Toddler Programs Chapter

By Miranda Bauer and WyLaina Hildreth

Family Scootin’ Boogie

Books to Share

If Kisses Were Colors by Janet Lawler.

Abuela by Arthur Dorros.

The Family Book by Todd Parr.

Mama Cat has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming.

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis.


Cut out individual paper doll shapes for each of the children who come to the program. Use the patterns from web sites such as Family Crafts: Design Your Own Paper Dolls at Write the child’s name on the doll and attach it to their clothing.



(Begin with an open hand and extended fingers. Point to each finger as you recite the rhyme, beginning with your “thumb” for the mother.)

This is the mother, so kind and good.

This is the father who buys our food.

This is the brother so big and tall.

This is the sister who loves her doll.

This is the baby so little you see.

Short and tall is the family.

Rhymes and Poetry

These Are Grandma’s Glasses

These are Grandma’s glasses,

This is Grandma’s hat,

This is the way she folds her arms,

And lays them in her lap.

These are Grandpa’s glasses,

This is Grandpa’s hat,

This is the way he folds his arms,

And takes a little nap.

Flannel Boards

Make a flannel board to go along with the picture book, Mama Cat has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming, using the picture of a cat from First School at,


Family Photo Frame

  • Craft sticks
  • Glue
  • Construction paper
  • Markers, or other embellishments you have on hand

Give each child four craft sticks to glue together into square with a space in the middle for a photo. Allow each child to decorate a frame however they like.

Family Collage

  • Children’s magazines
  • Glue sticks
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors

Have the children find pictures of families in the magazines. These pictures can be of animal families, cartoon families, or photographs of people. They can also include pictures of individuals. Ask the children to cut out the pictures they find and glue the magazine pages to the construction paper to make a collage, with the help of their caregivers.

Family Puppets

  • Small individual photographs of family members
  • Craft sticks
  • Construction paper
  • Laminating sheets

In advance, cut construction paper into 5 X 7 inch rectangles. These will accommodate a 4 X 6 inch photograph, which is a common size. You can also make a variety of sizes of rectangles to accommodate smaller photographs. Let the parents trim the photographs they bring in to fit on the construction paper and the children glue the photographs to the paper. The librarian or parent applies the laminating sheets to protect the photographs. The child glues a craft stick to the back of the photograph to make a puppet. Let the children make one puppet with a picture of each family member.

Games and Activities

Play bring out a collection of multicultural family puppets for free play after stories and encourage adults and children to interact.

Play “De Colores” while children dance with Hispanic Paper Flowers or Rainbow Streamers (see “Toddler Programs: Texas Skies” for Rainbow Streamers craft).

Books to Display or Booktalk

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman.

Clifford’s Family by Norman Bridwell.

Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins.

Quilt Story by Tony Johnston.

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.

Bulletin Board

My Family / Mi Familia

Make a bilingual bulletin board that shows a family. Display pictures or photographs of family members such as mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, babies, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncle, and cousins. The photographs or pictures should reflect a diverse group of people and avoid stereotypes. For example, avoid photographs of grandmothers with grey hair and buns. When the photographs are up, label them in two different languages. For example, label them in Spanish and English as “Mother / Madre, Father / Padre, Brother / Hermano, Sister / Hermana, Baby / Bebè, Grandmother / Abuela, Grandfather /Abuelo, Aunt / Tìa, Uncle / Tìo, and Cousin / Primo or Prima (depending on gender).


Along with books, display photographs of your staff. Take current photographs of staff and display them with photographs of staff with their families. These photographs can be both older and/or current. Make copies of the photographs if staff members want them back before the end of the summer. This type of display will allow you to show different types of families. Some photographs may have only one child or parent.


“The Napping House” on Good Night, Gorilla...and More Bedtime Stories. (51 minutes).

Web Sites Cat Coloring Pages

This site includes several cat coloring pages. Family Crafts: Design Your Own Paper Dolls

Templates, ideas, and more information about paperdolls.

Professional Resources

A to Z Teacher Stuff: Families</ br> Ideas for songs, art, activities, and more.

Everything Preschool - Family Theme

This web site has songs, games, and an encyclopedia which will help toddlers learn about families.

Family Theme

This web site for teachers includes information on books to read aloud, songs, fingerplays, and information on families.

Gayle’s Preschool Rainbow: Me, My Family and Friends

This web site contains recommended books, activities, and songs which can be included in a storytime with the theme of family and friends.

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