The Water Hole, by Graham Base

The animals are thirsty. Count your way 1-10 and watch what happens to the water hole! Oh, and look for the hidden frog on each page. 


  • Cut out paper fish in several colors. Put a number on the fish 1-5 or 1-10. On the backside of the fish add the corresponding dots. On each fish, add a paperclip. Use a stick or ruler and attach a piece of yarn about 1 foot long. On the end of the yarn, tie a magnet. These will be the fishing poles (2 poles should be enough).
  • A variety of materials that will absorb water and those that will not. (cotton ball, paper towel, coffee filter, baby doll dress, cup of sand, cup of dirt, block, plastic toy)
  • Several eye droppers


  • Delectable (another word for delicious or tasty).
  • Wallowing (stumbling about)
  • Floundering (splashing about)
  • Lumbering (bumping into each other and being clumsy)
  • Absorbed (to be sucked into or taken into the dry sand or other material)

Introducing the Story

Talk about the importance of drinking water everyday. Explain that we need to drink water to help our bodies and brains up for playing and thinking. Explain that all living things need water. Ask the children if they think a dog is a living thing, a rock, a plant, a fish, a bed, a tree, and a car? 

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

Reading the Story

Hold up fingers that correspond to each page. Don’t forget to look for the frogs. On page three after reading, “But something was happening”, stop and see if the children can see what is happening (the water hole is getting smaller). When you get to page 10 and there is no water left, ask the children again what they think will happen? 

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

After reading the Story

Ask the children ways in which they use water besides drinking it. Get out a piece of paper and list their responses. (I take a bath in water, I play in my sprinkler, My big brother washes the car, the fireman’s got water). 

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

Music and Movement

Do animal walks with the children. Can they fly like a bird? Jump like a kangaroo? Hop like a rabbit? Gallop like a horse? Slither like a snake? 

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


Put out a variety of materials that will absorb water and several that will not. Add a small cup of water and several eyedroppers. Challenge the children to suck up some water into the eyedropper and squirt onto the various materials. Did the water absorb into the item or not? Can the children guess into which items the water will absorb before doing? 

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

 Take the children outside and pour a cup of water onto the sidewalk. Take a piece of chalk and draw all around the edges of the puddle you created. Ask the children what they think will happen. Check back several minutes later, what happened to the water? Were the children able to predict correctly? 

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities.


Put out your animals today and ask the children if they think they can build a waterhole for all the animals to drink. Encourage them to sort the animals by like kinds or from smallest to largest.

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


Encourage the children to draw animals using magic markers.

 Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.  AND Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools such as pencils, crayons, and computers.

Sand and Water

Today just put out water and any materials that you have to just move the water from one container to another. Examples; funnels, pitchers, measuring cups and spoons, tubing, squeeze bottles, basters, and sponges. Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Library and Writing

Put the number fish on the floor and show the children how to use the fishing pole with the magnet to ‘catch’ a fish. Can the child name the number on the fish? This can also be done with letters that you may be working on with your children.

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

Math and Manipulatives

Any kind of counting manipulatives and small cups marked 1-5 or 1-10. The children then use the counters to fill the cups up with the correct amount of counters.

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

Give each child pieces of paper, 1-5 or 1-10 depending upon the age of your children. On the top of each piece of paper write a number 1-5 or 1-10. Challenge the children to cut out shapes or draw objects 1-5 or 1-10 depending upon how large a number book you are making per child. If Juan is working on numbers 1-5, he should have 5 pieces of paper with a number written at the top of each.  

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

Outdoor Play

Bring any animals you might have out onto the playground. Have the children dig a large water hole and position the animals all around. If you have access to water you can have the children carry buckets of water to dump into the water hole. Ask the children what is happening to the water as it is dumped (it is being absorbed into the sand). Encourage the children to talk about the story and act out with the animals that you have. Remind them about the importance of drinking water everyday. Tell them, “Be Smarter, Drink Lots of Water”.

 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.

Bring drinking water out onto the playground. Several times throughout your play, call the children over to the ‘water hole’ and ask them if they would like a drink. Tell them, Be Smarter, Drink Lots of Water”. 

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.


Name an animal and the child makes the corresponding animal sound. For older children challenge them to recall some of the animal sounds in the story. 

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

Dear Parent-today we read a story about animals drinking from the water hole.  Encourage your child to drink plenty of water as they play, especially on hot days. Remind them that they need water to keep their bodies lubed and hydrated.


sea horse
puppy dog