Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dr. Seuss' Birthday Week

Hi everyone! Welcome to everyone who has come to check out my blogs after seeing my friend Alisa's posts - love that lady!!  I'm going to try and catch up with the month of March, if you can believe that!  We had three "theme" weeks in our house in March, so let's start with the first week, the week of Dr. Seuss' birthday.  In case you didn't know (and want to get a head start on next year!), Dr. Seuss' birthday is March 2nd,  so we celebrated beginning on February 26th.
The first thing we did was go to a fun storytime at our local Target store.  I had seen the Dr. Seuss storytime advertised in a newspaper insert, but being that we live in a smaller town, I wasn't sure our Target would be included.  When I went in to the store the week before, the employees told me that they would be doing the storytime, and that there would be GOODY BAGS.  Well, goody bags are my favorite thing!  The storytime started at 9am, and we were there at 9:02 (a pretty big feat considering we usually don't even get out of our pajamas until 10!).  Frances and Gloria were the first two children there, and we enjoyed a couple of stories before anyone else showed up.  The reader was dressed like the Cat in the Hat, and she read us I Can Read With my Eyes Shut! and The Cat in the Hat.  Then as other children came, we went on our way.  By the way, Target had its Dr. Seuss books on sale for $5 that week - we scored The Cat in the Hat for ourselves.  The goody bags were terrific and included a really nice lunch-bag sized reusuable bag, stickers, a bookmark, juice box, granola bar, fruit snacks, crayons....the girls were happy!
On Sunday I got our Dr. Seuss station ready.  There is a table by our couch where I stack the books we are reading that week for Picture Book Preschool, and that week I made it into our Dr. Seuss station.  It included stuffed versions of Sam from Green Eggs and Ham, the Wocket from There's a Wocket in my Pocket and the rein-dog from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (all of these were from Kohl's at one point or another).  We checked out as many Dr. Seuss books as we could from our local library, but we also own Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now?, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and There's a Wocket in My Pocket.  We also have a couple of plastic totebags from Target that have Dr. Seuss books on them that we hung on various doorknobs.  Finally, I put out some Dr. Seuss games we have, including the Green Eggs and Ham board game and a rhyming game that I found on the Internet from someone's blog (but can't find the link now - I'll keep looking!) and a Fox in Socks puzzle.  These were fun games to keep Dr. Seuss on our minds all week.
During the week, I used this TERRIFIC resource from Reading Rockets.  If you haven't been to their site, take a look around.  I am very impressed with all of the activities and supporting resources they have for literacy.  This resource is for a Family Literacy Bag, which would be given with a copy of Green Eggs and Ham, and is really more to learn about different kinds of food.  But it worked perfectly as part of our week.  One of Frances' friends came over during the week while her mom was doing errands, and we made the mobile that is in the literacy bag.  I just made four copies of the fruit and vegetable page (two copies for each of the two girls).  The rest of the materials I already had - yarn, paper plates, crayons, scissors and tape.  It was very easy for the girls to do, and now our mobile is hanging in the girls' room.  It was a neat way to reinforce the ideas of the book in a different way. 
Wednesday was Dr. Seuss' birthday and Read Across America Day, so I made sure that we read some of his books on that day and talked about him a little bit.  Ordinarily we would have celebrated his birthday that day, but our friends were not able to come on Wednesday, so instead we scheduled his birthday party for Thursday.  On Thursday we had the best day.  We watched our DVD of Green Eggs and Ham (which includes some other Dr. Seuss stories) and then had Green Eggs and Ham.   I made them pretty simply by just adding green food coloring to the scrambled eggs before cooking, and we ate sliced deli ham too.  After lunch (which was served in Dr. Seuss bowls from Target), we had brownie cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday.  It was a lot of fun! 
I was surprised not only by how much Dr. Seuss stuff we had floating around our house (after all, I was a children's librarian for 15 years - I tend to collect that sort of stuff!), but by how enthusiastic Frances and Gloria were about a "themed" week.  Since we had returned home from vacation in January, we had been struggling with preschool activities.  It seemed like I bought workbooks and intended to use them, but we never did.  And the piles of library books at our house were getting bigger and bigger by the day because we were in our regular library routine of selecting books, but we just weren't reading very often at home.  Now my girls recognize the distinctive Dr. Seuss symbol on other books, and tend to select his books from the library.  This "themed" week got us all excited about learning again, and paved the way for our next "themed" week - stay tuned for the Eric Carle week in our next post!

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