Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.


Read "The Little Engine that Could" while teaching the meaning of courage or Click here to Read/Listen

Instructions Printer-Friendly

  • Read the book  “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper and chat about the word "courage" and how the little blue engine never gave up. Click here to Read/Listen
  • Help a child remember the phrase “ I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...when trying a new activity.  For example, when doing Month 9 Activity 9 repeat the phrase “I think I can....” when making a trail with the dominoes
  • Try to make this refrain part of a child’s thinking when doing challenging activities - climbing slides, writing their name, remembering their address and phone number, etc.
  • Give an example of something you did that took courage (For example, playing in a music recital, taking a trip by yourself, running in a race,  etc.) and ask the child to share their own example of something they did that was courageous


Review saying the refrain "I think I can" three times by giving a child a task and letting them do the task while saying the refrain.  For example, ask child to wash in the kitchen sink a breakable glass (do not choose a family heirloom).  Let them do all the steps:  plug the drain, run the water, add the soap, wash the glass, rinse the glass and dry the glass with a towel.  While they are doing these six steps let child say aloud, I think I can. These four words can become a child's silent encouragement to himself.


Challenge a child with a task they can't quite do - riding a two-wheeler, putting a 40 piece puzzle together, etc. - and let them use the words "I think I can" to spur them on until in a few days or months the new task is conquered.


Describe something you feel your dad or mom has done that is courageous.

Do you think it is okay to be scared of doing something?


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Curriculum Plan Resources

Skills Focus

  • Shape - Review
  • Color - Black
  • Number - Seven, 7
  • Alphabet Letters - J, I
  • Sense - Smell
  • Character Trait - Courage
  • Target Words - Long, Little, Short, Small

Monthly Proverb

Chinese - If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through

Did You Know?

"Before children enter elementary school, they must develop many linguistic and cognitive skills that will make later academic learning possible. By the age of five, however, children differ markedly in their success in reaching these developmental goals." Entwisle & Alexander, 1993

Books to Read

"The Little Engine That Could"
by Watty Piper, Illustrator Loren Long (Activity 12) (audiobook available)

"My Very First Mother Goose"
with Ioa Opie Editor and Rosemary Wells Illustrator (Activity 26)

"The Color Monster, A Story About Emotions "
by Anna Lienas (Activity 8)

"The Color Monster, A Story About Emotions" VIDEO
by Anna Lienas (Activity 8)

"The Little Engine that Could" VIDEO
by Watty Piper (Activity 12)

Music Playlist

"America (My Country Tis of Thee)" VIDEO
by the Hit Crew, Album: Drew’s Famous Music for Summer Games and Activities (Activity 13)

by Willa Brigham, Album: Healthy Happy Habits (Activity 25)

"Miss Mary Mack"
by Ella Jenkins, Album: You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song (Activity 9)

My Country 'Tis of Thee
by Aretha Franklin (Activity 13)

Monthly Materials List

Click Here to view the list!

Fingerplay / Poems / Songs

Jack and Jill

(Activity 19 Month 9)

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.

Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.