Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(Not) a Flannel Friday: a clothespin story

Let's play in the forest while the wolf is not around by Claudie Rueda is a fun enough book to read, but let me tell you, turn it into a clothespin story and it might change your storytelling life!  A class of kindergarten and first graders liked this so much, I had them begging to do it again (and we did!)

This can be a "call and response" story, with you saying "Let's play in the forest while the wolf is not around," and the kids saying "Wolf! Are you there?"  The wolf then answers (in your wolfiest voice, of course) by saying he is putting various things on, his underwear, his t-shirt, his pants, his backpack, etc.

I drew the images for his clothes, adding cut paper to enchance them.  I made a color photocopy of the Wolf's head and put it on a long stick so that I could move him easily and have his ears only pop up as he said "I'm putting on my _____."  As the wolf said each thing, I'd clothespin each item to the twine. The whole wolf does not pop out until the final word of the story: "pancakes!"

Since I wanted the wolf to remain hidden, I got a box lid and covered it in brown paper.  With some simple rigging, a box lid will stand up by itself and allow you to sit behind it. (I used a good sized novel to "weight" my box lid down and ensure it didn't do any tipping during the story.)  I hot-glued a piece of twine to go across the box lid and serve as my clothesline.  [Just a tip - the box lid is very handy!  I like it because it provides a very simple "stage" that you can sit behind or even put on your lap, and it can be used for smaller stories where you need to "hide" things.  A larger stage would really overwhelm this little story.]

A slight change that I plan to make before doing this one again: I'm going to make the pancakes larger and put them on a stick.  It makes more sense for the pancakes to appear as the wolf says the word and to not be "pinned" on the clothes line.


  1. Sarah, this looks like so much fun! I have never done a clothespin story before. I have seen them done but none of them ever really appealed to me. :-{

    This one does! I think you have inspired me to try a new way of storytelling. Thank you!

  2. This really is delightful, Sarah. We don't do nearly enough clothespin stories around here! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Also, welcome to Flannel Friday!!

  4. That looks like so much fun.
    thanks for the great story.

  5. This is my first visit to your are a delight. Thank you so much!
    Debra Frasier, Author and Illustrator


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