Preschool Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Oh, Say Can You See?

Books to Share

Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet Wong.

Happy Birthday, America by Mary Pope Osborne.

Hats Off for the Fourth of July by Harriet Ziefert.

McDuff Saves the Day by Rosemary Wells.

Books to Show or Booktalk

Americana Adventure by Michael Garland.

Let’s See Independence Day by Marc Nobleman.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Jellybeans by Heather Henry.

What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven.

Bulletin Board

Light Up Your Mind! Read!

Cover the bulletin board with dark blue butcher paper. In the middle of the board, use red construction paper to make a large rectangular tube to resemble a fire cracker. Use streamers, paper stars, and glitter to create fireworks shooting out of the tube.



Use the star pattern provided in this program to create nametags.


Lay red, white, and blue felt or cloth material over boxes of varying sizes and heights. Display patriotic books appropriate for preschoolers. Scatter patriotic party favors and small American flags around the books.


Assorted “Glow in the Dark 4th of July Stickers” are available from Smilemakers,


Serve strawberry and blueberry Jell-O squares topped with whipped cream.

Introductory Flannel Board Activity

In advance, make a Texas Traveler out of flannel using the template from Making Friends at Also make patriotic clothes using the patterns available from Making Friends at Place your “Texas Traveler” on the flannel board. Talk to the children about the 4th of July. Ask the children how they celebrate America’s birthday with their family. Show the United States on a globe or map. Lay out patriotic clothes for your “Texas Traveler” and let the children come up and dress the traveler for the 4th of July.

doll with red outfit and white stars, blue shoes and a bow

Rhymes and Poetry

Recite “Here Comes the Parade” on page 148 in Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols.

Recite “Five Little Firecrackers” from Harris County Public Library’s Kidsite at Use the patterns provided in this program to make pieces for a flannel board.

Find the firecracker pattern at the end of this program.

5 Little fire crackers


Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

(Traditional. In advance, make star wands using the pattern provided in this program. Glue or tape the star to a craft stick or straw. Add glitter to the star to make it twinkle. Have the children wave their wands while they sing the song.)

Find the star pattern at the end of this program.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

How I wonder what you are?

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

How I wonder what you are?

Sing “Statue of Liberty” to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot” from Preschool Education at

Sing “If You Have a Little Flag Hold it High” to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from Jean Warren’s Preschool Express at

Sing “On Independence Day” from Preschool Education at to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”


Patriotic Hats

  • Red construction paper (12” x 18”)
  • Blue pipe cleaners
  • White construction paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Stapler
  • Glue sticks
  • Glitter
  • Crayons and markers
  • Pencils

patriotic hat

In advance, cut stars out of white construction paper using the following pattern or a die-cut. Also in advance, cut red construction paper into 4” x 12” strips. Give each child two stars, two red strips, and two blue pipe cleaners. Decorate the strips and the stars with glitters, crayons, or markers. Staple the two red strips so they fit around the child’s head for the band of the hat. Wrap the blue pipe cleaners around a pencil to curl them. Staple a pipe cleaner to each side of the hat. Staple a die cut star to the top of each pipe cleaner.

Find the star pattern at the end of this program.

Fireworks Art

Follow the directions from Preschool Express at http://www.preschool to create fireworks with paint on construction paper.

Bald Eagles

Use the patterns and directions from DLTK at animals/mbaldeagle.htm to make a bald eagle out of a toilet paper tube.

Games and Activities

Musical Parade

Use the “A Musical Parade” activity described on page 5 of the June/July 2008 issue of Mailbox Magazine. Give each child a musical instrument, an egg shaker, paper plates to rub together, or any item that will make noise. March around the storytime room, pretending to be in a parade.

Flags in the Wind

Give each child a scarf. Play music as they dance around the room waving the scarves to the music. They should match the level of activity to the tempo of the music to represent changes in the strength of the wind.

Guest Speakers

Invite a vexillologist, a person who collects and studies flags, to visit the library and show examples of flags from around the world and historical flags of our country. The North American Vexillological Association,, has links to flag stores or contact the Vexillological Association of Texas,, if you can’t locate a patron who collects flags.


The Scrambled States of America. (16.5 minutes)

Web Sites

Flag Flags

Match the flag to the country in this fast-paced online game.

Liberty’s Kids

This site offers information and games, including coloring sheets and an interactive “Now and Then” feature, about the history of the American Revolution based on the PBS series, Liberty’s Kids.

Program Materials

Oh, Say Can You See? – Star/Star Nametag Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (13 KB)


Oh, Say Can You See? – Firecracker Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (10 KB)


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