Preschool Activities with Pete the Cat

The virtual book club for kids is featuring author Eric Litwin during the month of November. Eric Litwin is the author of Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes, and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. These books are favorites of my boys and are perfect for preschool aged students. Not only will preschoolers adore this cool cat, they can also learn color words, number concepts, school readiness, and more. These are the perfect books for preparing young readers for school.

pete the cat book activities







Pete The Cat I Love My White Shoes

This month we chose the book Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes.  In this story, Pete gets a new pair of white shoes and he loves his shoes. In fact, he loves them so much, he sings a song about them. He sings, “I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes…” As he is going, he steps in a pile of strawberries. Instead of crying, Pete the Cat, exudes positivity and sings about his “new” red shoes. He sings, “I love my red shoes. I love my red shoes….” Pete steps in a rainbow of items as the book continues but he always responds with a happy song.


Identifying Color Words

For our book activity, we chose to focus on reading and writing color words. First we read the book and talked about color words. When students are trying to identify new words, it is helpful to talk about features of the words. For emergent readers, talk about the beginning letter sounds. You could also talk about the length of the word. For example, red is a short word and brown is a longer word. For older readers, you might want to talk about patterns in the words. Have your child point out patterns they notice in the words. For example, brown has a consonant blend- br and the ow sound and white has a wh consonant blend.

Reading Color Words in Isolation

After reading the book, provide pictures of colored shoes and sentence strips with color words written on them. Have children try to match the color word to the correct color of shoe. I found pictures of colored shoes on Microsoft word and printed them in color. You could also draw your own or let the students draw and color the shoes before the activity.

preschool book activities teach colors

Reading Color words in Context

After practicing the words in isolation a few times, see if your children can recognize the words in text. The book, Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes provides a perfect simple repeating refrain for early readers. Write the repeating poem on chart paper or sentence strips that are placed in a  pocket chart. Give students a pile of pictures of colored shoes.  Have children draw a picture card, name the color, and then change the color words in the poem and reread.  If children are locating the color word from a group of color words, ask, “How did you know that was the color word (white)?”  Have students talk about features they see in words.  You may choose to repeat this poem over several days and gradually release the responsibility of locating and placing color words in the correct places. You might also teach the sight words “I love my”

pete the cat book activities

Writing extension

After locating and reading color words, let your young writers try writing color words in their own version of Pete the Cat. Give children a form that says “Pete stepped in a pile of _______. What color did it turn his shoes? _________________”

If your kids haven’t met Pete the Cat, I guarantee they will love him.  These books not only teach a love of learning but a love of life itself.  The moral of Pete’s story is, “No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song… because it’s all good.”

For More Books about learning colors check out some of my favorite books.

The bloggers behind the virtual book club for kids have provided a ton of Pete activities for your children to enjoy all month long!

Pete the Cat Glyph from Playdough to Plato

Learning with Buttons Pete the Cat from 3 Dinosaurs

Pete the Cat Inspired Costume Cat Headband for Dress Up Play and Learning by Educators Spin on It

Free Printable Math Game Pete the Cat Inspired from Crystal and Co.

Pete the Cat Shoe Activities for Literacy from Rainy Day Mum

Pete the Cat Busy Bag from The Pleasantest Thing

Pete the Cat Activities: Beginning Sound Button Cover from Growing Book by Book

Button Counting, Graphing, Sorting from Mama Miss

Pete the Cat Button Activities from Inspiration Laboratories

3 Pete the Cat Activities from LalyMom

Pete the Cat Movement Activity from Educators Spin on It

Pete the Cat Inspired Reading and Gross Motor Game from Still Playing School







Room on the Broom for a Rhyme?

This month, the virtual book club for kids is featuring book activities for Julia Donaldson’s books. We are focusing on Room on the Broom, Stick Man, and The Gruffalo. You can find fun activities for all of these books. The Virtual Book Club for Kids is a group of bloggers (including me) that feature specific books each month and provide book activities to accompany these books. These activities are great for families, homeschoolers, preschool and kindergarten teachers. I’ve chosen to feature Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.

free printable, book activity


Room on the Broom
In this tale of friendship and adventure, join a friendly witch and her cat as they fly happily through the sky on their broomstick. Their journey is enjoyable—until the witch drops her hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items. The animals want to join the witch. Is there room on the broom for so many new friends? The kindly witch thinks there is—much to the frustration of her cat. But when disaster strikes, she is saved by the gang of animals, all working together. The witch’s cat learns the importance of friends and family, and the witch rewards her new friends with a magnificent broom that is big enough for everyone!

