Rain Drop Splash, by Alvin Tresselt

            This is the story of rain that falls and makes its journey from a small stream out to the ocean.  It grows and changes and sees many things along they way.  This story simply tells the progression of rainfall from mountain to sea.


  •  Pipes for pipe game
  •  Life preserver
  • Ping pong ball
  • Variety of substances (old coffee grounds, cornstarch, flour, veggie oil, sand, dirt, salt, etc
  • Hula Hoops or taped squares on the floor
  • Raindrop page
  • Cloud with raindrop poem on it, one per child


  • Docks (Where the captains park their boats, a parking lot for boats)
  • Evaporation (to disappear or vanish)
  • Repel (to resist and not mix into)

Before Reading the Story

  Ask the children if they like rainy days (why-why not?). Explain that rain is very important to people and the environment. Ask the children to help make a list of why water is important (fish live in it, animals and people drink water, you can swim in a lake, birds and animals live near the water, it makes plants grow, you can use a boat, we bath, brush teeth, etc.)  The idea is to show the children that water is very important and that people and animals and plants need it to live and do things.

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

Reading the Story

            Note all the important and interesting things that happen along the water’s edge as you read.  On the page that starts with “Still it rained”, stop and ask the children if they can see what is happening t the water?(Point out how the water continuously moves and grows larger). When the lake takes over the farmers meadow, ask the children what they think is going to happen?

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

After Reading the Story

            Say to the children that that was a very busy story. Ask the children if they can remember some of the important things that happened in and on the edge of the water? Make a list that you can later hang on the wall.

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.

            Talk to the children about water safety.  The importance of wearing a life preserver when you go to the lake, bring in a life preserver if you have one.  Talk about how children should not play in or near water without an adult.  Depending upon where you live and the kinds of water that your children might visit, lead your discussion.

Physical Health & Safety/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.


            Let the children explore how water mixes with other ingredients.  On a tray place an eye dropper or small spoon along with several bowls containing a variety of substances (old coffee grounds, cornstarch, flour, veggie oil, sand, dirt, salt, etc).  Let the children pour a bit of this and that into a cup and see how it mixes.  Does the ingredient mix with the water or repel the water?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Music and Movement

            Bring in hula hoops and ask the children to pretend that they are puddles.  Tell them that we are going to dance around the puddle and when the music stops everyone must jump into a puddle, careful because we will have to share the puddles.  You can also jump around the puddle, over the puddle, through the puddle.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness. AND Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; builds an increasing understanding of directionality, order, and positions of objects, and words such as up, down, over, under, top, bottom, inside, outside, in front, and behind.

            Teach the children the poem, Rain

When the rain comes down drip drop drip drop,
(flutter fingers down in front of you)
Windshield wipers flip flop flip flop,
(bend arms in front and move them side to side)
Boots in puddles plip plop plip plop,
(move feet up and down)
I wish the rain would never stop.
Drip drop drip, (use motions as you say it)
Flip flop flip,(“” )
Plip plop plip plop, (“”)
PLOP! (do the motions and jump)

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

          Play Don’t Fall In The Water.  Put two pieces of tape on the floor about 5 feet long.  These will make the river.  Cut out large organic shapes from brown construction paper.  These are the rocks in the middle of the river.  On each rock write a letter, number, or shape depending on the concept you want to reinforce.  Have the children stand on one side of the river.  As they take their turn crossing call out what letter you want them to step on.  If they get it wrong or miss then they fall into the river.

Language Development/.Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions. AND Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Sing, If All the Raindrops Were Lemon Drops and Gum Drops https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNvL_5COPtM. Just sing the first verse about raindrops. After the children get the hang of the song, you can have them help name kinds of candy, dinner foods, snacks, etc that the raindrops could be.

Approaches to learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one answer to t a question, task, or problem.


            Encourage the children to make a river with their blocks.  Encourage them to make the river bend and change direction. Show them how to blow the ping pong ball down the river.  Explain that they can pretend that the ping pong ball is a boat sailing down the river.

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


            Give the children a page with raindrops on it. Let them use watercolors to paint them. When they are dry, have older children, or teacher cut them out. You can punch a hole in them and hang them from the ceiling over the table. For older children you can draw and cut out several raindrop shapes out of a manila folder and the children can use this for a stencil to draw around and cut out and then paint.

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic. 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

Give the children a copy of the Rain, Rain Go Away poem. Show them where the blank is for them to write their name. After they have written their name, let them color the cloud. Hang these on the wall so that people can see how hard the children are working on writing their names.

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

Sand and water

      Water play

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

Dramatic Play

            Bring in the life preservers and the children can pretend to be on a boat going down the river. Bring in boots and rain jackets and the children can pretend to be going out in the rain. Or just have your basic home center and the children can pretend that it is a rainy day. Ask them to think of things that could act out in each scenario.

Creative Arts/Dramatic PLay; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Math and Manipulatives

            Play Pipes.  Make several copies of the pipes cards.  Cut them out and contact them so they will last. Tell the children that water comes into your home and school through pipes under the ground.  Have the children use the pipes to connect and make an ongoing connection.

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

            Water play on the playground.  Set a hose on trickle and let the children put the end in the dirt or sand to make rivers, lakes, and an ocean. Add plastic animals and boats if you have them. As they play, the water will evaporate. Teach them the definition of.


Play 1-2-3 what number do you see? Call on a child and then make two fists with your hands and say,”1-2-3 __________ what number do you see”? At the see part hold up 0-10 fingers. The child must name the amount before they can move onto the next activity.

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


Raindrops for Art
Cards for PIPE game
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.