Toddler Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Stars and Stripes

Books to Share

Beware of Tigers by Dave Horowitz.

Biscuit’s Fourth of July by Alyssa Capucilli.

Fourth of July Mice! by Bethany Roberts.

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers.

Books to Show or Booktalk

Happy 4th of July, Jenny Sweeney! by Leslie Kimmelman.

Let’s Get Ready for Independence Day by Lloyd Douglas.

Stripe’s Naughty Sister by Joanne Partis.

Tigers and Their Cubs by Margaret Hall.

Bulletin Board

Stars and Stripes

Cover the bulletin board with dark blue or black paper. Add yellow or white construction paper stars at the top to create a sky. Make fireworks using red, blue and white paint. Add a little glitter to make sparkling fireworks. Add a construction paper or store-bought American flag to the center.



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


Serve red, white, and blue treats purchased from the bakery section at a local grocery store.

Sign Language

Teach the children the sign for star. Instructions and photographs are available at ASL University,


Sing “I’m a Little Firework” to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot.” The lyrics are available from Perpetual Preschool at day_themes/fourth_of_july_songs.html.

Sing “On Independence Day” to the tune of “Mary had a Little Lamb.” The lyrics are available from Preschool Education at

Rhymes and Poetry

If You Love America

(Adapted by Heather Coleson. Sing to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.)

If you love America, clap your hands. (clap hands twice)

If you love America, clap your hands. (clap hands twice)

If you love your country, you want everyone to know.

If you love America, clap your hands. (clap hands twice)

Repeat for as many verses as desired, substituting words and actions. Suggestions include: stomp your feet (stomp feet twice), jump around (jump twice), wave your hands (wave hands),and touch your toes (touch toes).

Star Light, Star Bright


Star light, star bright,

First star I see tonight,

I wish I may,

I wish I might,

Have this wish,

I wish tonight.

Act out “The Finger Band” to the tune of “Mulberry Bush”. The lyrics and movements can be found on page 148 of Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols.

Stories to Tell

Tell the fold-and-cut story, “The Magic Star” on page 43 of Handmade Tales: Stories to Make and Take by Dianne de Las Casas. This seven-sentence story begins with a piece of paper and ends with a star.


Pattern Stars

  • White, red, and blue construction paper
  • Glue sticks

In advance, cut three stars from the red construction paper and three stars from the blue construction, using the pattern provided in this program or use a star die-cut, for each toddler. Distribute a piece of white construction paper and three blue and three red stars. Glue the stars on the paper in the following pattern: red, blue, red, blue, red, blue. This craft is designed to help toddlers begin to recognize patterns.

Find a star pattern at the end of this program.

photo of six large stars, equal red and blue


Make a “Fireworks Craft” using glue, glitter and black paper. Directions can be found at Enchanted Learning at

Stand Alone Star

Make a three-dimensional star that can stand up on its own using the instructions from Enchanted Learning at

Games and Activities

Give each toddler a musical instrument and have them form a line. March around the storytime room or into the library for a special storytime parade. If an American flag is available, allow the child at the front of the line to lead the way, waving the flag.

Web Sites

Primary Games: Fourth of July

This site includes coloring sheets, games, and other Fourth of July ideas that can be adapted for use with toddlers.

Program Materials

Stars & Stripes – Star Nametag Pattern/Pattern Stars Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (13 KB)

Star Pattern - Six star outlines 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