Sail on Home

Books to Share

  • Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley.
  • No Bed Without Ted by Nicola Smee.
  • Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee.
  • Where is Baby’s Mommy? by Karen Katz.
  • Wow City by Robert Neubecker.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • Families Have Together by Harriet Ziefert.
  • My House / Mi casa by Rebecca Emberley.
  • My Life with the Wave by Catherine Cowan.
  • The Napping House by Audry Wood.
  • On My Street by Eve Merriam.
  • The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds.

Bulletin Board

Good Books Are Good Friends!

Write out the slogan. Hang strings of paper dolls loosely across the bulletin board surrounding the slogan. Make small copies of covers of books on the copier machine or use covers of books cut from posters or publisher catalogs to put in the hands of the paper dolls.



Cut out houses using the pattern from the Little Mouse flannel board provided or use a die-cut house pattern to make a nametag.


Read With Friends!

Display books, videos, DVDs and musical recordings about houses, neighborhoods, and friends. Arrange the materials in a display with people puppets or dolls.



A squirrel lives in a tree.   (Fan out fingers for a tree shape)

A snail lives in a shell.   (Make a fist)

A bear lives in a cave,   (Curve fingers around fist of other hand)

He likes it very well.

A fish lives in a fish bowl.   (Make a circle with both hands)

A bird lives in a nest.   (Use hands to make a bowl shape)

I live in my house.   (Put hands into a point over head)

I like my home the best.   (Hand over heart)

Shy Little People

(Traditional, adapted by Debbie Brightwell Brown.)

There was a shy little man who lived in a house,   (Hold up one thumb and fist)

He was as shy and quiet as a little mouse.   (Put thumb into fist)

There was a shy little woman who lived in a house,   (Hold up other thumb and fist)

She was also as shy and quiet as a little mouse.   (Put other thumb into fist)

The shy little man through his window would peek,   (Peek tip of thumb through fingers)

And if seeing no one, out he would creep.   (Put thumb out)

He would look high and he would look low,   (Move thumb up and down)

Then back into his house he would go.   (Put thumb back into fist)

The shy little woman through her window would peek,   (Peek tip of thumb through fingers)

And if seeing no one, out she would creep.   (Put thumb out)

She would look high and she would look low,   (Move thump up and down)

Then back into her house she would go.   (Put thumb back into fist)

Then one day, both of them forgot to peek.

So both out of their houses, they did creep.   (Put both thumbs out)

When they saw each other, they both shouted “oh!”   (Move thumbs closer together)

And back into their houses, they did go.   (Put thumbs back into fists)


If You’re a Good Neighbor and You Know It

(Traditional. Adapted by Debbie Brightwell Brown. Sing to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Repeat the verse inserting other neighborly words or actions, such as ‘wave hello,’ ‘shake a hand,’ etc. If you would like, use a marionette puppet to do these actions with the children as well.)

If you’re a good neighbor, clap your hands.

If you’re a good neighbor, clap your hands.

If you’re a good neighbor, then you really ought to show it.

If you’re a good neighbor, clap your hands.

Audio Recordings

  • “Mi Casa, My House” on Joining Hands with Other Lands by Jackie Silberg.
  • “The More We Get Together” on Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi.

Flannel Boards

Little Mouse, Little Mouse

(Traditional. Make one small mouse and several small house shapes in different colors, using the patterns provided at the end of the chapter. Hide the mouse under one of the houses as you put the shapes on board. Remember which house has the mouse under it, so that you remove that house last.  Ask the children to help you find the mouse by repeating the poem. Remove house shapes until you find the mouse.)

Little mouse, little mouse,

Are you in the red house?   (Remove red house and continue with green, blue, etc.)

little mouse flannel board


Build a Shape House


  • Construction or copier paper in various colors
  • Glue sticks
  • Crayons and markers

shape house flannel board


Cut out enough large square shapes for each child to have one. Cut the rest of the paper into smaller squares, triangles, rectangles and circles. Show the children how to put the smaller shapes on the larger paper to make doors, windows, a roof, etc. When they have arranged their house, glue the pieces in place and then color in flowers, people, etc.

Family and Friends Finger Puppets


  • Construction or copier paper
  • Glue stick or tape
  • Crayons or markers


Cut out the finger people puppets using the pattern provided at the end of this chapter. Let the children color the finger people puppets. Tape or glue the sides of the puppet around the child’s fingers.

finger puppets

Games and Activities

Lock It Up!

In advance, cut out eight or nine houses from different colors using a die-cut machine or the house pattern provided in this manual. Cut out key shapes in colors to match the house. For durability, laminate the houses and keys. Let the toddlers match the correct color key to the correct color house. Ellison sells dies to create a variety of types of keys and houses. If possible, make a few different kinds of each.


If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs, or segments of them, to the children.  Otherwise, display them for home use.  Times are indicated for the entire film.

  • I Stink! (8 minutes)
  • My Life With the Wave. (29 minutes)

Web Sites

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

This site provides information about the television series, weekly themes with activities on the theme, online games and activities, crafts, recipes, color pages, online music and sheet music, and a booklist.


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