Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss - March 2

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss - March 2

Dr. Seuss's birthday is the most widely celebrated birthday of a children's author which makes for a busy time of year for me! In the past I have celebrated with my family and with you, my readers. This year would be a little different. In addition to my family's celebration, I would be celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday with families at public events and local elementary schools.

I had some studying to do. Which books would I read? What activities would I do?
Dr. Seuss Stack of Books via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I spent many late nights preparing activities and brushing up on my Seussian tongue-twisters.
Dr. Seuss YERTLE THE TURTLE activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
All the events I was scheduled to read at were held before Dr. Seuss's birthday. Therefore, I thought it would be fun for each child to make a Yertle the Turtle Countdown to Dr. Seuss's Birthday. I cut out over 100 blue circles which I cut in half to make turtle shells.  Then, I glued the turtle shells on pieces of white construction paper.
Dr. Seuss YERTLE THE TURTLE activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I was able to fit the papers into a snack-sized baggie which made this craft easy to distribute and for the children to take home. Each baggie had the number of turtle shells necessary to begin the countdown.  I had one event that was held eight days away from Dr. Seuss's birthday so there were eight turtle shells.  Another event had four turtle shells in each baggie.  Both worked out well! 
Dr. Seuss YERTLE THE TURTLE activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I didn't know how many children were going to attend the events, but I was prepared with plenty of countdowns. If more children would have attended than I was prepared for then I would have paired up brothers and sisters to make one countdown for their house. (Luckily, I had enough for each child to work on their own.)
Dr. Seuss YERTLE THE TURTLE activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I had containers of crayons and markers for each small group of children. These were the only supplies they needed because I did all the cutting and gluing.  I suggested to the families that they tape the countdown to their refrigerators at home.
Dr. Seuss YERTLE THE TURTLE activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Every child's turtle-stacks were amazingly different.  Some turtles were black with the blue shells, while others were colorful.  Some wrote the numbers for their countdown really big on the turtle shells, while others wrote small numbers in the corner of each paper. All the countdowns turned out AWESOME!
Dr. Seuss YERTLE THE TURTLE activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
The kids loved listening to Yertle the Turtle. They loved Mack, the turtle that burped and sent the tower of turtles crashing down.
Another book that I chose to read at the events was What Was I Scared Of?  This story is ideal for reading aloud at events like this because of its short length. If there is one thing I found difficult about planning these events is that many of Dr. Seuss's books are long which worried me about keeping the attention of a large group of small children.  One of my favorite books by Dr. Seuss is If I Ran the Circus, but it is so long that I never considered it as a large group read-aloud. (No disrespect intended toward Mr. Sneelock. I love that guy!)

One of my favorite parts of What Was I Scared Of? is when the little Seussian character has to run an errand to get spinach in Grin-itch and the pale green pants ride past on a bicycle. My family grew Grin-itch Spinach last year and I thought this would be a great activity for the families attending the events to do together at home.
Dr. Seuss WHAT WAS I SCARED OF? activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I drew a pair of pale green pants, scanned my drawing into the computer, and printed out a whole bunch of those pants with nobody inside them.  I colored them pale green, cut them out and glued them onto craft sticks.  These would be seed markers that could be stuck in the ground to show where spinach seeds were planted or as a decoration in a pot.
Dr. Seuss WHAT WAS I SCARED OF? activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I placed the seed markers in a snack-sized baggie along with spinach seeds. I was able to get make 15-20 baggies from one packet of spinach seeds I bought from Lowe's.  Spinach seed packets were only about $1.25 each which made this a very inexpensive craft to send home.
Dr. Seuss WHAT WAS I SCARED OF? activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
That's a lot of Grin-itch Spinach!
Dr. Seuss WHAT WAS I SCARED OF? activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
The reason I love What Was I Scared Of? so much is because of the pale green pants with nobody inside them. I highly recommend making your own pale-green-pants puppet if you are going to read this book to a large group of children.
Dr. Seuss WHAT WAS I SCARED OF? activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I don't really know how to explain how we made this puppet, but it involved an old pair of my daughter's pants, a pool noodle, a drill, crumpled newspaper, a wooden spoon, duct-tape, and needle and thread. The wooden spoon goes through the pants and a pool noodle which was sewn to the pants. (Hopefully, you get the idea from the picture!) 
Dr. Seuss WHAT WAS I SCARED OF? activity via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
The pants-puppet allowed me to interact with the pants as I read which really brought the story to life.
Dr. Seuss Read Aloud via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
I was lucky enough to acquire a Cat in the Hat costume which was a big hit too!
It worked out perfectly having Dr. Seuss's birthday fall on a Sunday this year. I was able to celebrate all last week leading up to his birthday, and I think I will continue to celebrate this week too.

If you need ideas for your celebrations, please check out my Dr. Seuss Reading Experience which has been downloaded over 2,000 times on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I have appreciated all the kind comments from teachers that have downloaded it!

Best Dr. Seuss Activity for Kids via www.happybirthdayauthor.com
Click here to download or visit Teachers Pay Teachers!

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