Quick! How many “If You Give a….” books can you name? You might give a moose a muffin, a pig a pancake, a mouse a cookie, or a dog a donut! It seems like every time I turn around, there is another book in this wonderful series. The book, “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” chronicles the adventures of a dog and the chain reaction that happens when you give him a donut!

Enjoy this book with your kids, and then extend the learning with these fun, “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” preschool activities like homemade cloud dough donuts, journaling, and more.

If You Give a Dog a Donut book preschool lesson plan and sensory activity

Recommended Grade Level:

If You Give a Dog a Donut Lesson Supplies:

  • Whipped Cream
  • Book, “If You Give a Dog a Donut”
  • Nonfiction dog/dog care books
  • Corn Starch
  • Small Round Cups
  • Sprinkles
  • Cooking Oil (optional)
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Notebook Paper
  • Crayons/Markers

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

Learning With Great Literature

engaging book activities for children


If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff Lesson Plan features three unique activities to use after sharing the book with your students. The cloud dough brings in sensory play, while the creative writing piece gives children a chance to comprehend the story even more by imagining, “What if….” Finally, delving into facts and science of real dogs tops it off for a well-rounded set of lessons from just one book!

Read-alouds foster imagination, expand background knowledge and vocabulary, and contribute to understanding concepts of print. Although the “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” reading level may be above that of your average preschooler or kindergartener, it is on par with their comprehension level.

The value of sharing stories with children should NOT be underestimated! Even when children aren’t quite ready to read print, they gain foundational reading skills every time a caring adult shares a book.

Reading aloud to young children:

  • Expands vocabulary
  • Enhances creativity and imagination
  • Boosts independent reading skills
  • Improves writing skills
  • Improves memory skills when combined with a reading journal
Decorate your cloud dough donut for a sensory activity in this 'If You Give a Dog a Donut" preschool lesson plan

What Can Preschoolers Learn With Literature Activities?



“If You Give a Dog a Donut,” is a fun learning opportunity for younger children. The three simple activities will draw the interest of preschoolers and nurture a love of books and reading.

You can use Cloud Dough Pretend Donuts Craft as a special treat for your preschoolers to enjoy while you read aloud If You Give a Dog a Donut during learning time.

The food journaling activity helps preschoolers engage in a creative dialogue while advancing creative writing skills.

Finally, exploring the question, “What do Dogs Eat?” will help your preschoolers discern between facts and fiction.

Wouldn’t it be fun to invite a real dog into the classroom to test some theories?! (allergies permitting)

Engaging our youngest learner with entertaining books sets the scene for future motivation to learn to read and enjoy books! “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” and other books, lend themselves perfectly to activities like journaling, food creation, and simple food studies.

Feel free to adjust each “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” activity for preschool to suit your learners.

"If You Give a Dog a Donut" book by Laura Numeroff for a preschool lesson plan using cloud dough and journaling."If You Give a Dog a Donut" book by Laura Numeroff for a preschool lesson plan using cloud dough and journaling.

Why Is It Important For Kids To Engage In Sensory Play?

From birth, children explore with their senses. Incorporating sensory play into early childhood learning is a natural transition and benefits the brain, too!

Brain Connections: Activating the senses builds nerve connections within the brain that are necessary for future learning, like learning to read and write.

Creativity: Many sensory play activities are open-ended. They encourage independent exploration, problem-solving and creativity.

Language Development: Activities that allow for exploration also allow for natural conversation, vocabulary practice, and oral language practice.

Fine Motor Skills: Play dough, rice bins, water tables and the like encourage lots of different movement in the arms and hands. These muscles are important when it comes to gripping a crayon, or writing your name and numbers.

How to Make the If You Give a Dog a Donut Lesson Activities

Activity #1 Cloud Dough:

This all-natural (edible) cloud dough recipe will not disappoint! It’s easy to whip up a batch, and your students will love manipulating this silky smooth cloud dough with cornstarch and a few other ingredients.

