Toddler Book Club: September Books

September is here, folks…and you know what that means!

Back to school time, leaves changing colour, the air gaining a crispness to it, and an abundance of pumpkin everything.  I love all of it! September is my absolute favourite time of year and a wonderful time to be outside exploring all the changes with your little one.

For September’s book club the four books I have selected are:

  1. The Foot Book (Dr. Seuss)
  2. When Autumn Falls (Kelli Nidey)
  3. Curious George Builds a Home
  4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

september book club_jpg

Here is a rundown of the activities we will be doing:


Week 1: The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss (1968)

Synopsis: A Seussical discussion of feet.  Perfect way to practice left vs. right.  Or to just be silly!


  • So this craft is more for us than the little ones…although they will probably be interested in what we’re doing! I never had much success doing any newborn baby footprint art.  Darn those curled up toes, Little Bear!  Sure, he’s 2.5 and there’s no real reason to do footprint art now…but I’m sure in 20 years I’ll still think footprint art from 2.5 years old is as cute as footprint art from 1 month. I absolutely adore this idea from Growing Your Baby.


  • Who doesn’t love seeing baking soda and vinegar react? Toddler Approved has this great footprint activity that uses baking soda, vinegar, food colouring, and different toys’ footprints! Great idea!
  • If you have never introduced your LO to hopscotch, now is a perfect time to do so! After you’ve had fun doing traditional hopscotch, make up your own and have fun jumping from square to square.
  • Twister! Don’t own Twister? That’s fine, just make your own! Use a canvas drop cloth, an old sheet, or any other large piece of fabric you have.  Use paint or circles of paper to create different coloured circles. Play Simon Says on your Twister mat and practice colours while seeing how your LO can maneuver their way around the Twister mat.
  • Before the cold of September really hits, it’s a perfect time to get outside and get dirty with your shoes off! Start off your Foot Book week with some footprint fun outside.
    Materials needed: roll of Kraft paper, tape (masking or painter’s tape would work best), paints, paintbrush, a child
    1. Set up your painting area by taping down your craft paper (the length is up to you, but the longer, the more fun!).
    2. Brush paint onto your child’s bare feet and invite your child to march, hop, skip, run, shimmy, dance, etc. down the length of the paper.


  • Knees Up Mother Brown – If you have access to Raffi in Concert with the Rise and Shine Band, he sings a very lively version of this song! Do the actions along with the song and feel free to adjust the song to make it more personal (There came a boy instead of girl) and use your choice of action words (hands up, hopping like a bunny, stamping around the room).There came a girl from France
    Who didn’t know how to dance
    The only thing that she could do
    Was knees up Mother Brown.Chorus:
    Oh, knees up Mother Brown,
    Knees up Mother Brown,
    Knees up, knees up, never let the breeze up,
    Knees up Mother Brown.Oh, hopping on one foot,
    Hopping on one foot,
    Hopping, hopping, never stopping,
    Hopping on one foot.ChorusAnd whirling round and round,
    Whirling round and round,
    Whirling, whirling, never twirling,
    Whirling round and round.Chorus
  • Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • The Hokey-Pokey
  • Two little feet (action rhyme)
    Two little feet go tap, tap, tap,
    Two little hands go clap, clap, clap,
    Two little fists go thump, thump, thump,
    Two little legs go jump, jump, jump,
    One little child turns slowly around,
    That little child sits quietly down.
    (Source: Toronto Public Library Kidspace Printables: “Action Rhymes for Toddlers and Preschoolers”)


Week 2: Sept 7 – 13

Book: When Autumn Falls, by Kelli Nidey with illustrations by Susan Swan (2004)

Synopsis: A book that shows the change from summer to autumn, with a focus on the different ways that the word “fall” can be used.


  • Collect leaves and use them to make impressions on paper when you colour over the paper.  This brings back lots of memories of childhood.  I used to love to get impressions of everything! This works best with pencils or pencil crayons as you can see all the details of the leaves.
  • Autumn Leaf Sun Catchers: Easy and fun.  You can do this with wax paper or with contact paper.  Cut out a template with construction paper, place your wax paper or contact paper on the “inside” of the construction paper and invite your toddler to glue down pieces of tissue paper (opt for autumn colours).  Here is a great little tutorial with PRINTABLE LEAVES! If you want to create your own leaf/design, feel free to have fun with this activity.  This would be so cute with letters instead of leaves and then the sun catchers taped to a entry window with some sort of autumn inspired message!
  • Apple Stamping: Enjoy apple season by letting your little one help you decorate some wrapping paper (or just stamp a pretty picture). Cut an apple in half and let your child dip the apple into a thin layer of paint (alternatively, you can brush a bit of paint on for your toddler).  Set our any type of paper you would like your child to decorate and invite them to stamp the apple onto the paper.


