With the Kids

Pete the Cat’s White Shoes with In Lieu of Preschool

Storybook Summer post by Genny of In Lieu of Preschool

We were given the book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and the accompanying audio CD for Christmas this past year.  Let me tell you, if it were possible to wear out a CD just from listening to it, that would definitely be the case here!

In the book, Pete steps in various things — strawberries, blueberries, mud, and water — which change the color of his shoes.  “Does Pete cry? Goodness no! He keeps walking along and singing his song.”  If only we could all handle life’s unexpected bumps like Pete!

Since Lilah (age 2) still needs some color practice, I decided we’d do a sensory walk through the colors from the book for our go-along activity.  I knew Luke (age 4) would be game for it, too, since who wouldn’t love walking through cool paint on a hot day to fun music??  I also liked the idea of a sensory walk because it would be a good listening comprehension activity; the kids would have to listen carefully to the story to know when to step into the colors and when to walk along.  Plus it would get the kids moving!

To make the colors, we used a little washable paint mixed with a lot of water; we made a container of red for strawberries, blue for blueberries, brown for mud, and water, of course, for water! We laid down paper from an easel roll to make paths between the containers in a square pattern on the driveway so the kids could march around over and over along with the story/song.  I played the audio book on my iPad and the kids started moving along with the story line.

After we did the activity while listening to the audio book and singing along a few times, L&L had fun just marching around through the paint at their own pace, calling out the colors as they stepped into them.  Eventually they asked for the audio and moved along with the story again.

If you try a Pete the Cat sensory walk on your own, beware the paint containers may be slippery to step into and out of, so use caution.  Also, while the paint washed off the kids’ feet easily each time they stepped into the water, it did leave a bit of stain in a few spots on the driveway.  I’m sure it’ll fade quickly over time, but if this is a concern, test your paint on a small area first or just do the activity on the grass!

L&L had so much fun with this that even after 30 minutes they were still walking along and singing their song!

Here’s a YouTube video of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes which is a live telling/singing of the story by the author and it also incorporates parts from the audio CD we have.  You could play this during your sensory walk if you don’t have the audio CD, or you could always read/sing along with the book on your own, too.  It’s a catchy story and doesn’t take long to memorize!

Genny is a former elementary and reading teacher turned stay-at-home-mom to two preschool aged children.  She writes the blog, In Lieu of Preschool, where she shares the fun and educational activities that they do together…in lieu of preschool.  You can follow their fun via her blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.


  1. I love this idea! Our librarian shared this book/CD at story time a month or so ago, and the song was so catchy! I made liquid sidewalk chalk recently for us to try, so with more food coloring to make the bold colors, that could be fun to use–no paper needed and it washes off with the rain. I better have plenty of paint, though, because I think the song and fun might draw in all the neighborhood kids!

  2. Crayola makes sidewalk paint that would be fun to use. Drawer liners or the mats that go under rugs (I think they are the same material) might help with the slippy issues.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Apparently my 6 year old has read this book, she just screamed at the computer!! And now she’s teaching us the song that they learned in school. We’ll have to go get this book for sure!

    Thanks for the fun activity :)

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