Toddler Programs

Colors of the Sea

Books To Share

  • Fish Counting by Arthur David Zoller.
  • My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki.
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.
  • Sea Shapes by Suse MacDonald.
  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni.
  • My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki.

Books To Show

  • Colorful Captivating Coral Reefs by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent.
  • Fish Eyes by Lois Elhert.
  • One Lonely Seahorse by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers.
  • The Underwater Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta.
  • A Visit to the Sesame Street Aquarium by Rebecca Gold.


Invite a local pet store to set up an aquarium in the library. Include many colorful fish. Be sure that the library staff knows how to care for the fish.


Purchase the rubber stamp, Fish School #1165 from Kidstamps and stamp the children’s hands after storytime.


  • “Five Little Fishes” in Ring A Ring O' Roses.
  • “One Little Fish” in Finger Folk by Marilyn Lohnes.

Flannel Board

Blue Fish, Blue Fish What Do You See?

(Use this homage to Bill Martin's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to create a colorful sea life flannel board story. Patterns are provided here.)

Blue Fish, Blue Fish what do you see,

Swimming around in the deep, deep sea?

I see a red eel wiggling to and fro.

Red Eel, Red Eel, what do you see

Swimming around in the deep, deep sea?

I see a yellow starfish sparkling in the foam.

Starfish, Starfish what do you see

Swimming around in the deep, deep sea?

I see a purple octopus spitting out his ink.

Octopus, Octopus what do you see

Swimming around in the deep, deep sea?

I see a green seahorse riding through the waves

Rounding up the fishes in the deep, deep sea.

Puppet Story

My Visit to the Aquarium

Use the plush animals available from Childcraft to introduce the story My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki. Pull each sea creature out of the science bag kit as you read the story. "My Visit to the Aquarium'' includes 5 soft aquarium creatures--a clown fish, sea otter, ray, scarlet ibis, and sand tiger shark--and the plants and animals that live in them.

A Rainbow Fish finger puppet is available from Demco and can be used to animate your reading of the story, Rainbow Fish.


Three Little Fishes

(The music for this popular 1939 song, now in public domain, is available on several Web sites and on the musical recording, The Best Of Kay Kyser and His Orchestra. Music is also online at

Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool

Swam three little fishies and a mama fishie too.

"Swim" said the mama fishie, "Swim if you can"

And they swam and they swam all over the dam.


Boop boop dittum dattum wattum choo!

Boop boop dittum dattum wattum choo!

Boop boop dittum dattum wattum choo!

And they swam and they swam all over the dam.

"Stop" said the mama fishie, "or you will get lost".

The three little fishies didn't wanna be bossed.

The three little fishies went off on a spree,

And they swam and they swam right out to the sea.


"Whee!" yelled the little fishies, "Here's a lot of fun,

We'll swim in the sea till the day is done"

They swam and they swam, and it was a lark,

Till all of a sudden they saw a shark!


"Help!" cried the little fishies, "Gee! look at all the whales!"

And quick as they could, they turned on their tails

And back to the pool in the meadow they swam,

And they swam and they swam back over the dam.



Fish Scales

  • Fish patterns (1 & 2)
  • White construction paper
  • A sheet of white construction paper for each child
  • Newspaper or cloth to cover tables or floor
  • Water-based marker pens
  • Spray bottle filled with water

In advance, cut out fish patterns (above) from white construction paper. Give each child a sheet of white construction paper and water-based markers. Let the children scribble on the paper with the markers. When the child is finished, an adult lightly sprays water on the paper to allow the colors to run and blend. While the paper is damp, lightly press the fish pattern onto the damp colors transferring the colors to the pattern. Allow it to dry.

Flying Fish

fish wind sock

  • Long brown or white bags (used to hold wine bottles)
  • Crayons or marker pens
  • String or yarn
  • Hole-punch
  • Scissors

Cut off the scalloped edges along the open end of the paper bag. Cut a small hole in the middle of the closed end of the bag to form a mouth. Use a black marker to draws eyes. Give a bag to the children and ask them to color the fish on it. After they have colored their fish, punch three holes around the mouth and tie string or yarn through the holes. Tie the string pieces together. Be sure that the yarn is long enough to hold while “flying” the fish.

Games and Activities

Fishing for Fun

Cut out enough fish patterns on various colors of light cardboard, or color white cardboard with crayons or markers. Tape a paper clip to the back of each fish. Hang a string with a small magnet at the end of a light-weight pole. Let each child take turn fishing for a fish. Have small prizes to match the color fish that is caught.

Connect the Dots

Print the connect-the-dots sheet that features a fish, available online from All About Coloring at, for each child. Provide crayons and allow them to connect the numbers from one to ten and then color their fish.


Fish Bowls

Prepare blue Jell-O(tm). As it sets, insert gummy fish into the Jell-O. Scoop into clear plastic cups for serving individual "aquariums."

Audio Recording

“Baby Beluga” on Baby Beluga by Raffi.


Note: Show one section of longer videos/DVDs 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.

Rainbow Fish: School of Fish. (45 minutes)

Professional Resources

All About Coloring



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