Toddler Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

We Are the World

Books to Share

The Family Book by Todd Parr.

Fiesta! by Ginger Guy.

“More, More, More,” Said the Baby by Vera Williams.

Te Amo, Bebe, Little One by Lisa Wheeler.

Uh-Oh! by Rachel Isadora.

Books to Show or Booktalk

Bright Eyes, Brown Skin by Cheryl Hudson and Bernette Ford.

Can You Say Peace by Karen Katz.

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho.

The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews.

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.

Bulletin Board

What a Wonderful World

Cover your bulletin board with blue butcher paper. Make a large earth out of blue and green construction paper. Put the earth in the middle of the board. Have each child draw on a sheet of white construction paper what they think is wonderful about our world. Hang the drawings around the globe. Use some of the ideas from the “What a Wonderful World” bulletin board from DLTK at to add additional elements to the bulletin board.


Use the heart nametag pattern provided in this chapter to make nametags.


Serve cookies and treats from different countries, such as shortbread from Scotland and pocky from Japan. Check out the ethnic food section in your local grocery store or Walmart for more ideas.

Sign Language

Teach the sign for friend. Hold out both hands with your palms facing down. Hook your right index finger over your curved left index finger. Repeat in reverse, this time with your left finger on top. Watch a video on how to perform this sign at Signing Savvy,


The More We Get Together


Oh, the more we get together,

Together, together,

Oh, the more we get together,

The happier we'll be.

For your friends are my friends,

And my friends are your friends.

Oh, the more we get together,

The happier we'll be!

Sing “Japanese Lullaby” on page 39 of Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols. A pronunciation guide is included.

Sing “1, 2, 3 You are Friends with Me” from Preschool Rainbow at

Rhymes and Poetry

I’m a Good Friend

(Adapted by Heather Coleson. Sing to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot.”)

I’m a good friend,

I’m helpful and true,

Here is my smile,

Can I help you?

If you need a friend,

I’m always there,

Just call my name and

I’ll hug you with care.

Recite “Count with Me” in Spanish, Swahili, and Japanese on page 69 of Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols.

Audio Recordings

“All I Really Need” on Raffi in Concert with the Rise and Shine Band by Raffi.

“Under a Shady Tree” on Laurie Berkner Under a Shady Tree by Laurie Berkner.


Friendship Cards

  • 9x12 construction paper in any color
  • Construction paper in various shades of brown, beige, pink
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue sticks

In advance, cut out people figures from a variety of the skin-tone shades of paper using the gingerbread person pattern from Jean Warren’s Preschool Express at terns.pdf. Packets of skin-tone paper are available from craft supply stores like Dick Blick, Give each child a 9x12 piece of construction paper folded in half to create a card. Let each child choose a figure. Glue the figure to the front of the card. Decorate the person with markers or crayons. Encourage the children to give the card to someone they would like to have for a friend.

Friendship card, text 'To My Friend!' decorated pink paper doll

Friendship Wreaths

Follow the direction from DLTK at wreath.htm to make friendship wreaths from handprints traced onto construction paper.

Complete a “Today I Made a New Friend” worksheet from DLTK at

Games and Activities

Let’s Find a Friend

Sing “Let’s Find a Friend,” sung to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell,” while performing the actions and calling out names. Lyrics can be found at Preschool Education at This is a great activity to introduce the children and parents to each other and for everyone to learn each other’s names.

Guest Speakers

Invite an African drummer or a Mariachi band to come out and play for the toddlers. Check with local community groups and with your Texas Regional Library System at for ideas for performers.

Web Sites


The web site for this PBS series features activities, songs, and printable sheets for every child’s friend, Caillou.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

The web site for this popular PBS show features online songs, with lyrics, videos, coloring sheets, and more.

Professional Resources

From the Heart: Books and Activities about Friends by Jan Irving. (This book is available through NetLibrary, a Texshare resource.)

Travel the Globe: Multicultural Storytimes by Desiree Webber and others. (This book is available through NetLibrary, a Texshare resource.)

Program Materials

What a Wonderful World! – Heart Nametag Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (13 KB)

Heart Nametag Pattern - Six heart patterns 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