Toddler programs

Fruit Bowl

Books To Share

  • The Berry Book by Gail Gibbons.
  • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert.
  • Strawberries Are Red by Petr Horacek.
  • Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins.

Books To Show

  • Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.
  • A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by Jean Richards.
  • Growing Colors by Bruce McMillan.
  • Jamberry by Bruce Degan.

Bulletin Board


Use Ellison or other dyes to cut fruit shapes. Write book titles on each piece of fruit. Shape a cone from burlap fabric and attach it to the bulletin board. Staple or tape the fruit into the cone to provide a cornucopia of titles.


Fruit Bowl

Buy inexpensive plastic or papier-mâché fruit, available at home decorating or craft supply stores, and fill up a plastic bowl. Surround the bowl with appropriate books to entice a reading appetite.


3-D Fruit Mobiles

Moble with peach, strawberries, and apples

Fold a piece of paper in half and draw the outline of half a piece of fruit, such as apples, oranges, pumpkins, etc. Cut three shapes exactly the same size. Color the insides of the fruit pieces or glue small pieces of paper to decorate the fruit, adding black seeds to the apple, white seeds for the oranges, etc., as appropriate. On two pieces cut along the fold line halfway down; on the third piece cut halfway up. Slip the pieces together on the slips to make a 3-D object. Glue a piece of string along one fold line. Tie on to a clothes hanger or straws to create a mobile.


Cut out fruit shapes and write each child's name on their choice.


Purchase fruity scratch and sniff stickers from Smilemakers.


Share the poem “The Fruit Bowl” by Liz Rosenberg in Food Fight: Poets Join the Fight Against Hunger With Poems to Favorite Foods edited by Michael J. Rosen. Read as few or as many verses as appropriate for your program. This poem would also work as a flannel board activity, placing pictures of the fruit on the flannel board as you read the poetic sentences.

“Jamaica Market” by Agnes Maxwell Hall in Under the Moon and Over the Sea: a Collection of Caribbean Poems compiled by John Agard and Grace Nichols.


Ten Little Apples

(Author unknown; sing to the tune "Ten Little Indians.")

One little, two little, three little apples, (hold up fingers)

Four little, five little, six little apples,

Seven little, eight little, nine little apples,

Ten made into pie! Yum! (rub your tummy and lick your lips)

One little, two little, three little oranges,

Four little, five little, six little oranges,

Seven little, eight little, nine little oranges,

Ten made into juice! Yum!

(Add additional verses as desired.)

Action Rhyme

Apple Tree

(Traditional. Repeat counting down apples or substitute other colorful fruits, such as bananas and oranges.)

Way up high in the apple tree, (reach up high)

Five red apples smiled down at me. (hold up five fingers and smile)

I shook the tree as hard as I could. (shake fists in front of yourself)

Down came an apple. (make a downward motion with one hand)

MMMM, it was good! (rub your tummy)

Flannel Board

Tell the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle using flannel board pieces. If you don’t have the appropriate flannel pieces, use what you have and adapt the story. Use the patterns provided to make various fruit pieces and the caterpillar can eat a variety of fruits.


I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas


I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas

I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas

I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays

I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays

I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees

I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees

I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and by-ny-nys

I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and by-ny-nys

I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos

I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos

I like to oot, oot, oot oo-ples and boo-noo-noos

I like to oot, oot, oot oo-ples and boo-noo-noos


Fruit Bowl Hats


In advance, or with caregiver assistance during the program, cut out fruit using the patterns. Let each child select 3-4 pieces of fruit and color them, if desired. Measure a strip of paper long enough to fit around the child's head. Tape the strip to size. Tape or staple the fruit pieces onto the band, being careful to staple so that the points are not next to the child's head.


Provide copies of the apple, banana, and pumpkin coloring pages that include American Sign Language letters available from DLTK Online at They can be printed without advertising and every letter is included, although only a few are of fruit. Or, provide copies of the fruit coloring pages without American Sign Language at

Guest Speaker

Invite a local grocer to bring in samples of different kinds of fruit, especially very colorful varieties. After explaining a bit about where the fruit grows, samples can be enjoyed by all.


Fruit Chews

Purchase colorful dried fruit or fruit "leather" to share. Look for mixed fruit pieces, dried pineapple, banana chips, apple slices, and papaya. If possible, show examples of fresh whole fruit and then let everyone eat pieces of the dried fruit.

Audio Recordings

  • "Fruit Salad" on Yummy, Yummy by The Wiggles.
  • "Fruit Salad Salsa" on Victor Vito by Laurie Berkner.
  • “Fruits and Vegetables” on Get Ready, Get Set, Sing! by Sarah Barchas.


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.

Gregory the Terrible Eater. (30 minutes)

Web Sites

Dole Fun for Kids

Whole Foods Market Kids Stuff

Professional Resources

  • Mudluscious: Stories and Activities Featuring Food for Preschool Children by Jan Irving and Robin Currie. (Also available electronically through NetLibrary.)
  • DLTK’s Coloring Pages


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