Water Hole

Books to Share

  • Tales from the Waterhole by Bob Graham.
  • Water Hole by Graeme Base.
  • Water Hole Waiting by Jane Kurtz.
  • Splash! by Flora McDonnell.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley.
  • Eyewitness: Pond and River by Steve Parker.
  • The Missing ‘Gator of Gumbo Limbo by Jean Craighead George.
  • Our Time on the River by Don Brown.
  • Splash by Ann Jonas.
  • A Swim Through the Sea by Kristin Joy Pratt..

Bulletin Board

Visit Jan Brett’s Home Page, www.janbrett.com, for patterns and instructions for a Honey…Honey…Lion! coloring mural. Cover the bulletin board with light brown or tan paper. Print out the patterns. Let the children color them, or have teen volunteers color them for you. Place the selected images on the bulletin board to create a water hole scene. Be sure to make the “Hippos in Waterhole” the center of your scene and add water lilies and other flora (scroll to the bottom of the page of patterns for these.)


Aquifer Parfaits


  • Vanilla ice cream or non-dairy frozen dessert
  • Clear soda (such as Sprite™)
  • Crushed plain cookies or cereal
  • Small chocolate or butterscotch chips
  • Colored sprinkles
  • Food coloring
  • Drinking straws
  • Clear plastic cups


Fill a clear plastic cup or parfait glass with a thin layer of crushed cookies or cereal to represent sand and soil. Cover with a small amount of clear soda, enough to dampen the “soil.” Add a layer of ice cream to represent the aquifer. Add another layer of “sand” or a layer of chocolate or butterscotch chips to represent gravel. Add a layer of colored sprinkles to represent the porous layer of topsoil. Add food coloring to a small cup of clear soda. The colored soda will show the children how contaminants enter the aquifer. Pour the colored soda over the parfait and watch it seep through. Give each child a drinking straw to drill a well in the middle of the aquifer. As the children suck up the soda, the aquifer level decreases so add more soda to “recharge.”



(Adapted by Shelly Lane. Chant.)

Splashing, splashing in the water hole.

When days are hot, when days are cool,

In the water hole.

Tall animals, skinny animals, and big animals too

Oh, don't you wish that you could have nothing else to do

But   (repeat from the beginning, continuing until tired)

Rhymes and Poetry

Water Words

Make your own magnetic poetry words by placing self-adhesive stickers on old refrigerator magnets, or purchase a set of Water Poetry Magnets from The Groundwater Foundation, www.groundwater.org. Provide a metal surface, such as a steel cookie sheet or the side of a filing cabinet, and let the children make up their own water poetry.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

(Excerpt from poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.)

Water, water, everywhere,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.

Audio Recordings

“Splashdance” on More Dancin’ Tunes.

Reader’s Theater

Copy scripts and let the children perform “Water, Water Will Be Mine,” a Kenyan folktale available in Multicultural Folktales: Readers Theatre for Elementary Students by Suzanne I. Barchers, available through netLibrary, a TexShare resource. When the water dries up, all of the animals except Rabbit work to dig a new water hole. Because he didn’t help, Rabbit is not allowed to drink.

Stories to Tell

“A Flower for Mama Hippo: A Draw and Tell Story” in Books Ahoy, www.state.sc.us/scsl/BooksAhoy/handbook/stories/stories3.pdf.


Splatter Painting


  • Construction paper
  • Finger paints 
  • Spray bottles
  • Water


Let the children paint designs on construction paper with different colors of paint. While the paint is still wet, take the painting outside with five children at a time and use the small spray bottles to spray water on the paper. Let the children watch as the colors run together. This can be done in groups or individually.

Bubble Painting Art


  • Straws
  • Small cups
  • Construction paper in light colors
  • Bubble solution
  • Washable paint
  • Plastic to cover the tables and floors


Fill the small cup about one-fourth of the way with bubble solution. Add a couple of drops of paint into the solution. Mix the bubbles and paint with the straw. Place the paper on a covered table or floor and place the cup of bubble paint on top of the paper. Let each child blow through the straw to create bubbles. As the bubbles overflow, they will fall onto the paper making a wonderful painting.

Games and Activities

Water Relay


  • 12-ounce plastic cups
  • 5-gallon buckets, or something else to hold water
  • Water


Gather two cups and two buckets per team. In advance, punch two or three medium-sized holes in the bottom of each plastic cup. Find a safe, non-slippery area outside the library to set up a relay course. Set up a bucket of water at the starting line for each team and an empty bucket for each team at the ending line. Divide the kids into teams of six or eight members. The first team member takes the cup, scoops water out of the bucket, races down to the other end, empties the cup into the other bucket, and runs back to the starting line. After handing the cup to the next team member, the process is repeated until all team members have raced. The team with the most water in the second bucket wins a special prize or bookmark. Depending on the surface area used, watch and make sure the area is not becoming slippery during the activity.

Web-Based Activities

Wild Over Waterways


This British site includes several online games and activities that deal with the waterways and water supply.

Professional Resources

Multicultural Folktales: Readers Theatre for Elementary Students by Suzanne I. Barchers. Also available through netLibrary, a TexShare resource.

Books Ahoy


This manual for South Carolina’s reading program includes fingerplays, patterns, games, and more.

The Groundwater Foundation


Click on the “Shop Catalog” tab to find several water-related games for sale.

Jan Brett’s Home Page


This author’s web site includes patterns for characters in her books, coloring pages, and other activities that can be reproduced freely for library use.


Texas Reading Club 2007 Programming Manual / Sail Away with Books!

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

Page last modified: June 14, 2011