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ECE Resource Center: First Fridays

A Story. A Song. An Activity.

Come join our virtual library every First Friday as we read a children’s literary classic and do a lesson activities together. Children, parents, and providers welcome!



First Friday Read Along: “The All-Together Quilt”

Join us for an enchanting literary journey this First Fridays as we celebrate the captivating narrative of “The All Together Quilt” by the talented Lizzy Rockwell. This month’s selection promises to warm your hearts with its poignant tale, one that beautifully illustrates the power of unity and diversity. Through the creation of quilts and the forging of heartwarming friendships, the story unfolds, reminding us that the most enduring treasures are often woven from the threads of togetherness. Whether you’re a child, a parent, or a caregiver, all are welcome to embark on this heartwarming adventure with us.


First Fridays Learning Activity: Paper Quilt Art

Embark on an inclusive, intergenerational project that can be enjoyed by older preschoolers, school-age children, and adults working together!


Gather Your Supplies:

  • Colored Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Glue Sticks
  • Rulers
  • Pencils/Markers/Paint
  • Yarn or Circle Clasps

Come and join us as we guide you through the process of crafting a unique paper quilt, whether it’s for your home, classroom, or community.


Sing-Along: “We’re All Amazing”
London Rhymes – Diversity and Equality – Songs for Babies and Children

“We’re All Amazing” is a song crafted with families, young ones, schools, and early years settings in mind. Inspired by the global Black Lives Matter movement, we recognized the importance of conveying these vital ideas to even the youngest of minds. This song celebrates the idea that each of us is extraordinary, embracing the uniqueness and special qualities that define us.



First Fridays Read Aloud: “I Love My Hair”

Welcome to our First Friday Read Along! Join us for a heartwarming reading of “I Love My Hair!” by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, beautifully illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Immerse yourself in the enchanting tale of Keyana and her nightly hair combing ritual with her loving mother. As we journey through the story, we’ll discover the tender bond they share and the empowering message of embracing our individuality. From the gentle moments to the pain that comes with hair combing, this story beautifully captures the magic of a mother-daughter connection and the diverse beauty that makes us all shine. Tune in for a captivating storytelling experience that celebrates uniqueness, love, and the joy of self-discovery.


First Fridays Learning Activity: “Out of this World” Silhouette Hair/Head Portraits

Discover the Magic of Silhouette Hair/Head Portraits! Dive into the world of creativity with us as we demonstrate the art of crafting unique and mesmerizing hair portraits. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of creating beautiful silhouette portraits that celebrate the individuality of children’s hair and head shapes. Gather your supplies – pencil, paper, flashlight (or camera), white paper, black construction paper, liquid watercolor, glue, and scissors – and let’s embark on a journey of artistic inspiration and self-expression! Create something truly “Out of this World”!

Sing-Along: “I Love My Hair” – Sesame Street

Afro, curly, cornrows, straight… Join us in a musical celebration as we explore the beauty inherent in the diverse ways we choose to style and embrace our hair.



First Fridays Read Aloud: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

Welcome to First Fridays Read Aloud! Join us as we dive into the enchanting world of children’s literature with the timeless classic “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and brought to life through the captivating illustrations of Eric Carle.

First Fridays Learning Activity: “Brown Bear” Super Simple Sensory Experience

“Brown Bear” Super Simple Sensory Experience

The First Friday Learning Activity – “Brown Bear” Super Simple Sensory Experience is designed to engage young minds with an incredibly easy and captivating sensory adventure. We encourage you to watch this video in advance, as it will introduce an exciting hands-on activity that embraces openness, allowing children to explore and create freely without limitations. By fostering free expression, we aim to promote creativity while encouraging language development and real-world connections.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Kinetic Sand
  • Googly Eyes

Let the adventure begin as the little ones delve into the enchanting world of textures and imagination! Initiate meaningful conversations as they sculpt, mold, and transform the kinetic sand with googly eyes, transforming it into a plethora of fascinating creations. The unrestricted nature of this activity paves the way for uninhibited learning and joyous moments of discovery.

