Ten Little Mice, by Joyce Dunbar

                  This lovely illustrated book helps children count down by one while learning about the life habits of field mice.  A charming book that children will enjoy.


                  Ten mice***

                  Mouse bookmark directions

                  Mouse mask***

                  Soft pillows and fabrics

                  Several ping-pong balls

                  Bag of cotton balls

                  Several bowls

                  Tongs or clothespins

Shapes printed on colored paper. See resources.


                  Cozy (something warm and comfortable)

Before Reading the Story

                  Use one of the mice pieces and on several colors of construction paper draw a simple house.  Have the children take turns hiding their eyes and put the mouse under one of the houses.  Have the children repeat the following, Little Tommy Tiddlemouse, lives in a pretty house.  Can you guess which one?  The child then uncovers their eyes and guesses under which color the mouse is hiding.  Encourage the child to name the colors instead of just pointing. Play till all the children get a turn or until they lose interest.

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

Reading the Story

                  Put the ten mice on the wall or flannel.  As you read the story take one down accordingly.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness if numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity.

After Reading the Story

                  Go back through the story and talk about the pictures.  Note the things that the mice are bigger then and smaller then.  Ask the children if they can think of other things that a mouse would be bigger then or smaller then.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.


                  Bring in a book or pictures of real mice so the children can explore the life and times of a mouse.

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

Music and Movement

                  Re-read the story and ask the children to show what all the different movements would look like that the mice did as they went back to their cozy nest.  Who can show me what scurry-scurried looks like?

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Teach the children the song Five Little Mice sung to 5 Little Ducks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9rqAO2zSIc

Five little mice came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
Four little mice go scampering back

Four little mice came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
Three little mice go scampering back

Three little mice came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
Two little mice go scampering back

Two little mice came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
One little mouse goes scampering back

One little mouse came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
No little mice go scampering back.

Mathematics/Number & operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Do the following poem with the children. The teacher is the old grey cat. After doing the poem once, the children can take turns being the old grey cat.

The old gray cat is sleeping , sleeping, sleeping,
The old gray cat is sleeping in the house
The little mice are dancing, dancing, dancing (children dance)
The little mice are dancing in the house (continue dancing)
The little mice are nibbling, nibbling, nibbling (children nibble)
The little mice are nibbling in the house!
The little mice are resting, resting, resting (children sit or lay)
The little mice are resting in the house (continue sitting)
The old gray cat comes creeping, creeping, creeping (Cat begins to creep)
The old gray cat comes creeping in the house (Continue Creeping)
The little mice go scampering, scampering, scampering (Children run around)
The little mice go scampering in the house (Children run until caught then that child is the cat)

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.


                  Challenge the children how to use the blocks to make hallways or paths.  Pretend the ping-pong balls are mice and roll them through the hallway maze. Can they roll from beginning to end? Can the children make the mouse/ping pong ball roll under or over an object or around a corner?

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.


Put out the many colored shapes and scissors for the children to make mice. You can make one ahead of time so they can see how the shapes go together. For older children, draw and cut out the shapes using a manilla folder. The children can then draw around your shapes onto pieces of paper that they can then cut out.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take shapes apart. AND 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.

Library and Writing;

                  Have the children make bookmarks by following the direction cards.  Cut out the oval shapes in various colors.  Show the children how to use a single hole punch to make an eye and a hole for a tail.  Give each child a piece of yarn to put through the tail hole, tie. 

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.

Sand and Water

Hide the following letters in the sand table; M-O-U-S-E. On a piece of paper write ‘MOUSE’ above the table. Encourage the children to find the letters and put them in the same order as the word on the wall to spell mouse. Use magnet letters, cookie cutter letters, or make letters out of cardboard to hide. Can the children identify any of these letters?

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

Dramatic Play

                  In the story the mice all went home to their cozy nest.  Bring in soft and cozy fabrics and pillows so the children can pretend to be mice in a cozy nest.

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.

Math and Manipulatives

                  Put out a bowl of cotton balls and a pair of tongs or a clothespin.  Show the children how to pick up the cotton balls with the tongs and move it to another bowl.  Roll a dice and count how many cotton balls you will need to move.

Mathematics/Number & operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects. AND Physical Health Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Outdoors Play

                  Challenge the children to build tunnels under the sand.  You may have to dampen the sand ahead of time so it has some sticking power as these are very sensitive to collapsing.

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


                  Put 0-10 mice up on the board.  Ask the child to count and name the number of mice present before they move to the next activity.

Mathematics/Number & operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.


Enlarge and attach to a sentence strip to make mouse hats for dramatic play
Make 4 sets to use mice for counting throughout the day
Instructions for bookmarks

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.