Splash Into Books!

By Teresa Chiv

Books to Share

  • Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathan London.
  • Make the Team, Baby Duck by Amy Hest.
  • Splash, Joshua, Splash! by Malachy Doyle.
  • Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • Get Set! Swim! by Jeannine Atkins.
  • Sidney Won’t Swim by Hilde Schuurmans.
  • Swimming with Dolphins by Lambert Davis.
  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni.


Towel Off!

Use the towel pattern to create nametags for the children.


“When I Was a Little Fish” from Come and Make a Circle - 20 Terrific Tunes for Kids and Teachers by Susan Salidir.

Action Rhymes

When I’m Ready

(By Teresa Chiv.)

Bubble bubble, toot toot, (Stand with your hands by your side)

Chicken, (Hold your arms bent at the elbow, with your hands tucked under your armpit)

Airplane, (Hold your arms straight out)

Soldier. (Hold your arms at your side)

That’s the way I’ll learn to swim, (Move your arms in swimming motion pretending to do a breast stroke or freestyle motion)

When I’m a little older! (Stretch up tall, holding your hands above your head)

But, for now I’ll doggy paddle, (Move your arms as if dog paddling)

Or just splash the water with my feet. (Move your feet as if you’re splashing water)

And imagine just how fast I’ll swim (Point to your forehead)

When I am ready to compete! (Move your arms as if you’re swimming)

Dance and Movement Songs

Play the “Swimming Song” from Tony Chestnut and Fun Time Action Songs by The Learning Station. Let the children act out the swimming motions in the song.

Flannel Boards

Rainbow Fish

From card stock or felt, make a Rainbow Fish with at least five removable silver scales, four other fish with plain scales, an octopus, and a starfish for use as flannel board characters. Read or tell the board book edition of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. At the end of the story, put one of Rainbow Fish’s scales on each of the other fish. Patterns for Rainbow Fish, an octopus, and a starfish are provided. The Rainbow Fish pattern may be used for the four plain fish. Sequins or silver wrapping paper may be affixed with tape or velcro for the silver scales.

Puppet Show

Un pulpito

Make stick puppets of a sardine or other small fish, an octopus, a tuna fish, a shark, and a whale. You may also use traditional puppets from Folkmanis or other suppliers. Play the song, “Un Pulpito” on Soy Una Pizza by Charlotte Diamond. As each animal is named in the song, parade it across the stage, until the next animal is named. At the end of the song, face the whale toward the audience and have it burp. Then say “perdóname.” English lyrics for “Un Pulpito” may be found at Charlotte Diamond’s web site, www.charlottediamond.com/music/soylyrics.htm.


Sea Creatures


  • Light blue construction paper
  • Orange, green, and brown yarn
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Colors


In advance, photocopy and cut out the patterns of sea. Patterns for sea plants, a sea horse, a shell, and a ray are provided. The patterns provided for the “Rainbow Fish” flannelboard and “Un Pulpito” puppet show may also be reduced for use with this craft. Cut enough two-inch pieces of yarn to provide four pieces of each color for each child. Give each child copies of the animal and plant patterns and the orange, green, and brown yarn. After the children color the animals and plants, have them glue them onto a piece of light blue construction paper. Glue the orange, green, and brown yarn on in clumps to resemble seaweed.

Choose additional crafts from Crafts For Kids Who Are Wild About Oceans by Kathy Ross.

Guest Speakers

Invite a local lifeguard, or someone with water safety instructor certification, to talk about swimming safety.

Professional Resources

  • Come and Make a Circle - 20 Terrific Tunes for Kids and Teachers by Susan Salidir.
  • Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Oceans by Kathy Ross.
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.
  • Soy una pizza by Charlotte Diamond.
  • Tony Chestnut and Fun Time Action Songs by The Learning Station.
  • Charlotte Diamond’s Web Site www.charlottediamond.com

    This renowned children’s songwriter and performer provides lyrics and samples of her songs on this web site.
  • Folkmanis www.folkmanis.com

    Shop for puppets on-line.


Texas Reading Club 2006 Programming Manual / Reading: The Sport of Champions!

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

Page last modified: June 14, 2011