Safe, Warm, and Snug , by Stephan R, Swinburne

            This book tells how a variety of animals keep their babies safe from dangers.  It is told in a poetry form and has bright pictures to help illustrate the verse.


  •             Blankets, 1 per child
  •             Paper plates, 1 per child
  •             Yarn
  •             Animal and Baby match cards/dominos
  •             Cotton balls


  •  Fish fry (baby fish)
  • Joey (baby kangaroo)
  • Slack (very loosely)
  • Protect (to keep someone or something safe, to guard it from harm)

Before Reading the Story;

            Give each child a blanket or stuffed animal to hold.  Help all the children gather in nice and snuggly.  Ask them if they ever remember a time when they felt scared or nervous?  (The first day at school, in a large crowded place, doing something new for the first time).  Did your parent help to make you feel safe, what did they do? (They held me, My Mom held my hand, My Dad said it was ok and he watched).  Ask who can you go to when you are feeling scared or lonely? (Parent, teacher, friend).

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

            Take time as you read the story and talk about the pictures.  Show how the parent is keeping the baby safe.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topic ideas and tasks.

After Reading the Story

            Explain to the children that many families, and school, make rules to help keep everyone safe.  Ask the children if their family has any rules at home.  ( I can’t touch my Dad’s tools, I have to ask my sister to play with her doll, when I brush my teeth I have to put my toothbrush away and not let it be a sword, I have to wear my bike helmet when I ride on the sidewalk).  Talk about your classroom rules and how they keep everyone safe.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; develops growing understanding of how their actions affect others and begins to accept the consequences of their actions.


            Make several copies of the animal cards. Use these to make dominos. The children must then match the pictures.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attribute such as shape or size.

Bring in a bird nest if you have one. Allow the children to examine it. Nests make baby birds feel safe, warm, and snug.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Music and Movement

            Sing a song about Family, this one to the tune of Frere Jacque

            Where is baby? Where is baby?    

            Here I am, here I am.                                Hold up pinkie finger

            With my family, with my family                Wiggle all fingers

            Here I am.                                              Hold up pinkie again

            Where is sister? Where is sister?                Hold up ring finger

            Where is brother? Where is brother?           Hold up middle finger

            Where is Mother? Where is Mother?          Hold up pointer finger

            Where is Father?  Where is Father?               Hold up thumb

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 Creative Arts/Music; participates with growing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

            Act out the animal movements from the story.  Can you swim away like a fish?  Leap like a kangaroo?  Crawl like a cockroach?  Fly like a killdeer?  Be slow and slack like a sloth?  Walk on your heels like a penguin?  Hop like a toad?  Curl up like a snake?  Soar like a bat?

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.


            Encourage the children to build homes today.  We live in homes that keep us safe and warm. 

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Problem Solving; demonstrates increasing ability to set goals and develop and follow through on plans.


            Tell the children that warm fuzzies are times when people make you feel good and loved.  Make warm fuzzies with the children.  Let the children cut out a circle or organic shape.  Have them glue cotton balls all over their shape.  They can add googly eyes or small construction paper eyes.  Explain to them that they can give their warm fuzzie to someone who makes them feel safe, warm, snug, or loved.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Library and Writing

            Help the children to write a letter to their parent.  Encourage them to talk about one thing their parent does to feel protected.  (Dear ___, thank you for putting on the band aide when I fell and hurt my knee.)

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

Sand and Water

Create a pond scene by adding plastic turtles, sticks for logs, plastic fish, and water. Turtles like to sit on logs in the sun where they feel safe and warm. How many turtles can the child line up on the log without tipping it over?

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Dramatic Play

            Bring in the baby dolls, blankets, bottles, and anything else you have that will allow the children to practice nurturing.

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy and caring for others.

Math and Manipilatives

            Make paper plate pockets.  Cut the paper plate in half.  Staple the two halves together with a staple to hold them.  Punch holes through both halves at the same time all along the edge.  Give the children pieces of yarn and show them how to sew/lace the edges.  Put out magazines with animals.  The children can cut out the animal pictures and put them into their pocket.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.

Outdoor Play

            Play Fox in the Chicken Coop.  One child is the fox.  The rest of the children are the baby chicks.  The fox tries to catch the baby chicks but they can run to the mother hen (teacher) and be safe if they are touching her.  If the fox catches a baby chick, they must sit out and say/sing the alphabet song before they can begin running again.  Take turns being the fox.

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


            As the children leave to go to another activity, ask them to tell you one way that they keep themselves safe (I do not run inside, My brother helps me tie my shoe, I ask my Mom if I can go to my friends house to play)

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.


Make dominos by cutting out animals and gluing them to pieces of manilla folder. Make sure to vary the pairs that appear on the domino.
domino pattern. Use cards below to fill in the dominos.
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.