Sing-Along: “Going on a Bear Hunt” The Kiboomers – Preschool Songs

Sing along and learn with The Kiboomers! We’re looking for bears! So, grab your binoculars, because we’re going on a bear hunt! This fun action song is perfect for brain break for circle time at home or in the classroom. Plus, it also helps your students and young children learn prepositions (over, under, through and in) and new vocabulary (grass, mud, river, cave, binoculars) with some creative play. This activity also helps your preschooler develop motor skills, listening skills, and social-emotional skills. Enjoy!



First Fridays Read Aloud: “Yesterday I Had the Blues” by Jeron Ashford Frame

Are you ready for an exciting exploration of moods and colors? Join us as we dive into the wonderful world of “Yesterday I Had the Blues” by Jeron Ashford Frame. In this month’s activities, we’ll learn how moods can change from day to day and discover the power of love in brightening our days.


First Fridays Learning Activity: “Moods and Colors” Squeegee Painting

“Moods and Colors” Squeegee Painting “Every child is an artist…” – Pablo Picasso

Instructions for Squeegee Painting – Moods and Colors Learning Activity:

  1. Gather materials: Get a large paper or canvas, non-toxic paint (red, blue, green, etc.), a squeegee or old credit card, and a protective covering.
  2. Set up workspace: Cover the area, make materials accessible.
  3. Prepare paints: Place different colors on a palette, Ramekin/cup, or plate, and discuss associated emotions.
  4. Demonstrate technique: emphasize creating dots and lines with lots of paint on the canvas or paper area. When the paint is done, show how to use the squeegee. For the best results, you’ll want to demonstrate pulling it down or across in one motion rather than multiple motions.
  5. Encourage creativity: Let children freely experiment with colors, squeegee strokes, and layering to express their emotions.
  6. Discuss artwork: Have a conversation about their paintings, emotions, and color choices.
  7. Display and celebrate: Let the artwork dry, display it proudly, and consider sharing photos on social media with #CSIFirstFridays and tagging @CrystalstairsLA.

Note: Ensure supervision and child-safe materials during the activity.

Sing-Along: “Colors Song” Gracie’s Corner

The Colors Song is a great way to teach young children the colors. Join Gracie and her family as they take a vacation to Jamaica and teach Baby Cee-Cee the colors of the world! This is definitely a fun and educational tune that can be enjoyed. For free learning activities and Gracie’s Corner merch, check out Also, this song is now available on all streaming platforms.



First Fridays Read Aloud: It Looked Like Spilt Milk Book by Charles Green Shaw

Join us this June as we embark on an enchanting journey into the captivating world of “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles Green Shaw. In this whimsical book, shapes and forms come to life, resembling rabbits, birthday cakes, ice cream cones, and trees. The question lingers: “What was it?” It’s a mystery that will keep our little ones engaged, guessing, and eager to explore.


First Fridays Learning Activity: “It Looks Like…” Yarn Pull Painting

“It Looks Like…” Yarn Pull Painting

Welcome to our Yarn Pull Painting activity! Get your paper, paint, and a string ready as we guide you through this “it looks like…” inspired art experience. Let’s unleash creativity and marvel at the unique masterpieces your children will create!


Sing-Along: “Cloud Shapes” The Treebees

Join us for a delightful, interactive song that sparks imagination as children discover various cloud shapes. Get ready to explore the sky and see what wonders unfold!



First Fridays Read Aloud: Are You My Mother

Join us as we read this classic tale of a baby bird in search of his mother, and in search of home. Follow along as we share his journey, find out how he makes it home, and discover who he meets along the way.


First Fridays Learning Activity: “What is This?” A Blindfold Guessing Game

“What is This?” – A Blindfold Guessing Game

Join us for a sensory game using child safe items you already have around the house


Sing-Along: The Green Grass Grew All Around | Rock ‘N Learn

Turn up the music and challenge your children to keep up with the quick, silly, fun cumulative storytelling style of this song!!



First Fridays Read Aloud: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly!

Join this month’s #FirstFridays read along as we celebrate National Poetry Month with a story that is also a poem. Although this classic story has many versions and variations, you don’t want to miss the ending of the one we have selected! Children, parents, and caregivers are all welcomed and encouraged to playfully wonder… What WOULD happen if an old lady swallowed a fly?


First Fridays Learning Activity: Fly Swatter Activity

Three Ways to Use Your Fly Swatter

Bubbles? Paint? Balloon Ball? Join us for ideas on how to use one item… in three unique ways. You may have one at home, but you’ve probably never used it like this before!

