Toddler programs

Crayons and Paints

Books To Share

  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.
  • Magpie Magic: A Tale of Colorful Mischief by April Wilson.
  • Maisy's Colors by Lucy Cousins.
  • Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh.
  • Mr. Panda’s Painting by Anne Rockwell.
  • My Crayon’s Talk by Patricia Hubbard.

Books To Show

  • The Big Blue Spot by Peter Holwitz.
  • The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane Derolf.
  • Get Red!: An Adventure in Color by Tony Porto.
  • Red Blue Color Zoo by Philippe Dupasquier.
  • Van Gogh's World of Color by Vincent Van Gogh and Nadeem Zaidi.
  • White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker.

Bulletin Board

Art Wall

Use the patterns (crayon, paintbrush, palette) or die cuts to create crayons, palettes, paintbrushes, and other art supplies to decorate the Bulletin Board. If space permits, place large pieces of craft paper along the wall and encourage older children to add their artwork when the muse strikes.


Borrow a variety of art supplies from an art supply store, office supply store, or campus bookstore. Include a sampling of books on art and artists in the display. If your community has a local art group and space permits, display some small pieces of original art.

Name Tag

Use the pencil pattern to create nametags out of different colored construction paper. Write each child's name in the space provided.


Upstart sells crayon-shaped banks that encourage youngsters to "bank on books" and inexpensive crayon packages that promote reading. Use these as incentives for children who complete the reading program or attend programs.


“Mixing Colors” in Fingerplays and Rhymes for Always and Sometimes by Terry Lynne Graham.

Action Rhyme

Where is Red?

(Use a pair of white gardening gloves to make color finger puppets. Cut circles of felt in red, blue, green, yellow, and orange. Use fabric glue or Velcro to attach the circles on the fingers of each puppet. Sing to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin.")

Where is red? Where is red? (wave all fingers on your left hand)

Here I am. Here I am? (wiggle just the red finger on your right hand)

Show me something red. (look around the room)

Show me something red.

Here we are. Here we are. (wiggle both red fingers).

(Repeat for each color.)


Share the rhyme, “Painting Fun” on page 54 of Simply Super Storytimes: Programming Ideas for Ages 3-6 by Marie Castellano.



(By Eugene Field)

Any color, so long as it’s red,

Is the color that suits me best,

Though I will allow there is much to be said

For yellow and green and the rest;

But the feeble tints which some affect

In the things they make or buy

Have never—I say it will all respect—

Appealed to my critical eye.

Flannel Board

There was a Little Green House


Cut houses out of felt, each one a little smaller than the next. Cut out a felt heart. Line the houses up on a flannel board as you recite the rhyme, moving from left to right as the houses become smaller. End with the heart.

There was a little green house,

And in the little green house

There was a little brown house,

And in the little brown house

There was a little yellow house,

And in the little yellow house

There was a little white house,

And in the little white house

There was a little heart.

Puppet Play

“Dragon Draws a Picture” is a one-person puppet play script available in One-Person Puppet Plays by Denise Anton Wright. Pig explains how to take care of library books, while Dragon keeps interrupting to ask for art supplies. (Also available electronically through NetLibrary.)


Pretty Colors

Sing to the tune of “Clementine.” Music and lyrics are available at

Yellow Crayon

Play “Yellow Crayon” on Nursery Days by Woody Guthrie. Then sing additional verses substituting other colors.


Easy Batik

  • White paper
  • Blue tempera paint
  • Brushes
  • Crayons

Give each child a piece of paper and some crayons. Let the children draw whatever they want. Paint over the paper with a very thin mixture of blue tempera paint. The paper will look like batik when it dries. Allow time for the tempera paint to dry.


Provide plain refrigerator cookies and new, inexpensive paintbrushes and food coloring. Allow children to “paint” their own cookie.

Audio Recordings

  • "Colors" on Dance and Sing: The Best of Nick Jr. by various artists.
  • "Mixing Colors" on Tot Rock by Gary Rosen.


Note: Many videos include several episodes or segments. Show one section as part of your program. For a toddler program, limit the film to less than 10 minutes. Display the other videos for parents and caregivers to check out.

  • Baby Van Gogh. (6 segments; 30 minutes)
  • The Enchanted Crayon. Vol. 1. (54 minutes)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon. (7 minutes)
  • ”The Painting” on A Kiss for Little Bear. (8 minutes)


Flash Action Colors, Shapes and More.

Web Site

Crayola Coloring Pages

Professional Resources

Tell Me A Picture by Quentin Blake.


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