Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Children at the Playground

Summer camp finished for my six-year old grandson – but school doesn’t start until the day after Labor Day. So you know what that means, right? GRAMMY CAMP!


We’ve been having so much fun. Every day we continue our epic Monopoly game. He helps me water our plot of veggies (and himself) with the garden hose. (Mist and Stream are his favorite settings) We go to the library almost every day and enjoy a special ice cream treat from the local village shop. And one of his favorite activities is sliding down the slide and swinging on the swings.

Most kids love going to the playground – so when I saw a new book called, “The Children at the Playground”, I knew I had to grab a copy and review it for you.

cover CATPG


Written by Tracey M. Cox

Illustrated by Dolores Costello

Publisher: Xist Publishing

Ages: 2-7

Themes: Friendship, diversity, playground activities


Opening Lines:

The children at the playground
Run, run, run.
Run, run, run.
Run, run, run.
The children at the playground
run, run, run while they play.



From Amazon:

The Children at the Playground is a fun picture book set to the rhythm of “The Wheels on the Bus.” Perfect for active story times or to read before, after, or during a playground visit.


Why I like this book:

  • The Wheels on the Bus is an iconic finger play/song for young kids and they will love joining in to sing about the activities at the playground.
  • Sweet illustrations depict a diverse group of young children.
  • Repetition and rhythm are great for literacy building.


How a parent can use this book:

  • Wonderful read aloud
  • Great book to encourage listening and literacy skills


Nature collage suncatcher


Photo courtesy:

You will need: Paper plate, small flowers and leaves, clear contact paper, ribbon, scissors, hole puncher.

  1. Cut out center of paper plate.
  2. Cut sheet of contact paper to fit plate.
  3. Choose small flowers and leaves and press onto contact paper.
  4. When finished, cover with another piece of clear contact paper and cut to fit.
  5. Punch hole at top and thread ribbon through and hang in a sunny window.

For detailed instructions and many more wonderful craft ideas for young kids:


A trip to the playground can be an adventure into the world of science.

Girls playing on monkey bars

Girls playing on monkey bars – Photo courtesy:

“Swings, slides and climbing structures are loads of fun. And they offer first hand experiences with pendulums, ramps, and levers, not to mention forces such as gravity and friction. Just paying some attention to how things move provides children with important early experiences in physics.” For more ideas of how to use playground time creatively:

What other picture books encourage kids to enjoy being outdoors? I can think of two right off the bat: The Tree Lady and Me..Jane. Can you recommend any others? If you can, please share.

And I think it’s time for a School Starts Soon giveaway! Sign up for my email list and you will be entered to win a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.

book pic from wordpress blog

Click on this link:

This is a great book for any parent, grandparent, day care provider or early childhood education teacher – chock full of hundreds of fun-filled quick and easy activities for young kids. If you are already subscribed, you can get an entry by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media. Just leave a comment, telling me where you shared…and for every share, you get another entry! We’ll announce the winner in 2 weeks.

Have a beautiful weekend, dear friends!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on August 21, 2015, in Giveaway, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Book Review, Science at the playground and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Vivian, you and your grandson always have so much fun. He looks like he’s grown so tall! I just gave one of your amazing books to my niece who has a 17-month-old daughter and they have been trying new activities from it. My niece is a stay-at-home mom and says she’s in love with your book! Thinking about kids enjoying the outdoors, I thought of MAPLE and MAPLE AND WILLOW TOGETHER by Lori Nichols! It’s a really sweet story about sisters and the trees they love. I hope you and your grandson enjoy the rest of the summer. I think it’s lovely how the northeastern states don’t go back to school until after Labor Day. In the southeast, we start in August when it still feels like summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He is growing like a weed, as they used to say. 😉 He’ll soon be taller than his little grandma. 😉
      What great choices, Lori…I love the Maple books…thanks for sharing them.
      And the funny thing about the start of school is, each town is different…Amherst starts in August, but Merrimack, where he is moving, starts after Labor Day. I think it’s pretty confusing to have different school start dates in the same state…but then, I don’t make the rules…maybe if regular people did, it would be more logical. 😉
      Thank you so much for the kind words about my book…I’m thrilled your niece is enjoying it. 😉


  2. Oh, I forgot to say that I love Tracey M. Cox’s THE CHILDREN AT THE PLAYGROUND and her take on “The Wheels on the Bus.” Love the rhythm and repetition! Perfect for an early childhood classroom circle time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grammy Camp! I love it, Vivian. Have a great time.
    In both Kansas and Colorado, school is back in full swing already, and already the kids are practicing sports after school. HUNGER GAMES’s influence has 10-13-year-old girls taking archery lessons. Is there a middle grade book about female archers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Back in school already? Oh my goodness, Marylin! I love that the girls are taking archery lessons…and thanks for the heads up…I’ll check into it. I know that Suzanne Williams has a series called Goddess Girls and I’m sure there are several archers in there…but perhaps there is a real person in history who I could write about. 😉


  4. How clever, Tracey, to set the words to a familiar tune! I bet kids want to hear it again and again. Vivian, my grandson and I had lunch and saw a movie yesterday–he starts high school next week. Aren’t grandkids the best? Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy, Deborah! Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving such a lovely comment. And yay for grandkids who enjoy being with grammy even when they get older. I know my sister and I did…our grandmother’s lap was always just the right size for a cuddle, even when we were teenagers. 😉 😉


  5. Grammy Camp sounds like it was fun. Funny enough, I just read “Wheels on the Bus” to my grandson on Wednesday. Tracey’s book sounds “fun” too. Thanks for sharing, Vivian. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry I am just getting to respond to your comment now, Tracy. Wheels on the Bus is a definite favorite with most kids…I agree! And Grammy Camp was lots of fun…I’ll bet this coming summer we’ll do it again.


  1. Pingback: Thinking Thursday – Book Reviews (#PBReview) | a writers blog by: Tracey M. Cox

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