By Jeanette Larson
Books to Share
- Arthur and the Race to Read by Marc Brown.
- The Cheerleading Book by Stephanie French.
- Cliff Hanger by Jean Craighead George.
- The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler.
- Hopscotch Around the World by Mary Lankford.
- Karate Hour by Carol Nevius.
Books to Show or Booktalk
- Anna Banana: 101 Jump Rope Rhymes by Joanna Cole.
- Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff.
- Bowling for Beginners: Simple Steps to Strikes and Spares by Don Nace.
- Flying High, Pogo! Constance M. Foland.
- Sidewalk Chalk: Outdoor Fun and Games by Jamie Kyle McGillian.
- Tennis Ace by Matt Christopher.
Display leotards and exercise equipment and paraphernalia such as jump ropes, hand weights, pedometers, gym shoes, and water bottles.
Athletes need to stay hydrated and eat high protein snacks. Serve Gatorade®, peanut butter crackers, and fruit.
Purchase water bottles from a company such as Janway imprinted with the Texas Reading Club art and your library’s name and phone number.
Rhymes and Poetry
Read “The Sprinters” by Lillian Morrison in Sports in Literature by Bruce Emra, and selections from The Sidewalk Racer and Other Poems of Sports and Motion by Lillian Morrison.
The Happy Wanderer
Lyrics for this traditional camp and scouting song are available in several songbooks, and on-line at Scout Songs.Com Virtual Songbook www.scoutsongs.com/lyrics/happywanderer.html. Many children’s recordings also include this song; including 50 All-Time Children’s Favorites, Vol. 2 by Various Artists.
- “Going Bass Fishing” on Anna Moo Crackers by Anna Moo.
- “Gonna Fly Now” (Theme from Rocky) on Rocky: Original Motion Picture Score by Bill Conti, et. al.
- “Kids in Motion” on Kids in Motion by Greg and Steve.
- “The Sports Song” on Big Rock Rooster by Daddy a Go Go.
Riddles and Jokes
- Q. Why was the tennis player asked to leave the library?
- A. Because he was making a racquet!
- Q. Why did the chicken cross the playground?
- A. To get to the other slide!
- Q. Did you hear the joke about the jump rope?
- A. Oh, skip it!
Reader’s Theater Scripts
Use the script for “Jack Climbs to the Top of a Very Tall Vegetable and Finds a Very Large Individual with an Attitude Problem” from Frantic Frogs and Other Frankly Fractured Folktales for Readers Theater by Anthony D. Fredericks, available through netLibrary, a Texshare resource, to tell the story about a former NBA player and a bean stalk. This book also includes a script for “Cinderella Visits the Shoe Store and Gets a Pair of Air Jordans.”
The Jogging Gingerbread Boy
(Traditional. Adapted by Jeanette Larson.)
There once was an old man and an old woman who lived in a little old house on the edge of town. They would have been a very happy except they had no child, and they wanted one very much. One day, when the little old woman was baking, she decided to make a cookie in the shape of a little boy. She stretched the dough, and bent the dough, and pulled it in several directions. Then she popped the cookie into the oven. After awhile, she went to the oven to see if the cookie was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out, and began to run away as fast as his legs would carry him.
The little old woman called her husband, and they both started running after him. However, they could not catch him. Soon the gingerbread boy came to a schoolyard, filled with girls jumping rope. He called out to them as he went by, yelling: “I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man, and I can run away from you, I can!” The girls set down their ropes and ran after the gingerbread boy. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him.
The gingerbread boy ran on until he came to a baseball field. As he ran by, he called out to the teams: “I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man, a school yard full of girls jumping rope, and I can run away from you, I can!” The ball players put down their bats and balls and began to run after him, but they couldn't catch him.
And so, the gingerbread boy ran on and on until he came to a tennis court where a boy and a girl were playing tennis. He was quite limber because of all the stretching that he’d done when the little old woman was making him so he wasn’t even getting tired. As he ran by, he called out to the teams: “I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man, a school yard full of girls jumping rope. I’ve run away from two baseball teams and I can run away from you, I can!” The tennis players put down their raquets and began to run after him, but they couldn’t catch the gingerbread boy.
