There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose by Lucille Colandro is a delightful book to share with preschoolers. The book is meant to be read with a good dose of humor as the old lady swallows the various items. Young kids will love reading and creating the items in the book with Wikki Stix! Re-telling the story with Wikki Stix and the printable sequencing cards is a wonderful way to encourage hands-on play, fine motor skills, and early literacy!

Wikki Stix Activities:  There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose

WHAT COMES NEXT? – Predictions and Reading

Purpose: To encourage kids to higher level thinking strategies when listening to a book.

Before reading There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose, have the children make verbal predictions about what they think the story is about. Invite the children to look at the book cover (front and back) then write down all the predictions the children give. While reading, stop several times and ask the children again what they think is happening in the book. The answers will differ slightly from the predictions at the beginning. Did any of the children predict what would happen at the end of the book? Prediction is a great strategy for engaging preschoolers in the story as well as encouraging them to think about what the author is doing through the text and how the book will end.


Invite the children to create the various items in the book with Wikki Stix. The created items will allow a hands-on manipulative for playful retelling of the events of the book.

Materials needed: Red/White/Pink/Blue/Green Wikki Stix, scissors, and a small amount of glitter (any color).

Wikki Stix Rose

ROSE – the rose can be made with 5 red Wikki Stix. Leave the 5 Wikki Stix strands together (do not pull apart) and set out on a table. Starting at one end, carefully roll all 5 strands together (jelly-roll style) to form the rose. The children can add a green stem and green Wikki Stix leaves to the rose if desired.

Wikki Stix Lace

LACE – invite the children to twist 2-3 white Wikki Stix strands together to resemble the lace in the book.

Wikki Stix Glitter

GLITTER – have the children cut small pieces of any color of Wikki Stix. Note: Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children will need assistance. Since Wikki Stix has a sticky outer coating, glitter will adhere to each of the small pieces. Simply sprinkle a little glitter over the cut pieces.

Wikki Stix Candy

CANDY – set out Wikki Stix on a table and invite the children to create their own pieces of candy. In the photo above, one child made a peppermint from red/white spiraled Wikki Stix.

Wikki Stix Jewel Rings

JEWEL – jewels can be made from any shape or color of Wikki Stix. In the photo above, we created a blue diamond shape design with Wikki Stix. If desired, draw a diamond shape on a separate piece of paper and have the kids trace the diamond with Wikki Stix. Once the children trace inside the basic outline, they can lift the Wikki Stix from the paper template. Older children may wish to trace around the diamond outline and fill-in the shape with additional Wikki Stix. After re-telling the story, our kids added a circular Wikki Stix strand to the back of their diamonds to make diamond “rings” to wear.

Wikki Stix Heart

HEARTS – invite the children to use any color of Wikki Stix to create a basic heart shape. Some children may want to follow an outline. Draw a heart on an index card and invite the children to trace the heart with Wikki Stix. The Wikki Stix heart outline can then be lifted from the paper template. Older children may wish to fill in their heart with additional Wikki Stix.

Wikki Stix Card

CARD – the card can be made from 4-5 stands of Wikki Stix folded in half to resemble a book. If desired, the children can make decorations for the front or back of their Wikki Stix created book.

Wikki Stix Created Items

Set all of the Wikki Stix-created items out on a table or a tray and invite the children to re-tell the book. As the children become familiar with the story, they will LOVE re-telling the book over and over with the Wikki Stix items.

Sequencing Cards

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose Sequencing Activity

Extension Activity: Creating a number timeline for events

Materials needed:
one story timeline printable linked here (download the printable sequencing cards pdf file here) and scissors.

Invite the children to cut out the cards and sequence the cards according to the story’s timeline of events – what item was introduced first, second, third, and so on. After the children are finished with the activity, read the book again and pause to note when each of the objects are introduced. The kids will have fun following along and will often shout-out the next object that will appear in the story!

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose is a great book to read for a special Valentine’s activity with preschoolers. The kids will have fun sequencing the story, re-telling the book with the Wikki Stix created items, and making predictions about how the book will end!