Dr. Seuss Day/Week
Every year, in the week from March 2 onwards, “Dr. Seuss Week” is celebrated. And, aside from celebrating the joys of reading, it’s a great week to spend quality time with our children.
For those who aren’t familiar with the author, “Dr. Seuss” is the peculiar name with which Theodor Seuss Geisel was baptized, it began when he was crossing his studies at the prestigious Dartmouth College. Geisel, who collaborated in the humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern, of the university, received as punishment the prohibition of all extracurricular activities.
In order to continue writing in the magazine, Geisel began to use the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, which accompanied him throughout his literary life and has survived him to this day.
This author has given us literary works of great renown, especially for children. “The Cat in the Hat” (1957), “Horton Hears a Who!” (1954), and one of the most popular “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (1957).
Celebrating Dr. Seuss Day is not only a good moment that invites us to encourage reading with the little ones. It is also a clear invitation to share different and fun activities with them. Here are some ideas I’ve done over the years to celebrate not only the day, but the entire week. Your children will love it!
Plan a play.
My children love to participate in activities that have to do with make-believe play, especially if they have to do with one of their favorite movies or books. I’ve found that acting a short skit in which the costumes and scenery are handmade and made from recyclable materials can be an excellent idea.
You can take a scene from one of their books or from a movie like “The Lorax” or “The Grinch”, something that is easy to learn and at the same time can amuse them and the family. Children can participate in the elaboration of the scenery and feel part of the process, as well as actively participate as characters in the play. Ideally, they can also contribute creative ideas to carry it out.
Make your own picture books.
This is an excellent opportunity to unleash our children’s creativity during Dr Seuss Week by using the information in their favorite character’s book. You can offer children a variety of craft supplies and recycled items that they can use to write their favorite story in the best way they will remember it. Here is where you can printout a Dr Seuss bookmark!
You can use newspaper or magazine clippings, glue, toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, pipe cleaners, felt, yarn, pom poms, eyes, and EVA foam. Encourage them to experiment with new textures and colors to develop their full creative potential.
Speaking of books, this is where I got the Dr. Seuss beginner set for my kids!
Children naturally love sweets. And what can be better as a carrot on a stick for reading than sugar cookies with your children’s favorite characters? Since these are super easy to make, I even get them involved in the kitchen from the start. It helps them develop cooking skills and some sense of achievement!
For this, I use different edible colorings that allow me to paint the cream with which we decorate the cookies after they are baked. This has allowed me (and will allow you) to encourage children to prepare their own dessert and at the same time explore their creativity by decorating it with their favorite character.
Of course, not always are we feeling crafty, so another good way to celebrate Dr. Suess Day is undoubtedly with a good movie afternoon or night. You can plan ahead and decorate the space where the movie will be shown with the theme. In addition, you can make popcorn and different snacks to share while enjoying the screening. Here you can find the Dr. Seuss movies at a very cheap price!
In the end, we stay a little longer in the living room to talk about what they have seen or learned in the movie. My kids’ preferred choice is “The Lorax” which I love because it invites us to conserve the environment. It also has quite catchy songs and is a colorful movie.
Crafts are always excellent options when it comes to unleashing the creativity of the little ones. Making small but original pins can be an excellent option. It’s a silly thing, but my kids are very proud of their handmade pins and brooches collection. They do it using blank brooches along with recyclable materials, and they enjoy themselves a lot designing brooches with Dr. Seuss’ characters. It’s a fun activity we also do on other holidays such as Christmas!
The options can be as many as creativity and material allow. Just keep in mind that it may be necessary to make templates in advance to serve as a pattern so that the brooches are the right size or shape.
Guess with the phrase.
Another fun option that encourages reading (which has worked wonders with my children) is to play at guessing which movie or book a certain phrase belongs to. To get more into the Dr. Seuss theme, you can make a cat’s hat out of cardboard and place papers with short phrases written on them.
The idea is that everyone involved takes a phrase and the others can guess which book or movie it belongs to. We also like to do this after the children watch the movies or after a reading session.
