Flannel Friday: All the Fish…

Back this Friday with another fun ocean-themed flannel! This one works with a multitude of tunes, including:

All the fish are swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water, swimming in the water.
All the fish are swimming in the water.
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble… SPLASH!


I’ve also seen versions that end with a clap and a POP, which kids love!

For ocean storytime, I like to add verses with various ocean creatures: crabs crawling, starfish waving, jellyfish wiggling, turtles snapping, sharks chomping… you get the idea!

And of course, the classic “Wheels on the Bus” can be adapted:

The waves in the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down.
The waves in the sea go up and down all day long!

Repeat: sharks go chomp, fish swim round, crabs crawl back and forth, etc.

I used to borrow a teammate’s flannel:

FF All the Fish Swimming

Flannelboard: Various Felt Sea Creatures

Then, when I moved libraries and needed to make my own, I was storytiming with HUGE groups (oftentimes with more than 100 people in the room) and a not so big flannelboard easel. I decided to make a screen flannel instead using clip art from Daily Art Hub:


Screenshot: Ocean Scene with Various Sea Creatures

I also like to use these ocean creatures with a twist on the “Fishies in the Sea” song:

There are so many things in the deep blue sea!
Look and tell me what you see.

This open-ended prompt leads to great conversation! And of course, the wide variety of ocean creatures provides excellent opportunity for early math talk, such as:

  • How are these ocean creatures the same?
  • How are they different?
  • Which one is the biggest?
  • What kind of big is it? (e.g. long or wide)
  • Which one is the smallest?
  • How can you tell?

You can also make up a story with the audience’s help!

“I wonder why the orange seahorse is all by itself, and the other three seahorses are over here? Once upon a time, there was a lonely seahorse…”


“I wonder where the sea turtle is going? Once upon a time, there was a sea turtle going to…”

Are you a fellow flannel crafter? Connect with us on the Flannel Friday Facebook Group! Looking for more inspiration? Browse the Flannel Friday Pinterest Boards! Want to share your fun flannel ideas? Post them any time to Flannel Friday on Tumblr!

3 thoughts on “Flannel Friday: All the Fish…”

  1. A ‘screen’ flannel — that is a brilliant idea (and name!). I use the screen all the time to show videos or project rhyme lyrics and it never occurred to me to use it as a flannel board!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ann! It’s not my first choice (I love the tactile element and versatility of a physical flannel, and I like letting the kids play with the flannelboard after storytime)… but when the choice is between using the screen vs. no one can see, I’ll take it!


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