May I Bring A Friend? By Beatrice Schenk De Regniers

A little boy is invited to tea with the king and queen.  He does not want to come alone and asks if he may bring his friends. This fun story is told in rhyme.


  • Animal Graph (the graph pictures were copied from a 5 year olds art)
  • Large pitcher and several herbal tea bags such as peppermint or lemon
  • One sheet of yellow construction paper per child to make a giraffe


  • Evaporate (vanish/disappear, as into the dry sand)
  • Zoo (a home where many wild animals live)

Introducing the Story

Ask the children if they have ever invited a friend over to their house for a meal or to play. Allow them a few minutes to talk about any experiences they might have had. If you do not get any responses, tell the children about a time you invited someone over for a meal. Steer the conversation towards friendship and how sharing time together is fun whether at school or at home.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions, and for other varied purposes.

Reading the Story

On the pages where the boy says, “So I brought a friend”, pause and encourage the children to say it along with you. Then turn the page and see if the children can name the animal that the boy brought along.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

After Reading the Story

Challenge the children to name all the animals that were in the story today. Ask them where all the animals might live? Ask if anyone has ever been to the zoo? Give the children a moment to talk about any zoo experiences that they have had. Make a graph of all the animals that were in the story today and ask each child which one is their favorite. Write their name under the animal picture and hang on the wall. Count the votes for each animal and write the number beside.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and poetry AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; Begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Music and Movement

Sing your days of the week song with the children. If you do not have a song you sing, make up a chant and teach it to them.

Mon-day, Tues-day,
Wednes-day, Thurs-day, Fri-day.
Sat-ur-day, Sun-day
The days of the week

(clap out the syllables as you sing or chant)

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing ability to hear and discriminate separate syllables in words.

Put on some music and do animal walks. Jump like a kangaroo, lumber like an elephant, use your hands to pull you like a seal, jump around like a monkey, stand on one leg like a flamingo, gallop like a horse.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.


Remind the children that on Sunday the King and Queen invited the boy to come for tea. Fill a large pitcher with water and add 4-6 herbal tea bags. Explain to the children that you are going to make sun-tea. Put the pitcher out, covered, somewhere where there is some sun and let the children watch as the tea infuses into the water changing the color. Give it an hour or two and then let the children sample.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships.


Add animals to the center today. Encourage the children to make cages/fences and sort the animals by like kinds.

Mathematics/Geometry & Operations; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.


Tell the children that today you are going to make giraffes with long necks like the one that came for tea. Holding piece of construction paper the tall way, draw a line from top to bottom about 4 inches from the side. On the other part of the paper draw an oval. Let the children cut along the lines making a long strip and an oval. Show them how to attach the oval to the top of the strip, this is the giraffe’s head. Put out small plates of paint and show the children how to dip their finger and stamp up and down, up and down. These will become the spots of the giraffe. Have the children add a face with markers or paint.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.  AND  Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multi-step directions.

Sand and Water

Ask the children if they can remember which animal in the story likes to swim in water most of the day (Seal). Tell the children they can be like the seals today and play in the water.  Put out your favorite water table toys today and let the children enjoy playing in it.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Library and Writing

On index cards, write the names of the children in your classroom, one per card. Encourage the children to find their name and their friends name and to practice writing them on their paper.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using, letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Dramatic Play

Encourage the children to pretend to cook today. As they are playing, ask them, “May I bring a friend?” and allow another child who might be interested to join the play. Challenge them to think about what they need to do to make room for another child in the center. Do they need more chairs, plates, etc.? Let the center fill up with more children than are normally allowed to play. What do they need to do to accommodate any extra friends? Watch carefully if the center starts to get too crowded and encourage them to problem solve instead of fight. We only have 5 plates but there are 6 of you, what should we do? (When I have done this, I have had children volunteer to share a plate and chair and to also leave the center.  I had one child suggest that she could eat out of a pan).

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.  AND  Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflicts with peers.

Math and Manipulatives

Use whatever classroom counters you might have. I use one-inch cubes to play. Ask the child to put 1-3 counters on the table. After they have done this, ask them to add one more. Then let the child count how many they have. Ask them to add one more and again count how many they have. Children who are able to count one more, you can ask them to add 2 more and when they get close to 10, ask them to take one away, now how many do you have?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increased abilities to combine, separate and name “how many” concrete objects.

Outdoor Play

Add some water to the sandbox today and let the children experiment using damp sand to make sand cakes. Watch their faces as the water evaporates into the dry sand.   Explain to them that because the sand is dry, the water evaporates into it.  Add more water and see what happens.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.


If you line up to go anywhere, ask the children if they would like to call a friend to join them. When there is only one child left say, “Oh good, a friend for me” and let that child be in line with you.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Dear Parents- Today we read a story about a boy and his friends. Ask your child who some of the boys friends were. Then ask them to tell you about who some of their friends are at school and what they enjoy doing together.


Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 9.45.56 AM
Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 9.45.13 AM
About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.