Preschool Programs Chapter

Wild Woodland Creatures

Books to Share

  • At the Edge of the Woods by Cynthia Cotton.
  • Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson.
  • Bearsie Bear and the Surprise Sleepover Party by Bernard Waber.
  • Hi, Harry! by Martin Waddell.
  • One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler.
  • Raccoon on His Own by Jim Arnosky.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • Forest Explorer by Nic Bishop.
  • How Chipmunk Got His Stripes by Joseph Bruchac.
  • Raccoons by Jeff Fair.
  • Skunks Do More Than Stink! by D.M. Souza.
  • Stranger in the Woods by C.R. Sams.
  • What Lies on the Other Side? by Udo Weigelt.

Bulletin Board

Go Wild in the Forest!

Create a forest scene on a wall or bulletin board. Attach a layer of green paper at the top, cutting it to resemble leaves. Attach another layer of green paper at the bottom, cutting many small snips to resemble grass. Attach brown paper “tree trunks” between the two sections of green paper. Let children draw animals, color pictures of animals, or cut out animal pictures from old magazines. Populate your forest scene with these creatures. If you want to keep this display up throughout the summer, allow the children to add an animal for reaching a reading goal. Write each child’s name on an animal along with the number of books read, and place it on the bulletin board.


Use die-cut shapes of rabbits, squirrels, or other forest dwelling animals to create nametags for each child.


  • “Here’s a Bunny” in 1001 Rhymes and Fingerplays by The Totline Staff.
  • “The Squirrel” in Finger Rhymes by Marc Brown.


“Grizzly Bear” on Wee Sing Animals, Animals, Animals or Wee Sing Fun ’n’ Folk. Play the music and sing along to this catchy song. Or, present it as a call-and-response song and let the children echo each line after you sing it.

The Little Skunk

(Sing to the tune of “Dixie.”)

I stuck my head in a little skunk’s hole

The little skunk said, “Well bless my soul!

Take it out! Take it out! Take it out!

Remove it!”

Well, I didn’t take it out, so the little skunk said,

“If you don’t take it out, you’ll wish you had.

Take it out! Take it out!”

Pssssssstttttt! -- I removed it.

Puppet Plays

Present Wild Woodland Adventure by Barrie Teague Alguire provided in the “Stories, Puppet Plays, and Reader’s Theater” chapter of this manual.


Stick Puppets

  • Animal patterns
  • Construction paper or card stock
  • Pencils
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Craft sticks

Make copies of the puppet patterns for the dog, skunk, chipmunk, raccoon, rabbit provided for the Wild Woodland Adventure puppet play. Select just one pattern for the activity, or copy them all and let the children choose their favorite. Let the children color their animal and glue or tape it to a craft stick. For younger children, cut around the picture leaving a margin, and glue the picture onto construction paper. This provides a sturdier puppet for the children to handle.

Forest Animal Headband Hats

Make hats using patterns from Forest Animals: Hat Patterns and Activities by Anne Diebel and Patt Newbold. Another idea is to use these patterns for stick puppets. This book is available from Paper Hat Tricks at The patterns may also be found in Paper Hat Tricks III by the same authors. It is out of print but some libraries and regional offices own copies.


Creative Dramatics

After reading Bearsie Bear and the Surprise Sleepover Party, act it out with the children. You play the part of Bearsie to keep the story moving. Do not worry if the children don’t use the exact words in the book. Just encourage each child to “knock” on the door and ask to come in, regardless of the words used. If you have more children than characters in the story, either add other forest creatures or have more than one moose, cow, etc. Be sure every child who wants to participate gets a role. Some children may prefer to just watch.


See How They Grow: Forest Animals (30 minutes) Show the 5-minute segment on chipmunks. If you do not have public performance rights, display the video for circulation.

Guest Speakers

Invite a naturalist or someone from a zoo to bring small mammals for the children to see. If it is safe, let the children pet the animals. Ask the presenter to discuss their habitats, diet, and care. Bring books about the animals for the children to check out and take home.

Web Sites

Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Kids Network

Visit this page to download coloring pages and hear recordings of Texas animals such as coyotes and rattlesnakes.

Professional Resources

  • 1001 Rhymes and Fingerplays compiled by The Totline Staff.
  • Finger Rhymes by Marc Brown.
  • Forest Animals: Hat Patterns and Activities by Anne Diebel and Patt Newbold.
  • Forest Animals (Kids Can Draw) by Philippe Legendre.
  • Paper Hat Tricks III by Patt Newbold and Anne Diebel.
  • Paper Hat Tricks

    This site features books with patterns for headband hats of many animals, including birds, fish, and insects. Some examples of headband hats are available on the site.


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