Toddler Programs Chapter

Wild Wild West

Books to Share

  • Cowboy Up! by Larry Dane Brimmer.
  • Cowpokes by Caroline Stutson.
  • Just Like my Dad by Tricia Gardella.
  • T is for Texas by Anne Bustard.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • Bubba the Cowboy Prince: A Fractured Texas Tale by Helen Ketteman.
  • Buckaroo Baby! by Libby Ellis.
  • Cowboy Bunnies by Christine Loomis.
  • I Want to Be a Cowgirl by Jeanne Willis
  • Texas Alphabet by Laurie Parker.

Bulletin Boards

Lasso up a Good Book

Use rope to outline your bulletin board and add the caption “Lasso up a Good Book.” Staple book jackets to the bulletin board.


If possible, display saddles, cowboy hats, boots, and other western items for the children to see and touch.


Build a “campfire” out of logs and red, yellow, and orange cellophane. Sit around the campfire and eat trail mix, jerky, biscuits, or other cowpoke treats. Make your own “horse snack” by mixing mini-sized shredded wheat, Cheerios, and dried apple bits. Put the mix into individual cups. If you have time or volunteers, make small pouches from hopsacking or canvas and place individual servings into them.


Cowpoke Charade

(By Shelly Lane)

Put on my hat (Pretend to put hat on)

And put on my vest (Pretend to put vest on)

Buckle my belt (Pretend to buckle belt)

So I look my best.

Ride my pony (Pretend to hold reins and ride a pony)

Rope my steer (Pretend to twirl a rope overhead)

Win a shiny belt buckle (Show belt buckle)

Tip my hat


I'm A Little Cowboy

(Adapted by Shelly Lane. Sing to the tune of “I’m A Little Teapot.”)

I'm a little cowboy, sitting on a horse

Here is my hat and here are my boots

I like to lasso and ride wild bulls.

I’m a little cowboy, yes I am.

10 Little Cowboys

(Adapted by Shelly Lane. Sing to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.”)

One little, two little, three little cowboys,

Four little, five little, six little cowboys,

Seven little, eight little, nine little cowboys,

Ten little cowboys riding in the rodeo.

Audio Recordings

  • By the Light of the Moon: Campfire Songs and Cowboy Tunes by The Charlie Daniels Band.
  • Play “Way Out West” on Great Big World by Joe McDermott.

Flannel Boards

At The Rodeo

(Adapted by Shelly Lane. Turn this into a flannel board by creating patterns for a Bull rider, Barrel Racer, Steer Dogger, and Calf Scrambler from clipart at Microsoft Office Clip Art and Media at

Out in the arena

What do I see?

A great big bull

Bucking in circles

On top of the bull

What do I see?

A cowboy

Holding on for eight seconds

All at the rodeo

In additional verses, replace “A great big bull bucking in circles” with:

…A barrel racer going around the barrels…

…A steer dogger wrestling a steer…

…A calf scrambler chasing calves…


Cowpoke Costume Parade

  • Fabric
  • Poster board
  • Scotch tape

Cut fabric to make bandanas for each child. Use poster board to make star-shaped sheriff badges and tape them to the shirt of each little sheriff. Use poster board to make the front view of a cowboy hat. Attach the hat to a strip of poster board sized to each child’s head. Wrap the strip around the child’s head and staple in place. Cover the staple with scotch tape to ensure that it won’t scratch the child. Once all the buckaroos are dressed up, hold a “cowpoke parade.”

Cowboy Puppets

  • Cowboy puppet pattern
  • Poster board
  • Fabric scraps, possibly felt
  • Brads
  • Plastic drinking straws
  • Hole punch
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Tape

Use the cowboy puppet pattern to cut out a puppet from poster board for each child. Cut cowboy hats and bandanas that fit the puppets from fabric. Punch holes where indicated by the black dots on the puppet pattern. Attach the arms and legs to the puppet with brads. Let the children color their cowboys and glue on the fabric cowboy hats and bandanas. Tape the drinking straw to the back of the cowboy with tape.

Professional Resources

Microsoft Office Clip Art and Media

This site provides a free searchable database of images, including clip art and photographs that can be used for non-commercial projects.


Texas Reading Club 2005 Programming Manual / Go Wild...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011