The following is a program I did for a large multi-age group of children. There were about 60 kids ranging in age from first through fifth grade.
Read: Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Helene Desputeaux
Act Out: Using volunteers and a minimal amount of props, act out the story of the "12 Sillies" (below)
Craft: Create pictures using fingerprints (supplies needed are non-toxic ink pads, paper, color pens, and wipes)
The 12 Sillies
(props needed: 12 paint brushes, 12 pieces of paper, ink pad, dog stuffed animal)
Once upon a time there were twelve sillies. One day the twelve sillies set off to find a great place to paint. They walked through town and out of town. They walked up a hill and down a hill. Until they came to a beautiful spot by the river and decided this was the perfect spot to do some painting. They sat all day by the river and painted and mixed their paints and painted some more.
When night came, the twelve sillies started to go home. "Wait! We need to make sure we are all here!" said one of the sillies.
"That's a good idea," they all agreed.
So one of the sillies, the tallest one, said, "Stand in a line, and I will count." They all lined up, and he counted them, "One, two, three..." all the way up to eleven. (But when he got to the end of the line, he forgot to count himself!)
"ELEVEN!!!! Oh no!! One of us is missing!" They all started crying, for one of their friends was lost.
"Wait! Maybe you didn't count right. Let me try it." Said the shortest of the sillies.
So they all lined up, and he counted again, "One, two, three..." all the way to eleven.
"ELEVEN!!!! Oh no!! One of us is really missing!" They all started crying even harder.
After a time, along came a man/woman walking a dog. When he/she saw them, he/she asked what all the crying was about.
"There were twelve of us who came here to paint. When it came time to go home, we counted to make sure everyone was here, but someone is missing!" And they all started crying again.
The man/woman quietly counted to him/her self and figured out what had happened. "What will you give me if I find your missing friend?
"Oh, we will give you all of our wonderful paintings!! Please find our friend."
"Very well then, line up again." So they did. "Now, as I count each of you, stick your thumb in this paint can (ink pad). Then put you thumbprint on this paper. Then we can count how many thumbprints, to be sure."
So he/she counted, "One, two, three..." All the way to twelve, for of course, they really were all there. The twelve sillies were so grateful to find their lost friend that they gladly gave him/her all the paintings, and everyone went home happy.