Friday, January 27, 2012

Definitely a Not Flannel Friday Post

Happy Flannel Friday everyone!

I sat down to work on my squirrels for this week's storytimes and FF entry. I chose the felt, I cut out five squirrels, I warmed up the glue gun. I was doing everything the same way I always do.

And it just wasn't working.

I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong. It wasn't the rhyme (which is super cute), it wasn't the shape, it wasn't the googly eyes, and it certainly wasn't the fault of the glue gun. But something was off. It wasn't coming out the way I had planned in my head.

I realized at that point that "Five Furry Squirrels" was not meant to be. Sure, I could have slugged through it, awkward as it was, presented it to the children. Maybe they would have no idea, maybe they would have sensed the uneasiness, but that didn't sit right with me. Instead, I did what I rarely do, and brought out a squirrel puppet. Guess what! They loved it!

Flexibility is a trait that comes from working with children. We as children's librarians learn to adapt to the setting, changing our minds about storytime, sometimes without even realizing that we are. It's important to go with the flow, think on our feet, and change with the overall climate of the room. Thankfully, with my squirrels, I was given time to reflect on its effectiveness beforehand, an opportunity that does not come often, and I took full advantage of it.

Not every "Five Little..." song can be flannelized. Maybe in the hands of another librarian it would have been spectacular, but now that I'm confident enough in my flannel-making skills, I can proudly admit that my creativity has limits. I can move on to other activities which will be much more comfortable. Maybe one day I'll revisit those squirrels, but for now I'm happy to let go of what could have been. 

Anne is hosting the round up of this week's Flannel Friday posts. Kay Leigh has issued a challenge to everyone involved in Flannel Friday, both bloggers and viewers alike: Post a comment on every FF entry. I've been doing my best to keep up, and it's been a fun challenge to accept. Help us keep the discussions going on our Facebook page and see the pictures on our Pinterest page.


  1. Good for you for knowing when an idea just isn't working. I've been tossing around the idea of writing about all of my "Flannel Fails"-- the ones that just didn't get off the ground or turned out looking awful.

  2. Glad the squirrel puppet was a hit! Flexibility always pays off.

  3. We all have Flannel Fails; it's good that you caught yours before presenting it to the kids!

  4. I am SO glad to hear that I am not the only one that has had "Flannel Fails". Thanks for writing about it, Mollie and reminding us about flexibility! I bet the kids loved the puppet--good call!

  5. One of my Early Childhood Education professors told her classes that you need to be organized and flexible. When I was younger, I thought that was impossible. But after teaching a few years, I realized what she was saying...

    Always have a back-up plan and be willing to let go of something that isn't working.

    Congratulations on your flexibility! Your storytime friend's are lucky to have you so interested in what you are doing that you seek out new ways to excite them about storytime.

  6. Who knows... maybe a few years from now the furry squirrels will make a comeback. :)

  7. Wonderful reminder Miss Mollie. It doesn't always work. Better to realize it and let it go then force it.

  8. Super cute puppet! I am doing a 5 furry squirrels rhyme in storytime this week, but I colored paper squirrels and put them on craft sticks rather than make a flannel. It is funny how something we think will be spectacular can fail dramatically in storytime and vice versa.