All Fall Down and Tickle, Tickle

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Reading Hints
These books are large and sturdy and will stand alone on a flatsurface, such as a table or on the floor, if you want to hold two little ones while reading the story. Talk with the children about whatis happening on each page. Older toddlers might reach for the book and smile in appropriate places. The illustrations have a "just like me" quality that toddlers will recognize.

Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r: Music and Movement

All Fall Down
Tickle, Tickle

by Helen Oxenbury

Story Synopsis

These board books are largerthan usual, about 8 1/2 inches square. The illustrations are beautifully diverse, and drawn in around and cuddly way that is very appealing. The sweet nature of babies and toddlers is revealed in their smiles and gestures. The double page spread is plentyof room to create the appearance of children that look big enough to jump off the pages. All Fall Down has children singing, running, and bouncing to asimple rhyming verse, and Tickle, Tickle depicts children playing in the mud, then taking a bath and dressing to a tickle time with lots of smiles at the end.


favorite tape or CD of marching music
tape or CD player

  • Gather the children around and put on the music.
  • Listen to the music for a bit, and then begin to sing. Invite the children to sing with you.
  • Get up and begin marching around in a circle on the rug.
  • After all the children have joined the circle and are marching, add clapping to the routine. As the children get older, add different movements.
  • Older children love to play the game of dropping to the floor just where you are when the music stops.

Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r: Object Play

Something to Think About

All children don't enjoy being tickled. It is best to begin with gentle tickles and to be sensitive to whether children enjoy them. If not, then stop!No more tickles.

Float the Boats

large dishpan filled with water
small boats and toys that will float

  • Put the pan of water on the floor.
  • Encourage one child or a small group of children to sit down on the floor around the pan of water.
  • Give each child a boat or floating object and let them experiment with the pan of water and the boat. Remember that the concept of floating is new to them and they will be very excited to watchthe boats float around. They may also want to splash the water and see what that feels like so have lots of towels handy. In warm weather it is fun to do this activity outside.

Note: Never leave the children alone with a pan or any size container of water.

Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r: Sensory

Squishing in the Sand

large sandbox or beach sand pails and shovels

  • Let the toddlers crawl around in the sand so they can experience the feel of the sand on their bodies.
  • Have a few sand toys, such as a small bucket and shovel for each child, so they can fill and empty their buckets while playing in the sand.

Note: This is a warm weather activity and one best done when the toddlers understand that sand is not good to eat.

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