You can also try making 2 ingredient cloud dough by leaving out the optional oil. How do you make 2 ingredient cloud dou gh with hair conditioner? You can use the same recipe, using conditioner instead of the whipped cream.

*You can also try making cloud dough by mixing baby oil with flour (wheat flour works, if you want a ‘sandy’ color).


  • 3 cups of whipped cream
  • 1 cup of corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil (optional)
  • small round cups
  • candy sprinkles


1. In a bowl, mix the whipped cream topping and corn starch with a wooden spoon or spatula. Mix well until a soft and crumbly dough forms. The gluten-free cloud dough should mold nicely in your hands when manipulated.

Mix together corn starch and whipped cream for a fun "edible" cloud dough to make cloud dough donuts for If You Give a Dog a Donut preschool lesson plan

Step Two and Three:

2. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, add a tablespoon of oil at a time until the consistency is appropriate for shaping. If it is too sticky, add a teaspoon of corn starch at a time and mix until appropriate.

3. Once the cloud dough is just right, sprinkle some corn starch on the surface and roll out the cloud dough DIY. Use a cup to press small circles. We used the lid of a glue stick to cut out the small inside circle, creating a donut shape.

Make a donut with "edible" homemade cloud dough for a fun donut making activity for preschool lesson plan

Step Four:

4. Sprinkle the top of your cloud dough donuts with candy sprinkles. Now it’s time for sensory play with the donuts and other cloud dough activities.

Decorate your cloud dough donut for a sensory activity in this 'If You Give a Dog a Donut" preschool lesson plan

Activity #2 Journal Activity, “If you give a dog some dog food…”:

Now that we know what would happen if you give a dog a donut, what about if you gave a dog some dog food? Would the same hilarity ensue?


  • pen/pencil
  • notebook paper
  • crayons


1. Re-read the book, “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, illustrator. Talk about the humorous events that follow.

2. What would a dog do if you gave him dog food? Would he still ask for apple juice? Would he be off on a backyard adventure? Discuss and brainstorm ideas as a group.

3. Using your notebook paper, write a brief story about If You Gave a Dog Some Dog Food. Try to make it humorous like author Laura Numeroff does! See if you can put your own silly spin on the story. Younger children may wish to draw an illustration instead.

4. Share your creative stories when done!

"If You Give a Dog a Donut" book by Laura Numeroff for a preschool lesson plan using cloud dough and journaling."If You Give a Dog a Donut" book by Laura Numeroff for a preschool lesson plan using cloud dough and journaling.

Activity #3 Study Activity, What Do Dogs Eat?

1. Take the time to skim and browse through your nonfiction dog books. See if you can find information about diet and what foods are good for them.

2. Make a list of foods that are good for dogs. Some examples include dog food, ground turkey, carrots, and peas.

3. Look up a recipe for healthy homemade dog treats. Save it for later.

4. When time permits, make a batch of homemade dog treats. Donate them to a local animal shelter or serve them to your own dog.

More If You Give a Dog a Donut Activities:

Dramatic Play: Create a dramatic play center for, “If You Give a Dog a Donut,” activity for kindergarten. Stock it with all of the items from the story and kids can retell in their own words.

Have a Snack: If you give a dog some juice, he ‘ll drink it and want more! Children, too! Enjoy some juice and donuts after the story.

Make New Titles: Laura Numeroff has many other titles, but what if your students made up their own? The only rule is that the animal and object have to start with the same letter, ie., “If you give an alligator an apple,” etc.

More Food Theme Activities!

Don’t stop here! Seriously, what kid doesn’t love playing with their food? So, naturally, learning with their food has to be a favorite too…

Get even more food activities below!

>>101 Food Activities for Kids<<

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Kim Staten

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One Comment

  1. love these ideas!

    Paint and decorate your very own giant donut with sprinkles and all!!

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