Here are some fun Bill Harley activities you can use in your classroom, at home or for any group looking for some cool things to do!


Draw a series of pictures to illustrate one of the following Bill Harley stories or songs (or pick your favorite!)

  • Dad Threw the TV Out the Window
  • You’re Not the Boss of Me
  • The Great Sled Race
  • Down in the Backpack
  • King of Calibar
  • The Ballad of Dirty Joe
  • The Great Sled Race
  • The High Dive
  • A Walk Around the Block
  • Barbie’s Head is Missing

Writing and Storytelling

Make up a story using these words:

  • bath
  • bicycle
  • bakery
  • billion
  • bubble making machine

After sharing your stories, listen to “Bucket of Beans, Clarisse and the Bubble Making Machine” from The Town Around the Bend.

Make up a story using these words:

  • sky
  • sun
  • six
  • street
  • smile
  • step
  • strawberry

After sharing your stories, listen to “Strawberry Peach Sky” from The Town Around the Bend

Write a funny story about one of the following:

  • a ghost
  • a headless man
  • a bully
  • a monster

Think about how it would be possible for any of these scary things to end up being funny. What kinds of things would they say? What kind of silly things would they do, trying to be scary?

To hear how Bill made these scary things funny, listen to “The Eeny Weeny Beeny Ghost”, “Grandma vs. the Headless Man,” “Weezie and the Moonpies,” or “Alicia and the Little Monster.”

Write a story about your first day of preschool or kindergarten. Try to describe everything the way you saw it when you were 4 or 5 (well, maybe you can embellish the things that you found strange, scary or funny!). Once you’ve shared your story with your friends, family and/or class, listen to one of Bill’s stories about being in school: “Happy Birthday Mrs. Nottingham,” “Mrs. Ammons and the Boys’ Room,” or “The Teachers’ Lounge.”

Research and more

Find the answers online or in a book – but some might require you to think, so beware!

  • How did your town get its name?
  • Did it have any other names?
  • If it did, why did it change its name?
  • What do you think your town should be called?
  • When was your town founded?
  • How did your town come into being?
  • How would you go about legally changing the name of your town?
  • Where is Zanzibar?
  • Is anything Bill has in his song about Zanzibar true?
  • What isn’t true?
  • What else is there to know about Zanzibar?
  • Who lives there?
  • What do they do there?
  • What do they grow there?
  • Can you add another verse to the song using the information you found out about Zanzibar?
  • Pick another country and try to write a song about it (and feel free to use Bill’s song as your model).
  • Who invented macaroni and cheese?
  • Where was it invented?
  • What makes it such a popular dish?
  • How much macaroni and cheese is eaten in a day? A month? A year?
  • Is there a group of people who don’t eat macaroni and cheese?
  • Do you eat it?
  • What is the most popular vegetable?
  • The least popular?
  • Is there a reason why peas are better or worse than corn? Carrots? Broccoli?
  • Why would anyone make you eat a vegetable that you don’t like?
  • What is the best vegetable(s) you can eat?
  • Are there vegetables that aren’t good for you?

Downloadable Activities

Here are some word searches, word fills, and other activities you can do offline.

Word Searches

There are 3 levels: #1 has the fewest words to find and #3 has the most.

Down in the Backpack

Play it Again

Word Fills

There are 3 levels: #1 has the fewest words to find and #3 has the most.

Other Fun Stuff

Science Experiments (Prepare to get messy.)

Food and Fun (Cooking required!)

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