  • Nature walks to collect interesting/pretty leaves as they start to change colour.
  • As you are raking up leaves you can either a) get a small rake for your little one to use, or b) rake up the leaves and get your little one to help you “clean up” the pile.  This will inevitably turn into jumping into the pile of leaves, so have your camera ready!
  • Visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch to really appreciate the change in seasons!
  • Autumn Sensory Bin: Filled with leaves, pine cones, (large) nuts, seeds, rice, sticks, scoops, and spoons. Invite your child to explore and play.
    Why use a sensory bin? Well, not only are sensory bins fun, they are great for sensory development, build language skills, and develop your child’s understanding of the world.  Check out this winning argument for the use of sensory bins/tables by Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute.
  • Outdoor inspection:
    Materials needed: magnifying glass, bag or bucket to gather items, extra lamp (or light table if you have one).
    1. Go for a nature walk and collect things that look interesting: rocks, sticks, leaves…aim for a good variety of items.
    2. Bring the items home and lay them out for you and your child to inspect together.  Go through the items and talk about how each item is different.  Have the magnifying glass available for your child to inspect the items with.  Also have the extra lamp or light table turned on so that your child can put the items under the light and see how they might look different (can you spot crystals in the rocks?, etc).
  • Indoor forest: After you’ve collected all those beautiful leaves, why not make your own autumn tree? Use craft paper (or cut open brown paper bags) and twist the paper into a tree trunk and branches.  Attach this to the wall (use tape, thumb tacks, or removable wall putty).  Invite your little one to help you “dress” the tree with the leaves that you have collected.  I think this would be great by your child’s workspace or reading nook! And in the winter this could be replaced by a Christmas tree!
    Inspired by the background set-up in Buggy and Buddy’s Invitation to Play found here.


  • Autumn Leaves (action rhyme)
    Little leaves fall gently down, (Fingers above head, flutering down like leaves)
    Red and yellow, orange and brown;
    Whirling, whirling, round and round, (Rotate hands in circles)
    Quietly, without a sound, falling softly to the ground, (Lay down on the floor)
    Down and down and down and down.
    (Source: Toronto Public Library Kidspace Printables: “Action Rhymes for Toddlers and Preschoolers”) 
  • The Leaves of the Trees (to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”)The leaves of the trees turn orange and red orange and red, orange and red
    The leaves of the trees turn orange and red
    All through the town.The leaves of the trees come tumbling down tumbling down, tumbling down
    The leaves of the trees come tumbling down
    All through the town.

    The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish,
    The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish
    All through the town.

    (Source: Irmgard Guertges, via

  • All the Leaves are Falling Down (to the tune of “London Bridges Falling Down”)All the leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down   (Imitate leaves falling down)
    All the leaves are falling down, it is fall.Take the rake and rake them up, rake them up, rake them up  (Imitate raking leaves)
    Take the rake and rake them up, it is fall.

    Make a pile and jump right in, jump right in, jump right in,  (Jump forward)
    Make a pile and jump right in, it is fall.

    (Source: Diane Chancy, via


Week 3: Curious George Builds a Home, adaptation by Monica Perez, Based on the TV teleplay by Joe Fallon (2006)

Synopsis: Curious George meets a homing pigeon and decides to build a tree for the homing pigeon to live in. Typical Curious George-style mayhem ensues.


  • Make your own cute little birdies like these ones using cereal boxes, construction paper or paper plates.  I plan on making ours smaller and then building a nest out of fallen sticks and leaves with Little Bear.  This could be a really fun invitation to imaginative play!
  • Another fun idea would be to make a paper mache nest! Little Bear has never worked with paper mache before and I think he’d enjoy the hands-on experience!
  • Colour your own Curious George bookmarks: Free printable from Houghton Mifflin Books.
  • Printable from Houghton Mifflin (publishers of the Curious George series): colouring page.


  • At the back of the book there’s a “Build a Home” activity page.  It’s meant for children to put the logical steps from the book back into order. Work through retelling the story with your little one.  Work on having your child be able to retell you the story (or at least what’s being shown in the pictures).
  • Explore with a birds nest sensory bin.  Fill a bin with twigs, leaves, bird seed, feathers, toy birds, scoops, and spoons.  Allow your little one to explore and expand their knowledge of the world.
  • Build a bird feeder: You could buy a kit and make a small bird feeder out of wood, or you could go the DIY route and make one of these cool bird feeders from Small Home & Garden Love.  (Or if you want one that you can leave out for the whole season, make this cute pumpkin feeder!)
  • Visit a bird sanctuary. In the Vancouver area, you can go here. If you have no bird sanctuary, visit the ducks…or geese…or wild peacocks…or whatever else you have around!


