Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss: Crafts & Recipes to Celebrate in Style!
By amanda dunyak
“A person’s a person, no matter how small!”
How appropriate is that quote for this profession? I am a huge Dr. Seuss fan! Ever since I was a child, I have been obsessed! I feel that my love for all things Seuss has only gotten stronger in my adult life because now I can share that love with my charges. I also had the honor of performing in Seussical the Musical on four separate occasions, so now only do I read Dr. Seuss to children, but I sing it too! Here are some of my favorite books, crafts and recipes with which to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Day (March 2nd). But why limit it to just one day when you can make a whole week of fun out of it?
Books & Music:
Of course, there are about 46 books written by Dr. Seuss, all of them equally quirky and wonderful! These are just a select few that I personally enjoy and that I love to build lessons around.
- I highly recommend the soundtrack to the Broadway show, Seussical the Musical. It’s a fun way to bring a few of the books to life. You can purchase the soundtrack or download/stream it on Spotify or YouTube.
- The Lorax- I love this book! It has such an extremely important message about caring for others and for our world. It’s also a great lesson to use in April for Earth Day.
- Horton Hears a Who, Horton Hatches the Egg- Great books on being kind to others, bullying and equality.
- Green Eggs and Ham- A classic book for beginning readers and the little ones who are just building their vocabulary. The book only contains about 50 words and its repetition tends to stick with the reader.
- Hop on Pop- This book introduces basic phonics concepts to children
- Green Eggs & Ham- With a little green food coloring, you can bring this yummy breakfast dish to life! I highly recommend serving this dish directly AFTER reading the story as some children might be turned off by the idea of their eggs turning green!
- Cat in the Hat’s Hat- Using sliced strawberries and bananas on a skewer, you can recreate the infamous hat with a healthy snack!
- Thing 1 & Thing 2 Jell-O Cups!- Fill a clear plastic cup with cherry or strawberry Jell-O mold and spray some whipped cream on top, tinted with blue food coloring to make a yummy treat that looks similar to The Cat in the Hat’s partners in crime!
Crafts & Activities:
- Oobleck- For a little sensory play, read the story Bartholomew and the Oobleck and follow it up with this recipe: 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of water. You can add food coloring if you would like. Discuss with the children- Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? The fun of oobleck can last for quite some time plus it’s a super easy clean-up!
- Truffula Trees- After reading The Lorax, make your own Truffula Trees! Glue straws onto construction paper to make the trunks of the trees and use different colored pom-poms or feathers and the tops of the trees. This activity is also great for fine motor and sensory skills.
- The Lorax- Make your own Lorax! Glue orange tissue paper to a paper plate. Paint both of your charge’s hands with yellow paint, cut out and glue to make his “whiskers” and add some googly eyes! So cute!
- The Hat- After reading the Cat in the Hat, make your own hats out of construction paper and red and white pom-poms. This is a great way to teach pattern making.
- Handprints- Painting the children’s handprints can work for pretty much anything! Use their little hands to make “one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish” or paint their palms white and their fingers blue on one hand and red on the other to make the Things 1 and 2! Add blue feather to the “hair” to make it even more fun!
- Feet, Feet, and More Feet! After reading the Foot Book, have a little messy play fun (might be best to do outdoors or put a tarp down on the floor). Let the children step in paper plates full of paint and walk around on a long strip of butcher paper. Don’t have butcher paper? Tape a few pieces of construction paper together. Be ready with wipes for when they are done!
There are endless possibilities for games, crafts and snacks to celebrate Dr. Seuss. One of my favorite websites to use as a resource is Seussville http://www.seussville.com/. Each activity can be tailored for toddlers, preschoolers or school aged children. Dr. Seuss is such a popular theme that the resources online are plentiful, but the best part is, each story is open to your own unique interpretation for arts and games. Take some simple ideas and make it your own. I guarantee you that the kiddos will have a blast with all the fun and silliness that Dr. Seuss brings, while learning some great lessons in the process!