Toddler programs

Ribbons and Bows

Books To Share

  • Color Dance by Ann Jonas.
  • Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine.
  • Kente Colors by Debbi Chocolate.
  • Ribbon Rescue by Robert N. Munsch.
  • Won't Papa Be Surprised! by Terri Cohlene.

Books To Show

  • Aneesa Lee and the Weaver’s Gift by Nikki Grimes.
  • Blue-Ribbon Henry by Mary Calhoun.
  • The Rainbow Tulip by Pat Mora.
  • Toby's Rainbow Clothes by Cyndy Szekeres.

Bulletin Board

Ribbon Readers

Use wide ribbon to frame a bulletin board area. As children participate in storytimes or Texas Reading Club activities, let them add their name to the bulletin board on ribbons. Use a die cut to make paper ribbons or use pieces of ribbon and write names with a Sharpie pen.


Borrow bolts of fabric, rolls of ribbons, bows, thread, and yarn to create a colorful display. Ask staff and the community to donate unused materials or remnants.


Cut out blue ribbons for each child using the pattern provided or a die cut machine. Print the child's name on the ribbon and use ribbon to make necklace


“Hair Ribbons” in Let’s Do Fingerplays by Marion F. Grayson.


O Dear, What Can the Matter Be?

(Additional verses may be found in collections of Mother Goose rhymes.)

O dear, what can the matter be?

Dear, dear, what can the matter be?

O dear, what can the matter be?

Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised he'd buy me a fairing should please me,

And then for a kiss, oh! he vowed he would tease me,

He promised he'd bring me a bunch of blue ribbons

To tie up my bonny brown hair.


Tell the story, How The Sky’s Housekeeper Wore Her Scarves by Patricia Hooper. After neglecting her chores, the sky’s housekeeper restores order to the sun, moon, planets, and stars. As you tell the story, wrap red, blue, yellow, green, and white scarves or silks around your neck. At the end, you will be wearing a cloth rainbow. Let the children notice this before you point it out. This book is out of print and may be borrowed through interlibrary loan.

Flannel Board Story

Use the flannel board to tell the story “A Little Girl Named Riding Hood” by Rob Reid on pages 180-181 in Family Storytimes: Twenty-Four Creative Programs for All Ages. Make a felt cut out of a girl and make hooded cloaks in a variety of colors.


Mail Myself To You

(This Woody Guthrie standard is available on Mail Myself to You by John McCutcheon. Add appropriate actions as you sing the song. The lyrics and music are also available online at, or read the book version by Vera Rosenberry.)

I'm gonna wrap myself in paper. (twirl around)

I'm gonna dab myself with glue. (dab at body)

Stick some stamps on top of my head. (tap the top of your head)

I'm gonna mail myself to you. (point to someone)

I'm gonna tie me up in red string. (pantomime tying)

I'm gonna use blue ribbon too. (pantomime tying with a flourish)

I'm gonna climb up into your mailbox. (pretend to climb)

I'm gonna mail myself to you. (point to someone)

If Your Clothes Have Any Red

(Traditional, sing to the tune “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Make up lyrics and include as many colors and actions as the children would like.)

If your clothes have any red, touch your head.

If your clothes have any red, touch your head.

If your clothes have any red,

Then you’d better touch your head.

If your clothes have any red, touch your head.

Follow the same pattern to add verses. Some suggestions for the first line of additional verses include:

If your clothes have any blue, shake your shoe…

If your clothes have any green, make a scene…

If your clothes have any brown, make a frown…

If your clothes have any white, stamp your feet with all your might…

Pretty Ribbons

By Sally Meyers

(Sing to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?")

Pretty ribbons

Brightly colored

On my kite

In the sky.

When I read a story

My imagination

Is flying high

In the sky!!!


Kente Cloth

  • Construction paper, precut into geometric shapes
  • Sheets of construction paper
  • Glue sticks

colorful kente cloth

Precut a variety of colors of construction paper in geometric shapes. Keep it simple, but bright. Cut multiples of the same shapes and colors. Give each child a sheet of colored construction paper and a glue stick. With an adult’s help, let them lay out the geometric shapes in a pleasing pattern and glue them into place to look like colorful African Kente cloth. Feather the edges of the construction paper, if desired, as depicted in the illustration.

Ribbon Cards

  • Brown paper bags or kraft paper
  • 1/4" width colored ribbon
  • Hole punch
  • Pinking sheers
  • Crayons

Use the pinking sheers to precut cards in various shapes out of the paper bag or kraft paper. Try squares, rectangles, hearts, ovals, etc. Punch holes around the edge of the card. The holes can be evenly spaced or set in groups, but be sure the total is an even number. Give each child a card and crayons to decorate their card. Then let the children lace the thin ribbon through the holes. Tie the ends into a pretty bow and the card is ready to give to someone.

Games and Activities

Ribbon Dancing

Staple or tape streamers of ribbon onto plastic straws. Give a straw to each child and play up-beat music. Encourage the children to dance around the room moving the ribbons to the tempo.

Color Match

Put strips of colored ribbons in a bag or basket. Ask each child to pull out a ribbon. The child should then look around the room to find something that matches the colored ribbon and either bring the object to the basket or tie the ribbon on the item. Use primary and secondary colors and make sure that something in the room matches each color.


Quilt Squares

Decorate graham crackers with colorful icing. Spread icing on the cracker and embellish with tubes of decorator icing. Use different patterns and colors on each square. Place all of the crackers on a cookie sheet so that they create a patchwork quilt.

Audio Recordings

  • "Buttons and Bows" on 16 Most Requested Songs by Dinah Shore.
  • “I Want to Wear” on Hello Everybody by Rachel Buchman.
  • “Oh, Dear What Can the Matter Be” on Mainly Mother Goose by Sharon, Lois and Bram.

Web Site

Wrapped in Pride


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