Make puppets and use them in a short play.
Puppet plays are also excellent for exploiting the creative potential of our children since you get the best of both worlds: crafting and performing! With my children, we’ve not only worked on the puppets, but in the scenery, which is usually a large cardboard box cut out so they have a window for playing with the puppets.
What has worked for me is deciding first what story we are going to work with and, from then, we elaborate a small script based on Dr. Seuss’s stories or characters. It is not necessary to write an original story, you can simply take a fragment of one of the movies or one of the books and dramatize it with the puppets.
Then begins the fun of making the puppets, using scraps of fabric, socks, or recyclable materials to make them. Ideally, you will spend a day or afternoon together working on them. At evening, we gather and perform the play, and even invite other people to watch it. The process can be a lot of fun as long as you play with creativity.
This is a great activity anytime of the year, but is a little extra fun during Dr Seuss Week!
Drawing and Painting.
It may be one of the most basic activities, but it is also one of my children’s favorites during Dr Seuss Week. There are different ways to do it, you can buy coloring books, print some drawings or simply invite the children to draw their favorite character and then color it.
This last option can be one of the best as it helps the child to give free rein to their imagination. Plus, your children will feel prouder of something that they’ve made from scratch. In addition, they can work with different materials, colors, crayons, markers, or paints. If space allows, they can even make a mural on the wall with paper or cardboard and paint it together.
Make a small sculpture of your favorite character.
An activity that children love and is a perfect fit for Dr Seuss Week is working with clay or plasticine, anything that involves kneading is perfect for them. Besides stimulating their creativity, it is excellent for their motor skills.
For this activity you will need plasticine, polymer clay, or cold porcelain. If you use plasticine, you will need it in different colors, and when you finish the sculpture, you can use glue or resin to keep it for a longer period of time. One of the advantages of plasticine is that it is non-toxic, non-messy and perfect for children to use.
If, on the other hand, you plan to use polymer clay, you should be more careful because it is a material that cannot be put in the mouth. You will need it in different colors and children will need help at the end because you have to take it to the oven so that the material can harden, and this can only be done if you’re around to keep an eye on them. The advantage is that you can find it in very vivid and bright colors, besides, it is a flexible material and easy to work with.
Finally, if you want to use cold porcelain, you will need paints so that children can color the sculpture since cold porcelain usually comes in white or translucent colors. Although cold porcelain is made with non-toxic materials, the paint and other painting implements can make it harmful to children if they decide to put it in their mouths.
Once the sculptures are made, you can put them up in a museum-style exhibit with guests and others. My children even keep some in their rooms as decorations!
Prepare green eggs with ham.
Cooking is not only for adults. Children can also have fun while participating in activities with their parents or under supervision. One of Dr. Suess’ best-known stories is “Green Eggs with Ham”. So why not make them come true?
To make them you will need: Eggs, ham, green food coloring, and oil. As an alternative, since lately I’ve tried to make my children eat more veggies, I use a bit of spinach paste instead of the food coloring. It works the same and it barely affects taste!
The first thing to do is to fry the ham slices in a pan with a little oil. Then, with the eggs, you must separate the yolks from the whites. The latter you are going to keep in a separate container where you are going to add a few drops of green coloring or your spinach paste.
You can add the green mixture to a frying pan and carefully place the yolks on it. When it is ready you can serve it together with the ham.
It is the best idea for an excellent breakfast on Dr. Suess Day.
The Cat in the Hat is one of Dr. Seuss’ best-known titles. Not only for his book but also for the movie. Who doesn’t remember Thing 1 and Thing 2 jumping from one side to the other?
One of his peculiarities is his striped top hat. During Dr Seuss Week (or anytime) you can have a hat party where everyone can make their own, or you can simply make them in advance before the party.
You can make the hat with the materials of your choice, cardboard, EVA foam, felt, and fabric, the options can be as many as your creativity allows. You will need to make a pattern with the size of the child’s head and the height you want the hat to be. While making the hat, you can talk about the book or movie and get into the mood.
