Preschool Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Books to Share

Eddie’s Kingdom by D.B. Johnson.

Glenna’s Seeds by Nancy Edwards.

Heron and Turtle by Valeri Gorbachev.

The Owl and the Woodpecker by Brian Wildsmith.

Books to Show or Booktalk

Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley.

Good Neighbor Nicholas by Virginia Kroll.

Hammer Soup by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert.

Nutmeg and Barley by Janie Bynum.

Bulletin Board

Make a New Friend at Storytime!

Decorate the bulletin board with images of children of all races and nationalities. Use photographs from old magazines, create your own, or use the paper dolls from Making Friends at Have some of the children holding hands and others holding books.



Use the gingerbread person pattern from Jean Warren’s Preschool Express at to create people nametags for each child.


Decorate the storytime room with the image of a simple library building created from butcher paper. Use basic shapes such as a large square for the building, a large triangle for the roof, and rectangles for windows. Spell out the word library across the front of the building. Alternately, enlarge the free clip art available from Clip Art Heaven, _schools/classroom_&_activities/library_2-gif.html, to decorate the room. Make a large person out of butcher paper or purchase the “Large Finger Paint People” from Smilemakers at and decorate one to resemble you, standing outside the library. They come in packs of 24 so, if desired and space permits, invite other staff, board members, and volunteers to make their own image. Display a sign that says, “The Librarian is a Person in Your Neighborhood.”


“Friendship Rope Bracelets” can be purchased from Oriental Trading Company,

Introductory Flannel Board Activity

Texas Traveler

Make a Texas Traveler out of flannel using the template from Making Friends at Place the Texas Traveler on the flannel board. Talk to the children about their neighborhood. Ask the children about their home, where they were born, etc. Show the state of Texas on a globe or map. Display summer clothes for your Texas Traveler. Patterns for summer clothes can be found at Making Friends at

Have the children take turns coming up to the flannel board to dress the Texas Traveler for the summer.

doll with a onecie with a white ruffle belt


Make New Friends (But Keep the Old)

(Traditional. Music is available at NIEHS Kids Page,

Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is silver, the other is gold.

A circle is round it has no end.

That's how long I will be your friend.

I Wish I Were a Librarian

Sing “I Wish I Were a Librarian” to the tune of “Mulberry Bush” from Jean Warren’s Preschool Express at station06/oct06_librarian.shtml.

The Community Helper Song

Sing “The Community Helper Song” to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell” from Preschool Education at This song covers several community helpers: doctor, farmer, chef, mailman, firefighter, and policeman.

Rhymes and Poetry

Hurry, Hurry Drive the Fire Truck

Recite and act out “Hurry, Hurry Drive the Fire Truck” from Kididdles at

Community Helpers

Recite the “Community Helpers” rhyme from Hummingbird Educational Resources at

New Friends

Recite the rhyme “New Friends” which can be found on page 102 of I’m a Little Teapot by Jane Cobb.

Audio Recordings

“We’re All Friends” on Let’s Wiggle by The Wiggles.

“Boy Meets Drums” on Rhythm in My Shoes by Jessica Harper.

“I Had a Friend” on Buzz Buzz by Laurie Berkner.

Riddles and Jokes

Tell the joke “Will You Remember Me?” found on page 93 of Once Upon a Time: Using Storytelling, Creative Drama, and Reader’s Theater with Children in Grades Pre-K -6 by Judy Freeman.


Hugging Hands

  • 12 x 18 construction paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors

In advance, cut the construction paper into 1” x 18” strips. Give each child one strip to accordion fold. Have the children trace both of their hands onto another piece of construction paper. Cut out the hands. Tape one hand to each end of the accordion strip. Wrap the hands around yourself to give yourself a hug.

Hugging Hands

Make a New Friend

  • Butcher paper or large finger paint paper people templates
  • Crayons or paint
  • Markers
  • Yarn (optional)
  • Craft glue (optional)

In advance, cut sheets of butcher paper about four feet long (long enough for a typical child’s height). Pair up the children. If you do not have an equal number, have one group of three children. Have each child take turns lying on the butcher paper while the other child traces around him or her with a marker. After both children have had their bodies traced onto the paper, exchange figures with the partner. Cut out the outline. Provide crayons, markers, or paint and allow each child to color and decorate the cut outs to resemble their partner. If desired, provide yarn in various colors to glue on to create hair. Alternately, distribute purchased templates available from Smilemakers¸ Have parents or volunteers help with this activity, if possible.

Friendship Wreaths

Make paper “Friendship Wreaths” in hand shapes using the directions from DLTK at

Games and Activities

Friendship Squeeze

Stand in a circle with the preschoolers holding hands. Start by gently squeezing the hand of the child to your right. That child then squeezes the next child’s hand. This continues until the friendship squeeze has gone all the way around the circle and comes back to you.

Guest Speakers

Ask a community helper to visit with your children and explain what they do and how they help their community. Firefighters and trash collectors are usually a good choice, especially if they can bring their vehicles.


Corduroy and More Stories About Friendship. (54 minutes)

Texas Reading Club 2010 Programming Manual / Catch the Reading Express!

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

Page last modified: June 14, 2011