Thursday, August 9, 2012

Here is a House--using the iPad in Storytime

I've had this post in the draft stage for a while now, but with all the chatter on the Flannel Friday Facebook page on what to do with the (Awesome!) Folkmanis Sequoia finger puppet stage and some posts by Sharon and Erin I see that it's past due!

A while ago, I shared the house-shaped finger puppet stage that I made.

In case you forgot

I used it in a new way this summer that was absolutely delightful and wanted to share it with you.

I did extensive downloading and testing with my iPad to find which 'animal noise' app would be the most useful in storytime, and I was really pleased with "Music Animals," which I believe has changed its name. You can find it in the app store under the name, "Musical Flashcards" by Kids Place. It's a free app for iPhone and iPad--well, the first 12 animals are free, and then there's a small fee to get the total of 65 animals (at this point I don't recall the price, but just a few dollars). Compared with other animal apps I evaluated (many of which I bought) this was far and away the best value and best format for how I wanted to use it.

I liked it because:
--many animals on one screen.
--easy to choose which animal noise you wanted to play
--great selection; lots of useful animals and fewer of the weird ones like 'goldfish' (with the noise of bubbles (?))
--photographs of real animals
--very easy to use while also manipulating puppets

I buy Oriental Trading's plush mini bean bag animal assortment for SRP prizes, and digging through the box I was amazed that I could find over a dozen cute little stuffies to correspond with the animal noises in my app:

Combine those little cuties (or any finger puppets) with the house stage, add a cute rhyme and you've got a surefire recipe for success!

During a discussion about 'surprise' storytimes on the Flannel Friday Facebook page, someone mentioned the poem, "Here is a box." I loosely adapted the poem for my own purposes. My version is below, and you can see the original here on Katie's page.

"Here is a house
Where someone can hide
Let's knock on the door
to see who's inside (knock knock)
[use iPad for animal noise]
Yes! It's a __________!
There is no doubt
Let's look at the (window/door)
And see it pop out."


  1. I love it! I have a barn very similar to your house and have spent the last month or so trying to figure out the best way to use it. What a great idea!

  2. Very cute. I am doing an "animal noise" storytime later in the year. Thanks!

  3. This is great! We recently applied for a technology grant through our state library. We wrote the grant for a "Technology Petting Zoo" since we live so far away from electronic stores. I've been trying to think of ways to use the iPad for library programs. This will be fun to do.

  4. Love it. I have done something similar with a flannelboard, but I like the 3D approach.

  5. I have this app on iphone; i'm curious if the background music is present for ipad? If it is, is it distracting to the kids? I looove this house and idea - thank you!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      No, there's no background noise on the iPad--or maybe there's a way to turn it off? The only noise it makes when I open the app is when it first loads, then it's silent until I choose an animal.

  6. Awww, thanks for the book and the surprise! Some lucky kid is going to be excited to get it as a 1,000 books before kindergarten prize! I won't be at WLA this year, worse luck - I went to WAPL, so it's not my turn (plus that's my planning week and Saturday is our huge craft fair/fundraiser for the library)

  7. I took your idea and did it on a larger scale. To make the house, I used a trifold white presentation board and painted it. It turned out great! (We have story times for 30-60 kids.)


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