Toddler programs

City Sights

Books To Share

  • Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom! by Stuart Murphy.
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews.
  • I Read Signs by Tana Hoban.
  • Road Signs: A Hare-Y Race With a Tortoise by Margery Cuyler.
  • Zoom City by Thatcher Hurd.

Books To Show

  • Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson.
  • Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson.
  • Big Wheels by Anne Rockwell.
  • City Signs by Zoran Milich.
  • Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy Town by Richard Scarry.
  • Down in the Subway by Miriam Cohen.


The Reading Road Signs Posters Set available from Upstart includes six traffic signs, including a three-light traffic light. Use these to decorate the library or program room.


Use the patterns provided to cut nametags in the shape of traffic signs out of appropriately colored paper.


  • "Safety" from Ring A Ring O' Roses.
  • “Yellow Taxicabs” in Finger Tales by Joan Hilyer Phelps.

Action Rhyme


(Match actions to the words if desired.)

Standing on the sidewalk,

Need to cross the street.

Waiting for the green light,

Before I can move my feet.

I can see the red light.

Red means STOP!

When I see the green light,

I can walk, skip, hop!


  • “City Lights” by Rachel Field in Tomie dePaola’s Book of Poems.
  • “City Traffic” by Eve Merriam in Celebrate America in Poetry and Art edited by Nora Panzer.
  • “Flash” by Lee Bennett Hopkins in Sky Scrape/City Scape by Jane Yolen.


Tell the story Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. Use plastic keys in various colors as props while you tell this simple story about a zookeeper locking up the city zoo. If you cannot find baby teething keys, you can make the keys out of felt and tell this as a flannel board story. Add felt animals, if desired.

Flannel Board

Red Says Stop

(Traditional; cut out circles of red, yellow, and green flannel. Place them on the flannel board as you recite this traffic rule rhyme.)

Red says stop,

Green says go,

Yellow says wait,

You’d better go slow!


Little Red Caboose


Little red caboose, little red caboose,

Little red caboose behind the train, train, train.

Smokestack on its back, going down the track.

Little red caboose behind the train.

Whoo, whoo! (motion like pulling a train whistle)

I’m a Little Traffic Light

(By Jeanette Larson. Sing to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot.”)

I'm a little traffic light (point to self)

Green and bright. (hold hands out wide and smile brightly)

Go until I change my light. (walk in place)

When I turn to red, (hold hand out to signify "stop")

Please be bright. (tap side of head)

Stop until traffic's out of sight. (look left and right)


My Car

  • Car pattern reproduced on heavy bond paper
  • Crayons
  • Stickers
  • Child safety scissors

Give each child a copy of the car pattern. Provide an assortment of crayons and small stickers. After coloring both sides of the car and adding a few stickers for design, have a volunteer or caregiver help the child to cut out the car. Fold on the dotted line and stand the car up to display.


Traffic Light Cookies

Prepare your favorite butter cookie recipe and cut the dough into 1" x 4" rectangles. Use a sanitized small, circular object, like the bottom of a shot glass, to press three round depressions into the cookie dough. Crush red, green, and yellow Life Savers™ candies. Place each color into a plastic baggie and pound with a meat tenderizer or crush with a heavy spoon. Sprinkle a few pieces of the crushed candy into each depression to barely cover the area. Be sure that the candies are in this order: red, yellow, green. As the cookies bake, the candy will melt and look like traffic signal lights.

Make these ahead of time or if the library has a kitchen, it's fun to let the kids put the candy into their own cookie and watch it melt. Serve at the end of storytime. Note: Always check with parents before serving food. If food is not permitted in the library, wrap each cookie to be taken home.

Audio Recordings

  • "Drivin' in my Car" on Ralph's World by Ralph Covert.
  • "Won't You Ride in My Little Red Wagon" on The Rainbow Connection by Willie Nelson.
  • “The Stoplight” on What Can One Little Person Do? by Sally Rogers.


Note: Show one section of longer videos/DVDs as part of your program. For a toddler program, limit the film to no longer than 5-8 minutes. Display the other videos for parents and caregivers to check out.

  • The Adventures of Taxi Dog. (27 minutes)
  • Barney's Safety. (48 minutes)
  • Black Cat. (7 minutes)

Web Site

Texas Department of Transportation

Professional Resources

Full Speed Ahead : Stories and Activities for Children On Transportation by Jan Irving and Robin Currie. (Also available electronically through NetLibrary.)


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