  • Dicky Birds (action rhyme)
    Two little dicky birds, Sitting on a wall. (Use your fingers as the birds)
    One called Peter, One called Paul.
    Fly away Peter, Fly away Paul, (Fingers fly out of sight/behind your back)
    Come back Peter, Come back Paul. (Fingers reappear/fly back)
  • Six Little Ducks
    Six little ducks that I once knew
    Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too.
    But the one little duck with the feather on his back
    He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.
    Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack
    He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.Down to the river they would go.Wibble wobble, wibble wobble to and fro.
    But the one little duck with the feather on his back
    He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.
    Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack
    He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.Home from the river they would come.

    Wibble wobble, wibble wobble, ho-hum-hum.
    But the one little duck with the feather on his back
    He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.
    Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack
    He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.Six little ducks that I once knew
    Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too.
    But the one little duck with the feather on his back
    He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.
    Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack
    He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.

  • Little Bird (action rhyme)
    I saw a little bird go hop, hop, hop (hop three times)
    I told the little bird to stop, stop, stop (hold out hand for stop)
    I went to the window to say “How do you do?” (handshake)
    He wagged his little tail and far away he flew! (shake tail and fly away)
    (Source: Storytime Katie)


Week 4: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle (1969)

Synopsis: The life cycle of a caterpillar and all the things that he eats along his way!


  • Make your own caterpillar slinky with Mollie’s Mom.
  • Toilet Paper Roll Painting: Invite your child to dip a toilet paper roll into a bit of paint and to stamp it onto a long piece of paper.  Have your child do this again and again until they have formed their caterpillar.  For younger toddlers, you can trace the caterpillar body onto the paper first and then ask your toddler to stamp the outlines. Older children can paint on eyes, antennae, legs (4 front legs and 2 back legs), and grass. Help the younger toddlers with this part and provide googly eyes for them to glue on.
  • And cuz Little Bear is a sucker for any type of hat, here’s the cutest Caterpillar hat activity! While at that link, check out…
  • The caterpillar balloon painting idea!


  • Lacing Activity:  Using printouts on cardstock or sheets of foam, cut out the shapes of all the food items from The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.  Use a heavy cardstock or foam. Punch holes through the middle of each item.  Invite your child to lace a string or shoelace through each food item.Food from The Very Hungry Caterpillar:
    1 apple
    2 pears
    3 plums
    4 strawberries
    5 oranges
    1 leaf
    (Optional: 1 piece of chocolate cake, 1 ice cream cone, 1 pickle, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, 1 slice of salami, 1 lollipop, 1 piece of cherry pie, 1 sausage, 1 cupcake, and 1 slice of watermelon)
  • Preparing lunch: Have <all/a variety/a selection of> foods from The Very Hungry Caterpillar available for your toddler.  Ask your toddler to help prepare their lunch.  Work your way through the book, asking how many of each item your child wants (“On Monday he ate through one apple…do you want a piece of apple? How many pieces do you want?”). Encourage your child to try items they wouldn’t usually be interested in.
  • Play dough: Invite your child to help you make caterpillars out of play dough.  make these snake-like or by using balls of playdough. Make some food for the caterpillar and leaves for the caterpillar to munch on.


  • Let’s go to sleep caterpillars (action rhyme)
    “Let’s go to sleep,” the little caterpillars said, (Lay fingers of one hand in palm of other hand)
    As they tucked themselves into their beds. (Bend fingers of both hands down to palms)
    They will awaken by and by, (Slowly unfold fingers)
    And each one will be a lovely butterfly. (Flutter hands up into the air)
    (Source: Toronto Public Library Kidspace Printables: “Action Rhymes for Toddlers and Preschoolers”)
  • Butterfly Cycle (to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)Hatch, hatch little egg,
    I’m so very small.
    Teeny tiny caterpillar,
    You can’t see me at all.

    Crawl, caterpillar, crawl,
    Munching on a leaf.
    Crawling, munching, crawling, munching,
    Eat and eat and eat.

    Form, form chrysalis,
    I’m a different shape;
    Hanging by a silken thread
    Until I can escape.

    Rest, rest, chrysalis
    While I change inside;
    Now at last my time has come
    To be a butterfly.

    Stretch, stretch, pretty wings,
    It’s a special day;
    Soon they will be strong enough
    For me to fly away.

    Fly, fly, butterfly,
    Fly from flower to tree;
    Find a place to lay my eggs
    So they can grow like me.

    (Source: © 2003 Suzy Gazlay via

Remember to keep us posted on how things are going through comment here or on our Facebook page, and also using the hashtag #hbbtoddlerbookclub!

Happy Blurry BeautifulToddler Book Club

3 thoughts on “Toddler Book Club: September Books

  1. Pingback: Fizzing and Foot Painting | happy blurry beautiful

  2. Pingback: September Books: Week Two | happy blurry beautiful

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