Sing-Along: “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” CoComelon Nursery Rhymes and Kids Songs

Where kids can be happy and smart! Kids will laugh, dance, sing, and play along with our videos, learning letters, numbers, animal sounds, colors, and much, much more while simply enjoying our friendly characters and fun stories.



First Friday – Read Along Book “The Bad Mood” by Book by Moritz Petz

Use this month’s story as an opportunity to start a conversation about mood as Badger’s experiences show the power of cultivating mindfulness during our interactions with others. Children, parents, and caregivers can all learn what to do when experiencing a “bad mood” sensation.

First Fridays – Freeze Dance Learning Activity

“Freeze Dancing” – Move Your Body, Shift Your Mood

Let’s combine music and movement to see how incorporating playful physical activity can influence mental and emotional well-being!

The rules seem simple, but find out if they are difficult or easy for your children to follow Turn up the music, move your bodies and DANCE… then, when the music stops, everybody FREEZE!


Sing-Along: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Turn it up, sing, and dance along as we discover how outlook impacts mood!



First Friday – Read Along Book “Black is a Rainbow Color” by Angela Joy

Join us as we read “Black is a Rainbow Color” by Angela Joy. It is Black History Month, and we are celebrating this month with this beautiful picture book by Angela Joy. It’s a powerful celebration of being Black through the eyes and voice of a child. The illustrations by Ekua Holmes are bright and vibrant and captures the essence of the book.


First Fridays – Black Rainbow Color Art

Get ready for a fun-packed activity that can be extended for multiple days with your children. We will be drawing inspiration from the art in “Black is a Rainbow Color” to create our very own works of art incorporating Black AND Rainbow Colors. Here’s what you will need:

  • Liquid watercolor
  • Paint brushes
  • White paper
  • Black glue

Activity Hack
Purchase black glue or mix up your own by using clear school glue and black non-toxic children’s paint.


Sing-Along: “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” by Nina Simone

Introduce children to this classic anthem that serves to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate the beauty and brilliance of Black culture.
“In the whole world you know, there’s a million boys and girls who are young, gifted, and black.  And that’s a fact!”



First Friday – Read Along Book “What The Road Said” by Cleo Wade

Which way do I go? Where does the path lead? What if I go the wrong way? This month’s story reminds both children and adults that although we may never truly know where the road will lead, the choices along the path (both right and wrong) are ours to make. The key is in remembering to just keep going, taking one day at a time. Theme: Creating and Following Your Own Path


First Fridays – Sidewalk Chalk Art Activity

Grab your sidewalk chalk and head outdoors to create a group chalk mural as children design, draw, and learn to follow their own path.

*Sensory Hack*

Cover the chalk with masking tape, or provide a chalk holder for children who find the sensory feel of chalk off-putting.


Sing-Along: Ease on Down the Road The Wiz Soundtrack Universal Pictures

Turn up the music and dance along with this playful, upbeat reminder to keep moving forward as you learn to take one step at a time, stay on the path of your choice, and ease on down the road!



First Friday – Read Along Book “Color Dance” by Ann Jonas

Come join our virtual library event for a special children’s literary adventure as we culminate our full second year of bringing you monthly First Fridays! We are so thankful to all of you who enjoy our content and share it with your children at home or in your child care facilities.

This month we are reading Color Dance, a joyful celebration of color and movement. Minimal text explains that many colors are the products of the three primary colors; red, yellow, and blue. A note explains that red can appear in a variety of shades. Emphasizing the color concepts, each color word is printed in the color it describes throughout the book. This vigorous, fresh approach to color will be welcomed by picture-book lovers, and storytime groups as well.


First Fridays – Bubble Wrap Painting Activity

Bubble Wrap Painting

Join us for this fun bubble wrap painting activity as we experiment with primary and secondary colors! You will need…

  • White Paper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Non-toxic Children’s Paint (red, yellow, blue)


Sing-Along: Three Primary Colors – Sesame Street: OK Go

This catchy tune provides a fun and color introduction to the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) while also giving children a visual of what happens when the colors mix to make the three secondary colors (orange, green, and purple).

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Artwork by Synthia Saint James