and big making them perfect for group reading! Both my chickens were sooo into A Good Day when they were younger and really interacted with the emotions of the animals and little girl at the end. A bad day can always be turned into a good day....!

Among My Favorites: 
* A Good Day (OMG I love this book!) 2010
* Birds 2017
* When Spring Comes 2016
* In the Middle of Fall 2017
* Old Bear 2011 (Seasons, hibernation, and Spring)
My Garden 2010
Little White Rabbit 2014
Winter is Here (not released yet)
A Parade of Elephants 2018 (not released yet)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Drumming with the Animals

Drumming with the Animals

If you know me, you know I love finding songs that I can use with my puppets!  This weekend I found a song by Kimmy Schwimmy called "Drumming with the Animals" that I'm crazy about!  The animal part moves a little faster than I could use puppets for, so I made flannel pieces instead.  You can purchase the song from Amazon for 99 cents or play it from YouTube.  Watch my video below so you can see why I love this song so much!

It's fantastic for using rhythm sticks with (which is why I double love it!).... but if you don't have rhythm sticks / dowels, you can just use your hands for drumming, clapping, etc.

I made a couple extra sets that are for sale.  These pieces took a lot of time to make, so I figured I'd make a couple extra sets for those who want them.  It also ties in perfectly with the SRP slogan: Libraries Rock.  I hadn't considered that when I made the flannel's a song I'll use year round.  And of course the flannel pieces can be used in many other ways and not only this song!

Here is how I use this song:  My video

If you are interested in buying a set, comment below or email me at

Check out my website: Fox & Bear Early Literacy Programming

Check out my Facebook Page: Fox & Bear Early Literacy Programming Facebook

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mouse's First Spring

Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson

I both want to share my flannel and sell additional sets. This is a perfect book for spring which is right around the corner! Info below after post. 🌼

Summary: One bright day, Mouse and Momma go out to play. The wind blows something feathery and plump (a bird), something wiggly and pink (a worm), and something green that hops and leaps (a frog).  But before it's time to go back inside, Mouse finds something with petals that's soft and new.... the prettiest flower he's ever see!  Could it mean that spring is finally here?

The mouse is about 16 inches ear to toe

Frog flannel piece

Snail flannel piece

Worm flannel piece

This set accompanies (and is being sold WITH) Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson.  You can see the board book version here, but I'm selling the set with the hardcover.

This is my set for personal use and I have additional sets just like it.  If you would like a set and want something a little different, I can customize (ex. you might want a full flower with all the petals or the petals to be light blue... I can work with stuff like that!).  Order asap as this set takes a bit of time to make.

For purchase, email at or comment below.  I appreciate your business! 🌷

$56.00 (includes shipping within the US with tracking number AND hardcover book format.

Just because I love these guys....

Now that Chicken Big can read, he and Chicken Little love to do their own storytimes with my materials.  He usually reads to her and she does the props. 🐔🐤

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Love Monster and the Last Chocolate (Valentine's Day)

Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright

I both want to share my flannel and sell additional sets.  This book / flannel is perfect for Valentine's Day! Info below after blog post. 💗

Summary: (From B&N) When Love Monster comes home from vacation, he discovers a box of chocolates on his doorstep. He knows he should share it with his friends, but what if there's none left for him after everyone has a piece? What if they take his favorite-the double chocolate strawberry swirl? And even worse-what if the only piece left is the coffee-flavored one? Ick! In the end, Love Monster learns that sharing with friends is the sweetest treat of all.

Flannel colors are quite bright.... I can't tell if maybe they just look dull on this computer...? ☹

He comes with a felt “box” of chocolates and his favorite chocolate inside (removable with Velcro).

This love monster was made with lots of love just in time for Valentine’s Day! He accompanies (and is being sold with) the much-adored book Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright.
He comes with a felt “box” of chocolates and his favorite chocolate inside (removable with Velcro).
For purchase, email me at  or comment below. I appreciate your business! ❤️
$38.00 + shipping

Check out more Flannel Friday info here
Add to this week's round up