Toddler Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Brrrr, It’s Cold at the Poles

Books to Share

I Like It When by Mary Murphy.

Penguins, Penguins Everywhere! by Bob Barner.

Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson.

Polar Bolero by Debi Gliori.

A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom.

Books to Show or Booktalk

Penguin by Polly Dunbar.

Penguins and Their Chicks by Margaret Hall.

A Penguin’s World by Caroline Arnold.

Without You by Sarah Weeks.

Bulletin Board

Cool Off with Snowy Stories

Cover the bulletin board with white snowy paper. Add a photograph or other picture of a group of penguins and a polar bear. Enlarge picture book covers from some of the titles in this chapter and place the book covers along the left and right side of your bulletin board.



Use a mitten pattern such as the one available from Jean Warren’s Preschool Express at to create nametags for each child.


Place a sled on a table or the floor. Display books on the sled about snow and polar animals that appropriate for toddlers.


Make an igloo out of blocks wrapped in white paper for the toddlers to explore. If you have any stuffed polar animals then lay those around the storytime room.


Serve crushed ice with water and goldfish crackers.


Purchase “Dress a Penguin Stickers” from Oriental Trading Company,

Sign Language

Teach the sign for snow. Hold your hands high in the air with your palms facing down. Wiggle your fingers and slowly move them up and down to imitate falling snow. A video demonstrating the sign for snow can be found at Signing Savvy,


I See Snowflakes

(Adapted by Heather Coleson. Sing to the tune of “Frere Jacques”

I see snowflakes, I see snowflakes, (flutter hands down)

Look don’t you? Look don’t you? (Put hand over eyes)

Wispy falling snowflakes, Wispy falling snowflakes (Flutter hands down)

Brr it’s cold! Brr it’s cold! (wrap hands around arms and shiver)

I see snow drifts, I see snow drifts, (point)

On the ground, On the ground. (touch floor)

Let’s go build a snowman, Let’s go build a snowman, (mimic picking up snow)

Before its gone, Before its gone. (Hold up hands mimicking “all gone”)


Sing “Snowflake, Snowflake” to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Lyrics and movements can be found at Preschool Express, www.preschoolexpre

Sing “I’m a Little Penguin” to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot” Lyrics can be found at Hummingbird Educational Resources,

Rhymes and Poetry

Act out “Polar Bear, Polar Bear” to the tune of “Teddy Bear, Teddy, Bear.” Lyrics and motions can be found at Childcare and Beyond,

Recite the “Two Little Penguins” from Harris County Public Library,

Recite the “Five Little Polar Bears” from Harris County Public Library, If desired, make flannel board pieces using the pattern from DLTK at =m&t=

Five cut out polar bears on brown background

Audio Recordings

“I’m a Little Snowflake” on Whaddaya Think of That? by Laurie Berkner.

“Snow Song” on Hello Everybody? by Rachel Buchman.


Finger Skating Painting

Let toddlers “Finger Skate,” finger painting with white paint on light colored paper. Directions for this simple but messy craft can be found at Preschool Express,

White Polar Collage

  • White construction paper
  • White cardstock
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Cotton balls
  • White glitter
  • Wiggle eyes
  • White string

In advance, print out the polar bear pattern use the template provided by DLTK at ownbear/clips/bpolarbear.gif onto cardstock. Allow the children to cut out the polar bear and glue it to a white piece of construction paper. Use white glitter, white cotton balls, white string, and any other white craft material to decorate the bear and background. Add a wiggle eye at the appropriate place on the bear.

polar bear with six white cotton balls around it


Make a penguin using the templates from First School at

Games and Activities

Ice Cube Match

Make pairs of flannel ice cubes in varying sizes and colors out of the pattern provided. Distribute one piece from each pair to the children. Place the remaining pieces on the flannel board. Have the toddlers take turns bringing up their ice cube and matching it to the correct flannel piece.

Find the ice cube match pattern at the end of this program.six cubes pasted on brown construction paper


The Snowy Day and More Ezra Jack Keats Stories. (52 minutes)

Program Materials

Brrr, It’s Cold at the Poles – Ice Cube Match Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (13 KB)

ice cube pattern - Three different cubes 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