Room on the Broom allows children to hear rhymes in the context of engaging text. The rhyming words aren’t contrived to fit the story and there is a variety in the complexity of rhyming words. This allows for parents to use this book with multiple ages of children or teachers to use the book with a students on a variety of ability levels.

I used Room on the Broom with my own four year old prereader and six year old reader. I created a simple rhyming game. We began with a stack of rhyming picture cards. We played a traditional game of go fish. Each child was dealt seven cards. The object of the game is to match rhyming pairs.  Children may ask another player, “Do you have a picture that rhymes with bat?” If the other child does, he or she must hand over the card. If she or he does not, the child says, “go fish.” The player draws a card out of a stack of rhyming picture cards.  To make our go fish game a little more thematic, I let the boys lay their matches on a broom stick cut out. Once there was no more “room on the broom” for one player, the game was finished.

free printable, book activity

I created a free printable of this rhyming game. You can get your own copy by clicking on the link below.

Room on the Broom Free Printable Rhyming Activity

free printable, book activity

Other Considerations:

Consider having the children look for either 3 pairs or 6 pairs. The play mat will work either way. Think about the age and attention of the child. Games that involve learning should primarily be fun and not be about skill and drill.

If you don’t want to print the game, you can easily create your own. We have a rhyming picture card flash cards. My youngest child wanted to make his own broomstick play mat. It was fun to let him create a “homemade” version of the game. You could even allow children to generate the rhyming pictures and draw them.

free printable, book activity

Room on the Broom Activities 
Room on the Broom Activities by Inspiration Laboratories
Room on the Broom for a Rhyme by Ready Set Read
Room on a Broom Ordinal Numbers  by Rainy Day Mum
Room on the Broom Sensory Bin by Still Playing School
Witch Hat Cupcakes for Kids by Coffee Cups and Crayons
Witch Hat Halloween Treat by The Pleasantest Thing
Witch Shape Craft by Toddler Approved

Stick Man Activities 
Books for Kids: Stick Man by Growing Book by Book
Counting Ingredients into the Caldron by 3 Dinosaurs
Fancy Stick Crown by Mama Miss
Going on a Stick Hunt by Playing with Words 365
Recycled Stick Man Craft by LalyMom

The Gruffalo Activities 
DIY Gruffalo Inspired Mouse Costume by The Educators’ Spin On It

Gruffalo Rhyming Tic Tac Toe Game by Royal Baloo

Gruffalo Themed Shape Animals by The Educators’ Spin On It

Color Pages by Crystal and Co

Roll a Gruffalo Game by Playdough to Playto


Knuffle Bunny inspired Activity Mats for Kids

Mo Willems is one of my most favorite children’s authors. He is a three time Caldecott Honor winner and has won two Geisel awards for his early reader books. The critics who truly matter, my two boys, have also given Mr. Willems two thumbs up. They love his Elephant and Piggie books, Pigeon books, and Knuffle Bunny trilogy. This month, the Virtual Book club for Kids has selected Mo Willems’ books. The Virtual Book Club for Kids is a group of bloggers (including me) that feature specific books each month and provide book activities to accompany these books. These activities are great for families, homeschoolers, preschool and kindergarten teachers. I have chosen to focus on Mo Willem’s Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale. Keep reading the post to find book activities on other Mo Willem’s featured books of the month.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Does your child have a security blanket or toy? In this book, a toddler named Trixie has a beloved Knuffle Bunny. One day the bunny gets left at the laundromat. Trixie tries to inform her dad of the missing bunny but poor dad doesn’t speak toddler. An upset Trixie arrives home. Mom notices the problem. A return trip to the laundromat results in a retrieved rabbit and a talking toddler. Trixie pronounces her first words, “Knuffle Bunny!” This is a hilarious narrative story that parents and children will love! Children will also love the follow up books in the series Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity and Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion.

Knuffle Bunny Activity Mat

Knuffle Bunny is a great first narrative text for children. It shows children a strong beginning, middle, and end of a small moment of life. It is very beneficial for children to be exposed to many of these stories before entering school. Listening to stories embeds the story structure into a child’s oral language and eventually helps the child to easily retell and write stories.
One of the best parts of the Knuffle Bunny series is that a child could pick up the book and easily retell the story by using the engaging illustrations. The illustrations are a mix of sepia toned photographs with cartoon characters drawn over the top.

I created some Knuffle Bunny inspired activity mats to encourage my boys to expand their own story ideas through talking about a story. I began by taking pictures of various locations– their classrooms, school, library, hallways, etc. I even found some cool pictures of buildings. I printed these photos in black and white. Then the boys created drawings of themselves and family members or friends and colored them.

We glued their drawings onto magnets. We get a lot of free magnets in the mail with business information printed on them. They were the perfect size for holding our artwork. I cut around the illustrations so they became magnets.

