Toddler Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

By Air, Land and Sea

Books to Share

I Love Planes! by Philemon Sturges.

My Car by Byron Barton.

This Boat by Paul Collicutt.

Who Is Driving? by Leo Timmers.

Books to Show or Booktalk

A Train Goes Clickety-Clack by Jonathan London.

I Drive a Tractor by Sarah Bridges.

Pilot Pups by Michelle Meadows.

Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw.

Bulletin Board

We Don’t Care How You Get to Storytime, Just Get Here!

Cover the top of the bulletin board with blue paper for a sky and the bottom with green paper for grass. Put a small oval of blue paper on the green grass to represent a body of water. Put several cutouts of airplanes in the sky, a car, bus, and train on the ground and a boat in the water.



Use the train pattern provided in this program to make train nametags.


Ask a local model railroading group to come and set up a model train display. Display train books appropriate for toddler children around the model.


“Train Conductor Rubber Duckies” from Oriental Trading Company,

Sign Language

Teach the children signs for one or more methods of travel using the instructions from online resources. Car is available at ASL University, 101/pages-signs/c/cardrive.htm. Airplane can be viewed at Babies and Sign Language, Boat is demonstrated at Lesson Tutor


Wheels on the Bus


The wheels on the bus go round and round (roll hands)

Round and round, round and round (roll hands)

The wheels on the bus go round and round (roll hands)

All through the town.

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish… (use both hands to make a windshield wiper motion)

The people on the bus go up and down… (move your body up and down)

The horn on the bus goes toot, toot, toot… (mimic tooting a car horn)

The money on the bus goes clink, clank, clunk… (mimic putting money into a change machine)

The babies on the bus go waa, waa, waa… (rub your eyes with your closed fists and cry)

The parents on the bus go shh, shh, shh… (put your finger to your lips and shhs)

The wheels on the bus go round and round… (roll hands)

Sing “Have You Ever Seen a Sailboat?” to the tune of “Have you Ever Seen a Lassie?” at Step by Step,

Sing “The Train Chugged Over the Mountain” on page 50 of 2’s Experience Fingerplays by Liz and Dick Wilmes.

London Bridge


London Bridge is falling down, (two children make a bridge with arms, palms touching)

Falling down, falling down. (all children go under the bridge)

London Bridge is falling down.

My fair lady. (have children drop arms and catch a child)

(Repeat as desired)

Sing the “Driver Song” to the tune of “Old Mac Donald” from Harris County Public Library’s Parents and Teachers Storytime Database at

Rhymes and Poetry

Recite “Boats! Boats!” on pages 50-51 in Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds,3rd edition, by Judy Nichols.

Recite “I’m a Little Pick up Truck” from It’s Storytime! at

Audio Recordings

”Bumping Up and Down” on Raffi the Singable Songs Collection by Raffi.

“Big Red Car” on Dance Party by The Wiggles.

Flannel Board Stories

Wheels on the Bus

Patterns for making flannel board pieces for this song or rhyme can be found on pages 191-193 in Felt Board Fingerplays by Liz and Dick Wilmes.

Here Comes the Choo-Choo Train

Patterns for creating flannel board pieces and the words to this rhyme can be found on pages 32-33 in The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra.

I Saw a Giraffe Drive By

Read the poem “I Saw a Giraffe Drive By” by Diane Briggs. Words and patterns for flannel board pieces can be found on pages 101-106 in Toddler Storytime Programs by Diane Briggs.


Traffic Light

  • Construction paper or felt
  • Red, yellow, and green construction paper or felt
  • Glue Sticks
  • Copies of “Green Says Go”

In advance, cut a piece of black construction paper or felt into a 4 ½” x 12” rectangle for each child. Then, cut one circle using the pattern provided in this program out of red, green, and yellow construction paper or felt for each child. If construction paper is used, each child should glue the red, green and yellow circle to the black construction paper to create a traffic light that can be played with at home. Distribute copies of “Green Says Go,” a simple rhyme available from King County Library System at https://wiki.kc en_Says_Go%21.

Find the traffic light circle pattern at the end of this program.

Paper Traffic Light

Boat Shapes

Make a boat out of simple shapes following the directions from DLTK at

Thomas the Tank Engine

Make a “Thomas the Tank Engine Paper Craft” following the directions from DLTK at

Games and Activities

Car Sort

Cut out cars from felt in three different sizes in different colors using the pattern from Silky Steps, ain_templates/car-1_Template.gif. Make enough to provide each child with at least one or two cars. Place one car of each size on the flannel board. Let the toddlers come up and put their cars on the flannel board matching the right sizes. Then ask the toddlers to put the same color cars in order on the flannel board.

Papper cars on blue background, cars are solid green, solid red, and solid yellow

Guest Speakers

Invite someone from a local auto dealership, fire department, or the sheriff’s department to show parents how to properly install and use car safety seats.


Curious George Rides a Bike and a Lot More Monkeying Around. (82 minutes)

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Three More Stories About Trucks. (50 minutes)

Web Sites

Play “Stop Light Game” at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, http://pbs

Professional Resources

USA Safe Kids

This site provides printable tips sheets and coloring pages related to keeping kids safe in cars and around the house.

Program Materials

By Air, Land and Sea – Train Nametag Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (17 KB)

Train Name Tag Patter - 6 Trains on sheet

By Air, Land and Sea – Traffic Light Circle Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (10 KB)

Traffic Light Circle Pattern - one large circle on sheet

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