It Looks like Spilt Milk, by Charles G. Shaw

            This book will help young children begin to look up into the sky and be more aware of what is floating over head.


  • Peep-hole folder (a manila folder that has a one inch hole cut out of it).  Pictures to put behind the peep-hole.
  • Ivory Snow Flakes or shaving crème
  • 3 pieces of blue poster board
  • 3 bags of white cotton balls


  • Symmetrical (when two sides are the same)

Before Reading the Story

            Bring your peep-hole file to the rug time.  Tell the children that you are going to play a game called Picture Riddle.  They are going to have to guess what you have a picture of by looking through a little hole.  Take a picture (pictures should be large enough that only a part of it shows through the hole) and place it inside the file so that a clue of the whole picture can be seen through the one inch hole.  Ask the children if they can guess what it is.  Move the picture around a little bit so that the children can see different parts of the picture. The children should only be able to see the bit of picture that peeps through the one inch hole.  Let the children guess.  Do several pictures.  Tell the children that today’s story is like a riddle too, that they will have to guess what the picture is.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

Reading the Story

            As you turn each page read, “Sometimes it looked like” and then stop and let the children see if they can fill in the answer.  Shake your head no each time you say “but it wasn’t a …”

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

After Reading the Story

            Bring a dry erase board to the group or several pieces of paper.  Tell the children that you are going to play another picture riddle game called Guess What I Am Drawing.  Begin by drawing a familiar shape or letter.  Then embellish it to turn it into something else. (A square can become a house, the letter B can become a butterfly).  Let the children guess what you are drawing. Or start with the square and ask the children to help guide your drawing. (It’s a square but what else could it turn into? Now it’s a house, I can turn it into a fire station…).

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.


            Work in small groups to create 3 cloud information posters.  On each poster draw a simple house about 2/3 down the poster board.  On the first one write; Cumulus Clouds-soft and fluffy, good weather below.  On the 2nd one write; Cirrus Clouds-wispy and light, the weather is changing.  On the third one write; Cumulonimbus Clouds-thick and black, rain is on its way!  Now have the children use the cottons balls to make the correct clouds for each poster.  You might want to have a child or two gently stroke black paint on to the cumulonimbus cloud. When you are finished with the posters, hang them up somewhere where you can easily see them and talk about them (near the lunch table, near the door to line up for outside) throughout the week.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living tings, and natural processes.

Music and Movement

            Sing Did You Ever See A Cloud?  Sung to the tune of Did You Ever See a Lassie.

Did you ever see a cloud, a cloud, a cloud,

Did you ever see a cloud float this way and that?

Float this way and that way,

Float this way and that way.

Did you ever see a cloud float this way and that?

(make up two movements to go with your song. Let the children help make up movements)

Creative Arts/Movement; shows growth in moving in time to different patterns of beat and rhythm in music.

Give each child a scarf to move to the music with. Tell them that the scarf is their cloud. Can they move their cloud above their head, low near the ground, twirling through the sky, moving all together, moving alone.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; builds an increasing understanding of directionality, order, and positions of objects, and words such as up, down, over, top, under, bottom, inside, outside, in front, behind.


            Explain to the children that symmetrical means that both sides are the same.  Talk briefly about how our bodies are symmetrical. If you cut it in half, both would have an eye, ear, shoulder, arm, leg, etc.. Show the children how to build a symmetrical structure by placing blocks on one side exactly like those on the other.  Encourage the children to work in pairs and continue to build on your symmetrical structure.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied spoken language.


            Let the children draw their own Guess what I am drawing pictures.  Put yours out to show and encourage them to make different ones.  For older children you can encourage them to use letters (you might have to draw the initial letter onto the page) and then they can draw around it.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Tell the children that today you are going to make symmetrical clouds.  Symmetrical means both sides are the same.  Ask the children if they can think of anything that is symmetrical (their bodies, a butterfly, an apple).  Give each child a large piece of blue construction paper.  Have them fold the paper in half.  On one half place a spoonful of white paint.  Fold the paper back over and use the palm of the child’s hand to flatten/squish the paint.  Open up and let the child decide if they would like to add more paint.  Continue the process.  When the child is finished, have them tell you what they think it looks like and write it on the bottom of the painting. When these are dry, you could make your own class book or bulletin board, “It looked like spilt milk”.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Sand and Water

            Whip up Ivory Snow Flakes and water into a fluffy consistency and let the children use in the table today.  Or if your center allows, shaving crème. Give the children plastic forks and spoons.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; demonstrates increasing capacity to follow rules and routines and use materials purposefully, safetly, and respectfully.

Library and Writing

            Draw a sun onto a piece of paper.  Make 10-26 clouds from paper large enough so that they will all cover the sun shape.  On each cloud write a letter that you are working on with the children.  Have the children take turns searching for the cloud that you call out.  (Kerry, can you find the cloud with the letter K on it?).  As they identify the clouds they can pick them up off the sun until the sun is shining out alone.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their name.

Dramatic Play

Explain to the children that you want them to use their imagination today while they are in the dramatic center. Pay attention to what they choose to play and the roles that each child takes. Is it truely imaginative or did they use the equipment in the most standard way?

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming diffrent roles in dramatic play situations. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to gove and take in interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Math and Manipulatives

     On a large piece of paper, trace around objects from your classroom (a small block, a toy car, a plastic spoon from dramatics kitchen, etc.. Try to trace one or two objects from every center onto the paper. Put the items into a basket and have the children match them. For older children to make more difficult, trace a pencil and then put three different sized ones into the basket. Trace a kitchen set plate and put two different sized ones into the basket. The children must find the correct items and lay them over the shapes you have drawn onto the paper.   

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; begins to be able to determine whether or not two shapes are the same size and shape.     

Outdoor Play

            Bring out a blanket and watch the clouds float by.  Do you see anything up there?  Make sure to use cloud words as you help the children describe (fluffy, wispy, bumpy, layered, billowed, thick, and piled. 

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary. AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.


           Do animal walks. Have the children pick an animal to act out on their way to the next activity.  (It looked like Kerry but it was really a soft furry cat, It looked like Roger but it was really an enormous stomping elephant).

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness. AND Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.


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.