I posted the Knuffle Bunny activity mats on the fridge or an easel where the boys had easy access. I put the magnets nearby and let them tell their stories with the magnets. I often posted more than one picture at a time to allow the boys to build their stories. So far, I have visited Tyson at school a lot and Tyson has zip lined on the power lines outside school A LOT! I love the mind of a four year old.

 Helping your young child to develop strong oral language skills around stories will help your child to be a successful reader and writer in the future.

The Virtual Book Club for Kids is featuring the following Mo Willems Books. We look forward to doing all of these activities this month!

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
Mo Willems Inspired DIY Bunny Costume Felt Headband

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Letter B is for Bus Craft 
Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Puppets
Pigeon Handprint
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: Puppets, Crafts and Storytelling
Cardboard Box Bus Craft & Number Game for Kids
Pigeon and Bus Activities inspired by Mo Willems 
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Activity

The Duckling Gets a Cookie
Nut Free Alphabet Cookies
The Ducking Gets a Cookie Printable Clothespin Activity
Counting Chocolate Chips – Duckling Get a Cookie

I’d love if you’d join the VBC next month as we explore these books by Julia Donaldson. You might want to order your copies now or put them on hold at the library! I will share those book activities on October 9th.
The Gruffalo
Stick Man
Room on the Broom


Picture Books for Kids

Children are engaged as readers when they can experience high quality, interesting texts. It can be tricky to find quality picture books for kids. I’d love to spend hours pouring over picture books at our local library selecting a “just right” book for bedtime each night. However, my time, like yours is limited. The picture book of the day project and The Virtual Book Club for Kids are two resources to help in finding great picture books for kids.

recommended picture books for kids

Picture Book of the Day

There are several book bloggers that I rely on to consistently give great book recommendations. In the past few years, some of these bloggers have joined together to create a picture book of the day project. Each day, a different blogger picks a high quality children’s book to share. All of the participating bloggers then share the book on their facebook pages.

recommended picture books for kids

Picture book of the Day took a summer break but we are returning on September 1st. You can find the picture book recommendations on my ready-set-read facebook page. I’d love if you’d follow my facebook page while you are there. Picture Book of the Day is organized by a fantastic blogger, Jodie, at Growing Book by Book. Check out her blog post to “meet” the bloggers behind picture book of the day. You might find some great new blogs to follow.

Virtual Book Club for Kids

You can also find picture book recommendations in the Virtual Book Club for Kids. I’ll be participating in the Virtual Book Club for kids again this year. Check back in September for more details on how you and your kids can participate in the virtual book club.

recommended picture books for kids

Also, I’d love if you’d follow along on social media. You can find picture books for kids not just on my facebook page but also on Google +. I also have a google + group called “Reading with Children.” You can find helpful literacy advice by following me on twitter. I love twitter chats and love to share knowledge that I am learning about literacy development. Come learn with me! You might also like to follow a few of my pinterest boards that are focused on picture books for kids.


Virtual Book Club author for July is Giles Andreae

Happy July! I hope you are enjoying your summer. I’m enjoying spending a lot of time with my boys, going on adventures, relaxing in our new tree house, and reading tons of great books! Not only are the boys busy reading, I’ve got quite the summer reading stack as well. We’ve been so busy enjoying summer, there hasn’t been as much time for blogging. However, we’re definitely keeping up with the Virtual Book Club for kids this summer. I’ll also be sharing some of our favorite summer reads each Monday in July here at

Virtual Book Club for Kids

In case you are new to this, the virtual book club for kids is a group of over 20 bloggers who join together each month to share a favorite children’s author. We announce the author at the beginning of each month. On the second Monday of the month, we host a linky party to share activities to accompany books by that author.

July author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Giles Andreae

In July we are featuring the works of Giles Andreae. His book, Rumble in the Jungle, was one of my son’s first loved picture books. When Logan was about two years old, he would toddle to the book shelf and return this book to me every single time! I still have the beginning page memorized. Andreae has many wonderful picture books for children. Many of his books feature wonderful poems and silly rhymes.

Link up your Activities to the Virtual Book Club for Kids on July 14

Between now and July 14th, hit a bookstore or library and pick a favorite Giles Andreae book. Share it with your children or your class. Plan to come back here on July 14th to add it to the linky party or share in the comments.
I’ll share our book choice and activities on that day as well. As I mentioned, I’ve been reading a lot this month too. I’m using strategies I’m learning in Fountas and Pinnell’s “When Readers Struggle”. My four year old is ready to begin phonemic awareness instruction. Giles Andreae’s fun rhyming texts are a great place to start. Come back on the 14th of July and I’ll share our strategies with all of you.