So, the gingerbread boy ran on until he came to a pool where a girl was swimming. He called out to her: “I've run away from a little old woman, a little old man, a school yard full of girls jumping rope, and two baseball teams, and a pair of tennis players, and I can run away from you, I can!” And then, the gingerbread boy dived into the pool! But of course, cookies crumble in water. The gingerbread boy said, "Oh dear! I'm quarter gone!" And then he said, "Oh, I'm half gone!" And soon he was saying, "I'm three-quarters gone!" And finally, he was gone. For you see, water is good for kids who are exercising but not for gingerbread boys!
- Model Magic™ or other air-drying clay, in several colors
- Fine line markers
Give each child small lumps of Model Magic™ in white and other colors. Roll the clay into small balls, working until the balls are smooth and evenly round. Make some smaller “pee wee” marbles. Mix colors to create “cat’s eyes” and swirled marbles. If desired, use fine line markers to decorate the marbles. Allow each child to make about ten marbles and then hold a tournament. Refer to Marbles: 101 Ways to Play by Joanna Cole for rules and variations.
Games and Activities
Place two large cardboard boxes on one side of the program room. Give each player two balloons: a round one and a long one. Using the long balloon as a “bat,” the players drive the round balloon into the box along the ground. The player whose balloon is driven into the box first wins. It’s easier to judge the winner if the balloons of the players are of different colors. Play elimination rounds until you have a champion.
Balloon Bouncer Relay
Cut the center out of a full-sized paper plate so that a ring is created. Tape a paint stirrer or other long stick securely to the paper plate. Make several of these “bouncers” so that you have enough for several relay teams. Inflate several balloons, including extras in case they burst. Use masking tape to set up lanes. Each member of the relay team has to move as quickly as possible to the end of the lane and back without dropping the balloon and pass the balloon and bouncer to the next member of the relay team. If the balloon falls off the bouncer, it must be retrieved without using hands. If the balloon breaks, the racer has to return to the starting line to get a new balloon. The first team to complete the relay wins.
- 10 2-liter plastic soda bottles, emptied and rinsed
- 2 Small plastic balls (about 12 inches around)
- Stickers, paint pens, beads, sequins, and other decorating supplies
- Masking tape
Have each child decorate a soda bottle. Use the funnel to fill each soda bottle with 2 cups of sand; add additional sand if needed to keep the bottles from toppling too easily. In the program room, use masking tape to set up “lanes” about 12 feet long. Set up the soda bottle “pins” in rows (one pin in the first row, two in the second, three in the third, and four pins in the last row.) Each child rolls the ball down the lane, knocking over as many pins as possible. Each play gets two balls per round. Play ten rounds if time permits; otherwise decide in advance how many rounds will be played. One point is awarded for each pin toppled. Keep score!
Additional games and variations for indoor games are available on-line at Games Kids Play.
Exercise Your Mind
Photocopy and distribute the Exercise Your Mind Word Search Sheet provided. Challenge the kids to find all the different exercises and sports activities hidden in the puzzle.
Invite an aerobics teacher or a hip-hop dancer to demonstrate safe and appropriate exercise techniques.
If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs, or segments of them, to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use.
- Fitness Fables 2. (30 minutes)
- Hip Hop Kidz: Learn to Hip Hop Dance. (30 minutes)
- The Karate Kid. (127 minutes)
Yahoo! Ten Pin Championship Bowling
Two players match skills in a regulation style bowling game.
- 50 All-Time Children's Favorites, Vol. 2 by Various Artists.
- Frantic Frogs and Other Frankly Fractured Folktales for Readers Theater by Anthony D. Fredericks.
- Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot Potao, and Ha Ha Ha: A Rulebook of Children's Games by Jack Macguire.
- Marbles: 101 Ways to Play by Joanna Cole.
- The Sidewalk Racer and Other Poems of Sports and Motion by Lillian Morrison.
- Sports in Literature by Bruce Emra.
- Games Kids Play
- Rules are provided for playground games, jump rope rhymes, and more.
- Select incentives and prizes tailored for library programs.
- Scout Songs.Com Virtual Songbook
- Be prepared for programs with lyrics for scouting songs, campfire songs, and action songs.