Toddler Programs Chapter

By Miranda Bauer and WyLaina Hildreth

Color and Line Dancing

Books to Share

Freight Train by Donald Crews.

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh.

I Went Walking by Sue Williams.


Cut rectangles from various colors of construction paper and let the children choose their favorite colors. Write their name on the color they choose.


It’s A Rainbow

(Sing to the tune of “London Bridge.”)

Red and orange and yellow too,

Don’t forget green and blue!

Add some violet; then you’re through,

It’s a rainbow!

Audio Recordings

Songs About Colors and Shapes by Kimbo.

Flannel Boards

Color Train

Construct a train with boxcars cut from felt of various colors. Use Freight Train by Donald Crews as inspiration. Make objects that match the colors of the boxcars out of felt. For example, make a yellow pencil to match the yellow boxcar. Go over the colors of the train with the toddlers, then hold up an object and have them tell you which boxcar it matches. Or, use Velcro and attach objects, such as pencils or pens.


Rainbow Wind Sock

  • Clean toilet paper tubes
  • Crepe paper streamers in multiple colors
  • Tape
  • Markers

In advance, cut 1-foot lengths of various colors of crepe paper. Allow the children to decorate the tubes with markers and attach a variety of colors of crepe paper with tape.

Mouse Painting

  • Mouse coloring sheets
  • Crayons

Give each child a coloring page of a mouse, using a picture of a mouse found through Google images or elsewhere. Allow the children to experiment with colors by coloring the mouse with one color of crayon and then another color to see what color they can make. Hang their creations in the library.

Games and Activities

Color Throw

Cut large blocks of color out of flannel and attach them to a wall at about the same height as most of your toddlers. Cover a ping-pong ball in Velcro and allow the children to take turns throwing the ball at the blocks of color. When the ball sticks to a block of color, have the children shout out the name of the color they hit.

Books to Display or Booktalk

Duckie’s Rainbow by Frances Barry.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

Living Color by Steve Jenkins.

The Deep Blue Sea: A Book of Colors by Audrey Wood.

Bulletin Board

Color Stripes

Make a bulletin board with big bold stripes. Cover the board in two foot wide strips of paper in various colors. Write the name of the colors on the strips.

Color Words

Cover the board in white paper. Section the paper by drawing large black lines every two feet. Label each section with the name of a color. Write the color’s name in that color. Invite the children color the sections with the same color.


Display objects in specific colors. For example, use a red apple and label it red.


Blue’s Clues: Shapes and Colors. (96 minutes)

Crazy for Color. (60 minutes)

Professional Resources

How to Teach Your Toddler Colors

This site has ideas for activities and games for toddlers to learn colors.

Preschool Rainbow

Fingerplays, activities, and other great things for toddlers.

Texas Reading Club 2009 Programming Manual / Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

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

Page last modified: June 14, 2011