Preschool Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Outback of Australia

Books to Share

Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein.

The Biggest Frog in Australia by Susan Roth.

Koala Lou by Mem Fox.

Marsupial Sue by John Lithgow.

Books to Show or Booktalk

G’Day, Australia! by April Sayre.

A Kangaroo’s World by Caroline Arnold.

Possum Magic by Mem Fox.

Wombat Stew by Marcia Vaughan.

Bulletin Board

Readin’ Down Under

Cover the bulletin board with blue butcher paper. Draw an outline of Australia on green construction paper and cut it out. Put the word “Readin’” at the top center of the board. Underneath the word “Readin” put the outline of Australia. Underneath the map put the words “Down Under.” Along the sides of the bulletin board display pictures of Australian animals and the Australian flag.



Use the pattern of Australia provided in the program to create nametags.


“Fuzzy Australian Magnets” can be purchased from Oriental Trading Company, These magnets are shaped like various Australian animals and can be colored.

Introductory Flannel Board Activity

In advance, make a Texas Traveler out of flannel using the template from Making Friends at Also in advance use the patterns from Making Friends at http://www.making to make Australian clothing. Place your “Texas Traveler” on the flannel board. Talk to the children about Australia. Show the children pictures of Australia. Point out Australia on a globe or map. Lay out a selection of clothes for your “Texas Traveler.” Let the children help the children dress your traveler for a trip to Australia.

doll with brown hat and button shirt outfit


Sing “Cuddly Koalas” to the tune of “Frere Jacques” from The Best Kid’s Booksite at

Sing “Jump, Jump” on page 44 in Toddle on Over by Robin Davis.

Rhymes and Poetry

Kangaroo Jump

(Adapted by Heather Coleson.)

One kangaroo goes jump. (jump once)

Along comes another and he just can’t stop.

So, two kangaroos go jump, jump. (jump twice)

Along comes another and they just can’t stop.

So, three kangaroos go jump, jump, jump. (jump three times)

Along comes another and they just can’t stop.

So, four kangaroos go jump, jump, jump, jump. (jump four times)

Along comes another and they just can’t stop.

So five kangaroos go jump, jump, jump, jump, jump! (jump five times)

DROP! (drop to the ground)

Time to STOP! (stop)

Baby Kangaroo

Recite the rhyme “Baby Kangaroo” from Preschool Rainbow at

Five Little Kookaburras

Recite “Five Little Kookaburras” from Harris County Public Library’s Kidsite at

Here is Australia

Recite “Here is Australia” on page 22 in Storytime Crafts by Kathryn Totten.

Audio Recordings

“Here Comes a Bear” on Let’s Wiggle by The Wiggles.

“Five Little Joeys” on Dance Party by The Wiggles.

Stories to Tell

The Thirsty Frog

Tell this Australian folktale about a frog that drinks up all the water in Australia. A retelling, along with flannel board patterns, can be found on pages 4-9 in Travel the Globe Multicultural Storytimes by Desiree Weber. (This book is available from NetLibrary, a Texshare database.)

Adapt Rob Reid’s “The Exploding Frog,” based on an Aesop’s fable, on pages 82-84 in Family Storytime: Twenty-Four Creative Programs for All Ages. Change the animals to Australian animals and the location to the outback. (This book is available from NetLibrary, a Texshare database.)


Koala Hearts

Use the patterns and instructions from First School at http://www.first-school. ws/activities/shapes/animals/koala_hearts.htm to create a simple koala.


Make the kangaroo using the templates and directions from DLTK,, or modify it by tracing and cutting all of the kangaroo parts onto brown paper. Add wiggle eyes and pink construction paper ears. Use a lighter brown paper to create the pouch and joey. A pattern for a joey is provided in this program, which can be taken in and out of the kangaroo’s pouch.

Find the kangaroo/joey pattern at the end of this program.

Phot Kangaroo

Frog Sack Puppet

Make a frog puppet from a paper bag using the patterns and instructions on page 45 in Toddle on Over by Robin Davis.

Games and Activities

Identify Australian Animals

Print pictures or photographs from the Internet of unique animals of Australia and animals common to the United States. Laminate the pictures and apply a piece of felt to the back of each picture. Mix up the pictures and place them on the flannel board. Point to each animal, say the name of the animal, and ask the children if they think the animal lives in the United States or in Australia. If the animal is from the United States take it off of the board. Keep going until only Australian animals are left. Talk to the children about the Australian animals. Display appropriate non-fiction books for checkout.


“Possum Magic” on Sylvester and the Magic Pebble…and More Magical Tales. (58 minutes)

Web Sites

National Geographic Kids

View video and hear sounds of koalas in action. Other Australian animals include the Tasmanian Devil, Duck-billed Platypus, and the Cane Toad.

Professional Resources

First School Australia Day Activities

This site provides coloring pages and other activities, including an online, interactive simple jigsaw puzzle, suitable for preschool children.

Program Materials

Outback of Austraila – Australia Nametag Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (20 KB)

Outback of Australia

Outback of Austraila – Kangaroo/Joey Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (12 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