Friday, March 1, 2013

Celebrate Dr. Seuss

My son had a half day of school earlier this week.  Usually I try to keep to my normal afternoon routine, but in reality my kindergartener will want my undivided attention and his little brother won’t nap because he’s so excited.  This usually results in me struggling to stick to my regularly scheduled Thursday while feeling guilty that the little one isn’t getting his nap and frustrated that the older one isn’t just playing quietly.  This Thursday I tried something different.  Since Dr Seuss’ birthday is this weekend I prepared a list of fun activities based on a few of his many books, planned a fun Seuss themed lunch and threw my normal looking afternoon out the window.  The night before I picked up a couple extra items at the grocery store, boiled eggs, set blue gelatin in the fridge and gathered some simple craft items that I already had around the house.  

Yertle the Turtle Stacking and Counting Cups:
During the morning my younger son helped paint a paper egg carton blue (I had cut the individual cups apart and trimmed the uneven edges so they stood evenly) and while it dried we read one of my favorites: Yertle the Turtle.  Once the paint had dried we added some designs on the cups with black marker.  I drew some samples of patterns that Dr. Seuss used in his illustrations to give him ideas (polka dots, stripes, zigzags, checkerboard etc).  Then we glued a number to each “turtle shell” and a turtle head that I had sketched to look like the turtles in the book.  Number 12 is King Yertle, the only turtle who is smiling.  When the cups are stacked in chronological order Yertle ends up on the top.
egg carton, cut apart
blue paint
paint brush
newspapers to cover the table
black marker
white paper (for the numbers and turtle faces)

Making Oobleck:
Who can resist an excuse to mix up some water and cornstarch? Mix 1 cup of water into about 1 ¾ cups cornstarch add some green food coloring (if you desire.)  We played in it for about 30 seconds before my 2 ½ year old said, “This is fun! Mommy, I’m gonna go wash my hands!”  He came back to play some more when I drizzled a little onto a rimmed baking sheet and added a couple of spoons for scooping.  At that point it was time to head to the corner bus stop to pick up my kindergartener.  The oobleck was a big hit with both kids.  They played in it, adding a couple of plastic dinosaur figurines, while I put together lunch. 

Green Eggs and Ham Car
My boys are crazy for hard boiled eggs and both like avocado so I mixed up some avocado in with the yolks and a touch of mayo and dill relish to make these green deviled eggs.  I added ham and cream cheese pinwheels for wheels and topped it with a sketch of Sam I am and his friend in the car.  You can stick the wheels on with pretzel sticks or a little cream cheese.  My son enjoyed this lunch so much we packed it the next day to take to school!
6 hard boiled eggs, cut in half
1 ripe avocado
2 tsp dill pickle relish
2 tsp mayo
1 slice of deli ham
whipped cream cheese
pretzel sticks and alphabet pretzels

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Gelatin
I found this on a blog called simple girl at home.  Just prepare the blue gelatin in 1 serving sized cups and gave each child a few gummy fish to press into the gelatin.

Sight Reading Cards
My son is always telling me that he needs to practice his sight words more often so we flipped over these unconventional flash cards we saw on the purple haired homeschoolerWe spread the eggs yolk side up and as he reads each word he flips them into a play frying pan with his spatula.  I cut circles out of green paper using a scrapbooking punch and then glued the circles onto white paper leaving space around each one and then cut, freehand, around them to make the white of the fried egg.

green and white paper
toy spatula
list of sight reading words

Gertrude McFuzz Sculptures
This is also a favorite of mine and can be found in the book Yertle the Turtle and other stories.  It’s a great story about the consequences of greed.  We used aluminum foil for our structure and decoupage tissue paper which gives a great shimmering effect.  Start with about a two foot long piece of foil.  About 1/3rd of the way pinch the sides of the foil toward the center.  The long side will become the tail.  Form the small side into the body of the bird.  Dab with Mod Podge and lay tissue paper down and dab the top of the tissue with more Mod Podge.  Allow to dry, attach googly eyes with glue and use a marker to draw a beak.  At this point you can also cut the tail into feathery shapes so it isn’t as boxy and triangular.

aluminum foil
Mod Podge (we used glossy finish)
tissue paper
googly eyes

The Big Brag Finger Puppet:
My guys are crazy for putting on puppet shows.  I created this finger puppet for the last story in the Yertle the Turtle collection: The Big Brag. I drew the characters onto craft foam and cut a hole for the worm and made a loop on the back of the worm’s head to fit my son’s finger.
craft foam
permanent marker
googly eyes

Green Eggs and Ham Pretzel Sweeties:
To finish off our day of Dr. Seuss fun we made these pretzel sweeties in the shape of green fried eggs (shared with us by a friend on facebook).  Melt about a half cup of white chocolate chips in a mug in the microwave (30 seconds at a time stirring in between until melted, about 1 ½ minutes)  Spoon onto parchment paper and press a green m&m and a pretzel stick broken in half.  Allow to cool to set and enjoy!

white chocolate chips
green m&ms
pretzel sticks
parchment paper
cookie sheet

I had that list of activities thinking that my son would choose a couple things from it, but he kept going until supper time and was disappointed that supper wasn’t Dr. Seuss themed!  We had a blast bringing some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books to life and hope you try out some of these fun themed foods and crafts with your creative little hearts.

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