There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some LeavesHarvest Theme for #PlayfulPreschool

This week’s #playfulpreschool theme contains activities centered around a HARVEST THEME!  All throughout the school year, the Playful Preschool blogging team will be working behind the scenes to offer activities and suggestions just for your students or children.  Please visit the home page of this blog each Wednesday morning to see new theme-based ideas for playful learning!

For other posts in the #playfulpreschool series, visit:




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There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves:  Sequencing Cards and PowerPointThere Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro is one of our favorite harvest books.  It is meant to be read with a good dose of humor as the old lady swallows the various items.  Your kids will love reading (and SNEEZING) until the harvest surprise comes at the end of the story!  It’s a FUN book for fall/harvest themes at home or in the classroom!

Preschool Extension Activities for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Story CardsWHAT COMES NEXT? – Predictions and Reading

Purpose:  To encourage kids to higher level thinking strategies when listening to a book.

Before reading There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves, have the children make verbal predictions about what they think the story is about.  Invite the children to look at the book cover (front and back) then write down all the predictions the children give.  While reading, stop several times and ask the children again what they think is happening in the book.   The answers will differ slightly from the predictions at the beginning.   Did any of the children predict what the end character would be in the story? Prediction is a great strategy for engaging preschoolers in the story as well as encouraging them to think about what the author is doing through the text and how the book will end.

Extension Activity:  Creating a number timeline for events

Materials needed:  one story timeline printable (linked here – There Was An Old Lady Story Timeline, scissors, and glue sticks.

Invite the children to cut out the cards and sequence the cards in the blank boxes according to the story’s timeline of events.  What item was introduced first, second, third, and so on.   After the children are finished with the activity, read the book again and pause to note when each of the objects are introduced.  The kids will have fun following along and will often shout-out the next object that will appear in the story!

Seqencing Activity for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves

Some preschoolers may not know that the character at the end of the story is a SCARECROW.  A scarecrow gets its name from the duty it performs; a scarecrow is designed to SCARE away crows (or other birds) from a field or a garden to keep the birds from eating the harvest fruits or vegetables.  To extend the book and help the children sequence the events of the story, the children can create stick puppets to hold up as the story is read.


Materials needed:  One printable ( There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves), glue sticks, scissors, and wooden craft sticks.

Print the sequencing cards and have the children cut out each card.  The children can then glue the individual picture cards to craft sticks to create their own stick puppets.  Invite the children to lay the stick puppets in front of them as the story is read.  As each item appears in the story, have the children locate and hold up the corresponding stick puppet.  The children might also use their stick puppets as they watch the PowerPoint below!

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves – PowerPoint for Preschool


Sensory Stick Puppet ScarecrowsMaterials needed:  heavy paper (any color for the shirt/pants), twine or yarn (rope), hay or raffia, leaf stickers or leaf confetti, seasonal straws or wooden craft sticks (pole), poster putty, markers, and miniature craft pumpkins (head).

Prior to the activity – cut out a basic shirt/pants from any color of heavy paper and set aside.

Discuss all of the items on the table with the children.  Invite the children to feel the different textures and try describing how the items FEEL.  Help the children increase vocabulary skills by exploring various descriptive words (for example:  bumpy, shiny, smooth, scratchy, sticky, gooey, and crunchy).

To make the textured scarecrow puppets:  Have the children tear small pieces of poster putty to attach the craft leaves to the paper shirt – adhere the paper shirt/leaves to the seasonal straws with additional poster putty.  Invite the children to draw facial features on the miniature craft pumpkins with the marker.  The pumpkin can then be attached to the straw with poster putty.  The children can add the pants, raffia/twine, and hay to complete the stick puppet.  Read the story again and ask the children to point out the puppet parts as they appear in the story.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves is a fun book to read for a Harvest Theme in Preschool!  The kids will have fun sequencing the story and playing with the created puppets while making predictions about what character the items will make at the end of the story!

Playful Preschool BloggersPlan your PRESCHOOL Harvest Theme Learning Week with Activities from the Playful Preschool Education Team:
Learning with Gourds: Comparing, Sorting, and Labeling for Fall by Still Playing School

Corny Science: Will it sink or float? by Capri + 3

Plants We Eat {which are roots, stems, leaves, fruit} by Raising Lifelong Learners

Harvesting in the Carrot Patch by Powerful Mothering

Preschool Math: Measuring Pumpkins by Mom Inspired Life

Making Bread by Rainy Day Mum

#PlayfulPreschool Harvest Time Math by Tiny Tots Adventures

Alphabet Activities: Letter Harvest by Growing Book by Book

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Sequencing Cards & Power Point by The Preschool Toolbox Blog

Go Global: Harvests Around the World by The Educators’ Spin On It

Harvest Time: Jamaican Style Music by Learning 2 Walk

Pumpkin Patch Sensory Bin: Practicing Matching with Preschoolers by Life Over C’s

Little Red Hen Activity – Retelling through Sensory Play by Fun-A-Day

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