Friday, July 24, 2009

Book of the Day Activities: Tickling Your Funny Bone

These are a few preschool books that children and adults alike will find humorous. Chances are these books will be read over and over again! Feel free to add your favorites to the list!

Books for the week of July 19 - 25

If You Give A Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff

  • Make pancakes in the shape of the letter P.

  • Visit the author's website.

  • Read other books by the author such as If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, etc...

  • Have children (individually or as a class) write their own If You Give a _____ a _____ story! You can scan the stories, have children record narration, and post on Voice Thread. Here is an example of a kindergarten's ABC Book.

Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

  • Give children a cut-out of a "cap" and allow them to decorate it using paint. Post all of the caps on a bulletin board display (one on top of the other) so that it resembles the "caps for sale" in the book.

  • For a math activity, make a variety of caps of various colors and patterns using tag board and laminate them. Have the children 1)sort the caps by various attributes such as color or size and 2) make patterns with the caps (red cap, blue cap, red cap, blue cap, etc).
  • Help the children to learn what they can buy for 50 cents (this is the price the peddler was selling his caps for in the story). Set up a 50 cent store in the Dramatic Play Area.
  • Make a word bank and have the students "collect" words that rhyme with "cap"
  • Go to your local arts/crafts store and purchase hats (foam hats or painter's caps are often reasonably priced). Allow children to decorate their own hats.

The Giant Jam Sandwich by Janet Burroway and John Vernon Lord

  • Make strawberry jam. Here is one recipe that children can do with adult guidance. Here is another.

  • Cut paper shaped like a sandwich. Staple a stack of the pages together and allow children to write and illustrate their own stories.
  • Learn about wasps and why they are attracted to the jam.

  • Sorting Js and Ws: Help the children learn the sounds of J (for jam) and W (for wasp). Provide a bucket of various items (wallet, jar, jacks, watch, toy whale or walrus, empty juice carton, etc) and allow children to sort the items by beginning letter sounds.

Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch

  • Encourage children to draw or paint their own picture of Stephanie's ponytail.
  • Listen to the story online.

  • Read other books by Robert Munsch. Some of my favorites are: Purple, Green and Yellow (what happens when you color yourself with "super indelible never come off until you are dead and maybe even later markers?) ; I Have to Go (as soon as you get into your snowsuit, of course you have to go to the bathroom); and Alligator Baby (what happens when an expectant mom goes to the zoo instead of the hospital?).

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs By A. Wolf

  • After reading this funny story told from the Wolf's point of view, have children rewrite some other famous fairy tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears or Little Red Riding Hood.

  • Read a "traditional" version of The Three Little Pigs and have children vote on which they prefer. Children can also compare the two stories.

  • Act out the story using props.

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

  • Before reading the story to the class or to your child, just look at the cover and ask children to predict what the story is about. You can write the predictions down on chart paper and review them after reading the story.

  • Math: Encourage children to paint a picture of Camilla using a pattern of stripes (blue, yellow, red, blue, yellow, red). The older the children, the more complex the patterns can be.
  • Add some of the props (doctor outfit, empty box/can of lima beans, etc) from the story to your Dramatic Play area and allow children to act out the story.

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barret

  • Have children illustrate and write about another animal that should not wear clothing.

  • Read Animals Should Definitely Not Act Like People, another funny story by the same author!! Or try Never Take a Shark to the Dentist!
  • As a science unit, study the animals discussed in the story. Compare the animals in the story: Which have fur or feathers? Which have scales or shells? Which are mammals and which are reptiles?

  • Letter Match: Print pictures of each of the animals in the book. Use a large stencil to cut out the beginning letter of each animal. Have children match the animals with their beginning sounds. Older children can match beginning AND ending sounds.

Other Funny Books Recommended Via Twitter

Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathman is another funny story recommended by @Katjewave

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood is a silly favorite in @TammyFlowers classroom

@Katjewave says "A funny bone tickler is Anansi and the Moss-covered Rock by Eric Kimmel. Janet Stevens' illustrations are terrific."

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and its sequel Pirates Don't Change Diapers are recommended by @linkstoliteracy

Pete's A Pizza by William Steig, The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog and Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct both by Mo Willems recommended by @Sara_Sue

A great (and funny) story is "Abiyoyo" by Pete Seger, illustrated by Michael Hays, is recommended by @Katjewave

Katjewave says: My kids really like John Denver's "Grandma's Feather Bed", illustrated by Christopher Canyon...comes with the song on cd

Katjewave says: How about classic Seuss? "Green Eggs and Ham" is always a crowd pleaser.

Katjewave says that "Love You Forever" by Munsch is very funny for kidlets... touching for adults.


  1. Another very funny story is "Officer Buckle and Gloria" by Peggy Rathmann. Gloria's antics in the background are terrific.

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