Who face painting.
The Who’s are characters from some of the Dr. Seuss books whose noses have a rather peculiar shape. You can take the opportunity to turn the children into little Who’s and do an activity with them such as reading or singing the songs from the movies.
Face painting is a fun and colorful activity. You don’t need to be an expert artist; however, you will need paints that are friendly to children’s skin. Use soft bristle brushes and non-toxic paints. You can turn the kids into a who, the grinch, the cat in the hat or simply paint their favorite character on one of their cheeks.
Remember to wash the brushes between children. If your children enjoy this as much as mine did, look at our Summer Sidewalk Painting article!
Visit the Dr. Seuss National Memorial.
If you have the opportunity during Dr Seuss Week, or anytime, you can go with the kids to visit the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. This museum is in Springfield, Massachusetts. You can find a whole garden full of sculptures of the characters from the Dr. Seuss books.
You can take the tour, take pictures and have a nice and different time. However, if you don’t have the chance to visit the place, you can also take a virtual tour together with the kids and project the images on the screen for them.
Although the ideal is for children to work with their hands and exploit their creative potential, technology can also be an excellent ally to entertain and teach our children. Seussville is more than a website; it is a whole world dedicated to Dr. Seuss.
There you can find different online games related to the books. You can also read about all the characters and even print out fun activities at Seussville University. You will find even more ideas for themed parties and galleries or if you just want pictures to color, you can find those too.
Create your own character.
Another way to allow children to use their full creative potential is to use their imagination to create a character. This can be done through a drawing or using recyclable material.
Ideally, they should actively participate in the creation of a new who or a character with a similar build to those that already exist. Once finished, O usually ask my children to explain what their character is about so that they can further develop their imagination. Once they’re finished, we sit and pretend their characters exist in the last story we’ve read.
Write a short story.
Children have very lush imaginations. One of the best ways to take advantage of this is to ask them to write a story. This can be about one of the characters from the Dr. Seuss books or a character they choose to create.
The intention is that they can develop a story with a beginning, middle, and end, using all their creativity while doing so. They can carry it out in a simple way in their notebook or on sheets of paper, with or without drawings. And in the end, they can tell their story to others. Sometimes, I encourage mine with small prompts, such as “what adventures did the Grinch go on after Christmas?”
Make costumes with recycled materials.
You don’t need to be an expert to make a costume, with recycling materials you can do it easily. Making costumes is an excellent activity during Dr Seuss Week for us and our children to put into practice their imagination and creative power.
First, you need to think of which Dr. Seuss characters the costume is going to be made from and find all the materials needed to make the costume. It doesn’t need to be perfect; the children will enjoy both the process and the result. Once they are ready, if we’re not performing a little play, we make a runway show where they can model their costume at the end of Dr. Suess week, and we take fun pictures to keep as a souvenir.
The idea of planting trees promotes the idea of protecting the environment and is closely linked to the Lorax, who notably “Speaks for the trees” when they are cut down in the story.
My children love to help their plants grow (it’s one of the few times where they’re having genuine fun with their chores). You can invite your children to plant small seeds in the back yard, or you can plant small trees in a garden or public space. Don’t fret if you live in an apartment; you can get a small potted plant or even grow bean sprouts in a small jar, which then you can move to another jar or pot with dirt. The idea is that you explain to the children about environmental conservation and then you can ask them questions about what they have learned.
Have fun with the little ones.
Dr. Seuss Day can be a very fun day to share with the little ones and at the same time they can learn about some of the many messages left by the stories of this author.
Doing activities with them stimulates their development, companionship, and creativity. Therefore, it is important that you plan ahead to make Dr. Seuss Week one of the most fun ones.
Most importantly, if you also spend time with them sharing and doing the activities, they will feel more motivated and encouraged to do them. And at the same time, they will have quality time to share together.
Have fun during Dr Seuss Week with the activity you like the most!