Preschool programs

Mixed Media

Books To Share

  • Art Is… by Bob Raczka.
  • Carlo Likes Colors by Jessica Spanyol.
  • Fran's Friend by Lisa Bruce.
  • The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee.
  • Me and Uncle Romie: A Story Inspired by the Art and Life of Romare Bearden by Claire Hartfield.
  • The Pot that Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel.
  • Quack! by Arthur Yorinks and Adrienne Yorinks.

Books To Show

  • This House is Made of Mud/Esta casa está hecho de lodo by Ken Buchanan.
  • Liang and the Magic Paintbrush by Demi.
  • Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni.
  • Morris the Artist by Lore Segal.
  • Murals: Walls That Sing by George Ancona.
  • Museum ABC by Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Pictures at an Exhibition by Anna Harwell Celenza.

Bulletin Board

Cut out paint palettes from tag board. Put spots of color, using markers, paints, or crayons, on the palettes. Cut out brushes and color the tips. Add other art supplies, as desired.


Invite the art students from a local school or museum art program to display their original works in the library. Hold a reception for the children and their families.


Cut out paintbrushes, or tubes of paint for each child. Use many different colors.


Five Little Crayons

(By Jeanette Larson.)

Five little crayons lying near their box. (hold up five fingers)

Red drew an apple, (use finger to draw a circle)

And rolled to the ground. (make a rolling motion with both index fingers)

Four little crayons lying near the box. (hold up four fingers)

Yellow drew a daisy, (make curlicue motions)

And rolled to the ground. (make a rolling motion with both index fingers)

Three little crayons lying near the box. (hold up three fingers)

Blue drew an ocean, (make a wavy motion)

And rolled to the ground. (make a rolling motion with both index fingers)

Two little crayons lying near the box. (hold up two fingers)

Orange drew a cat (draw whiskers with your fingers)

And rolled to the ground. (make a rolling motion with both index fingers)

One little crayon lying near the box. (hold up one finger)

Green drew a tree, (pretend to draw a tree top)

And rolled to the ground. (make a rolling motion with both index fingers)

One, two, three, four, five little crayons (hold up fingers as you count)

Lying on the ground,

Just waiting to be found.

I found red. (bend down to pick up the crayon)

Let's put it in the box. (pretend to put the crayon in a box)

(Repeat for each color.)

Five little crayons are back in the box. Ready for us to color anything we want!


Place a piece of white paper on an easel or tape it to the wall. Read the poem "Pencil and Paint" by Eleanor Farjeon in Something I Remember : Selected Poems for Young Children. Use colored markers to draw what is being described. The poem describes the palette of autumn colors.

Read "We're Out of Paint, So…." in Falling Up by Shel Silverstein.

Action Rhyme

Painter, Painter

(Adapted by Jeanette Larson from “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear.” Have children match the actions as they chant this rhyme.)

Painter, painter, turn around

Painter, painter, touch the ground.

Painter, painter, shake your brush.

Painter, painter, squeeze some paint.

Painter, painter, show your art!


Earth Painting

  • Soil from several locations (red clay, black dirt, sandy loam, etc.)
  • Empty yogurt cups or margarine tubs
  • Plastic spoons
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water
  • White glue
  • Tag board or other heavy paper
  • Pencils

Ask the children to draw a picture on the heavy paper. Have children spoon two spoonfuls of dirt into a cup or margarine tub, crumble the dirt, and remove any small stones. Add two spoonfuls of water, a little at a time, and stir until the dirt has a smooth, even consistency. Add one spoonful of white glue and stir. Use the paintbrushes to paint a picture on the heavy paper. Try different types of dirt to see how the colors and texture varies. Let dry before hanging. The mud will stick to the paper. If desired, read This House is Made of Mud and let the children draw houses using the earth paint.

Animal Sculpture

  • Crayola® Model Magic
  • Plastic forks and knives, toothpicks, and other etching tools
  • Markers, thin point and broad tipped

Crayola® Model Magic is a clean, pliable, easy-to-use clay. Give each child a small piece of the clay to shape into an animal. Snakes, cats, pigs, bears, and dogs are pretty easy to shape. Once the clay is molded to the desired shape, use etching tools to add texture, small dots for eyes, and a slit for the mouth. Use the markers to add color. Allow the clay to dry completely. Note: Model Magic is great for libraries with very little space as it is completely clean and air-dries quickly. It comes in white, as well as various colors that can be combined.

Guest Speakers

Invite artists to demonstrate their techniques for the children. Encourage kid-friendly art, such as a mural drawn on big sheets of butcher paper, finger painting, or watercolor.

Audio Recordings

  • “Color Me Singing” on Color Me Singing by Susan Salidor.
  • “Flowers Are Red” on Living Room Suite by Harry Chapin.


Note: Show one section of longer videos/DVDs as part of your program. For a storytime program, limit the film to 10-12 minutes. Display the other videos for parents and caregivers to check out.

  • Art Dog. (8 minutes)
  • Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. (29 minutes)
  • A Picture for Harold’s Room. (6 minutes)


  • Blue's Art Time Activities.
  • Crayola--Make a Masterpiece.

Web-based Activity

Online Jigsaw Puzzles

Put together jigsaw puzzles online. The player can change the level of difficulty.

Web Site

Denver Art Museum’s Wacky Kids

Professional Resources

  • A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists Share Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal by Leonard S. Marcus.
  • Discovering Great Artists: Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of Masters by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga.
  • Kathy Ross Crafts Colors by Kathy Ross.


Texas Reading Club 2004 Programming Manual / Color Your World...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011