Join your child (and friends) in experiencing the giving and receiving end of fun and meaningful surprises that will build self-esteem and encourage self-expression.

  • Target Age: 4-7
  • Skills:
    • Language and Literacy Skills
    • Social and Emotional Skills
    • Life Skills
    • Physical and Motor Skills

Various materials need are listed below in each suggested activity

Directions: Use these crafty and yummy ideas to help your child prepare a wonderful surprise for someone special:

  • Frilly Tissue Pictures- Draw an outline of a balloon, heart, favorite personal symbol or animal, birthday cake, gift box, etc., on poster board. Piece up 1" to 2" squares of colored art tissue. Wrap each tissue square on end of pencil eraser. Dip the pencil end/tissue square lightly into glue. Gently press tissue and lift pencil. Continue until picture is filled in. Option: Cover the lid of a decorated can or cardboard box with tissue squares.
  • Personalized Pretzels- Mix 1 pkg. yeast dissolved in 1 1/2-cup warm water, 1t. salt, 1T. sugar, 4 cups flour, and 1 egg. Knead dough. Roll into letters, numbers, name, or traditional pretzel knot. Place on greased cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown.

Talk about It: Ask your child to express personal feelings about giving and receiving surprises. Talk about ways to give and share surprises that are free and always available like hugs, kisses, time with a good book, singing, or just spending time together with someone special.

Take it Further: Create a banana-licious dessert surprise for your child and friend(s) by using this fun idea:

  • Set out ingredients, disposable dishes, and utensils needed for your child and guests to create sundaes or banana splits. Start with bananas. Add ice cream, cherries, pineapples, syrups, whipped cream, assorted fruits, nuts, gummy bears, candy, sprinkles, graham crackers, chocolate bits, etc. Create original banana desserts to rainforest music and dig in!

With a Group: Surprise young friends with opportunities to create the following homemade game ideas that encourage working together in fun and meaningful ways!

  • Twister- Make your own Twister game by outlining large balloons on a white flat bed sheet. Have children color each balloon a different color with fabric paint or markers. Make a spinner that coordinates with the painted balloons. Next to each color of balloon, draw a small hand or foot on the spinner. Turn on upbeat music while children takes turns spinning the spinner until everyone's all twisted up!
  • Red Light, Green Light- Line up children. When you call out "green light," the children follow directions to walk, run, circle, crawl, skip, dance, roll, etc., until you call out "red light" and everyone has to freeze. The goal is for each child to cross the finish line for a big treat.

Related Books

  • Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower: (I Can Read Book Series: Level 2) by Peggy Parish (HarperCollins Children's Books)
  • Clifford's Birthday Party by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic)


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!