Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss !

Cat In The Hat
Hat !


Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday,I am reposting this because today is the big day ! So grab your favorite silly book and celebrate one of the most important and influential individuals in children’s literature !

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 large sheets of white paper, a paper plate, red paint, a large brush or sponge, glue, scissors and tape.
  2. Start by painting one of the paper red. We are using a large sponge to encourage lots of coverage. * If you have painters tape handy you can place it on the paper and paint over it, when you remove the tape you’ll have white stripes and you can skip steps 5 and 6. Don’t press too hard though, it will stick to paper.
  3. While your child paints cut the middle out of the paper plate.
  4. Paint the plate.
  5. While your child paints cut strips of paper from the 2nd piece.
  6. When the red paint is dry, add the glue.
  7. Add the strips ( in my case I did this because my son lost all interest in art when he started washing his hands… this is pretty common! )
  8. Make a tube with the paper, glue together, pop it in the paper plate to make sure it’s the right size.
  9. Attach the paper plate to one end by making small cuts in the paper and folding it onto the plate and taping it. This is tricky and use lots and lots of tape if you want the hat to last more than a few minutes.
  10. Pop it on !

Book!

I am only including one book because really all of Dr. Seuss’s books are worthy of praise, and children really do love the melodic and brilliant rhymes. I love that often you can’t quite tell if a character is a woman or a man, and they have no obvious race which makes them universal and inclusive. I love “Green Eggs and Ham” because of it’s limited wording , there are only 50 words used in the whole book, and easy rhymes make it a great choice for learning about rhyming. Also the words used are so simple that it’s a fabulous book for emergent readers.

Marshmallow Rainbow Craft For Kids

marshmallow rainbow craft for kids
A whole bag of these little fruit flavored marshmallows cost me 88 cents! Add some markers, paper and glue and you have a matching activity, craft and snack. Now that is frugal. I want to warn you though, you may think you aren’t going to snack on these sickly sweet little things but they will call to you from the cupboard. Make a big rainbow or some rice crispy squares if you want to avoid them.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some multicolored mini marshmallows, glue, markers and paper.
  2. Start by drawing a rainbow on the paper.
  3. Next I added some squiggles of color in the rainbow to act as a guide. Older children can skip this step.
  4. Add glue
  5. Add your marshmallows, I added some to get my son started, then he began matching them to the colors on the rainbow. When he started to loose some steam I asked him if he could find specific colors, then praised him when he did and helped him fill in his colors . A little praise and team work goes so so far at this age it’s amazing. If they don’t want help but the rainbow is too big, put it away for a day or two and bring it back out, the marshmallows aren’t really food and will stay ok for days.
  6. Let dry- it takes a while but it will dry!
  7. Cut out.

Books

“Rain Dance” by Kathi Appelt is a simple little counting book with bog numbers and fantastic simple pictures of the animals on a farm in the rain. This is a great example of a book made for a young toddler. My son loves it because he can read the numbers and announce the animals, even though he can’t read the text he has been “reading” it to himself multiple times a day complete with clapping at the end.

” Duckie’s Rainbow” by Frances Barry is a clever little book , you walk with her as she passes things like a yellow cornfield and blue pond until the pages above create a rainbow . I love the idea but reading it with my son all he wanted to do was turn the pages as quickly as he could to make the rainbow. Not a big deal in really but this would make a better story time book then a bedtime one for that reason.

“The Umbrella” by Jan Brett is another fantastic book by this very talented author and illustrator. A little boy goes off into the jungle in the rain to see if he can find animals. He puts down his umbrella to climb a tree and while he keeps climbing higher and higher all the animals he wanted to see fight for a spot in his umbrella that ends up floating down the river. The story is adorable and layered for different ages, and the illustrations will captivate you !

Shapes In The City

Shape Skyscraper

The idea for this building came from my daily helping of “Mama, build city wit me?” my son builds cities to go with his collection of cars daily, so I capitalized on this love and made it into a shape matching lesson. You can drop the shapes and just decorate the carton if free art is what you need for the day, I know we will be repeating this with plain paper shapes that he can paste wherever he wants real soon! Today though was more mama directed since we have done free art for the past few days , remember to give your child lots of free time with crayons, paints and their imagination!

Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of black construction paper, some sticky back foam, scissors, a cleaned out milk carton, and glue. Start by tracing the milk carton on the paper, then fold the 2 pieces and cut . You should have 4 identical pieces of black paper. Next cut out 4 groups of different shapes from the foam, I did ovals, circles, rectangles and triangles, but feel free to do any shape you are learning about right now. Invite your child to the table, and have them match up the shapes on the paper. I stuck one of each shape on the pages to guide my son and he got it right away. For younger ones do two shapes at a time, older children can have all 4 shapes to sort a once. Give them the next two shapes and pages. While they stick the shapes on cut the top off the milk carton.Grab the glue . Glue the pages on the sides of the carton. Using the top of the milk carton you cut off trace a square for the top of the building. Glue it on. Let dry
Books!
“Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans is a great book often overlooked because of the popularity of the character. The book has great rhyming text, wonderful illustrations of Paris, with ample opportunity to talk about what you can find in the city, and a hospital storyline too! I love this book, and would even if the illustrations of Paris didn’t make me long for my traveling days. My son sat happily for the whole book this morning and made me go upstairs to get his Madeline doll and read it again. ” Inside a Zoo in the City” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a rebus read along , so children who can’t read words yet can help read this with pictures put right into the text! The story is repetitive and builds with one animal and page at a time. Preschoolers love these books and the repetitive nature of it makes it interactive and fun!
“Barney Backhoe and the Big City Dig” by Susan Knopf is a perfect book for your digger obsessed child, but even if your child can’t spot a backhoe from a mile away this book is a cute story about helping people , and the illustrations are filled with things that are found in the city and can spark great discussions with your child .

Letter Of The Week N !

Number N
My son is way into numbers right now, it was letters for so long I was starting to think he would never be into anything else! Wrong. Now he points out numbers at the grocery store, numbers in books, everywhere we go. I am not sure when I will stop hearing “More numbers, more numbers mama!” so I am running with it and here is out letter for the week!
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Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper or cardboard, small pieces of paper, one piece of construction paper, marker, glue, paint and scissors. I am using the do a dot paint because the paint goes on really light and you can glue on it without waiting. Always good with toddlers! Start by making a large uppercase N on the cardboard. Don’t worry if it’s perfect, as long as your child can tell it’s an N, it’s doing it’s job. Invite your child to art time and have them paint the N, I try to have everything laid out so it’s enticing and organized when my son comes to see what we are doing, on those days everything really does go much more smoothly. While they paint write numbers on the small pieces of paper, I am using some scrap card stock, which will hold up to being glued better than thinner paper.If your child is able to , have them write the numbers themselves. Add whatever numbers your child is interested in. Grab the glue. Add your numbers and label them as your child adds them. Let dry. When dry cut the N out and glue onto the construction paper.

Books

” 1, 2, 3 To The ZOO” by Eric Carle is fun counting book perfect for toddlers. Actually as I type this my toddler is reading it. There are no words, just pictures and numbers and that makes it perfect for toddlers who are just learning both numbers and animals because parents can read it slowly counting , naming the animals and making the animal sounds, or more quickly just counting!” Daddy Hugs” by Karen Katz is a cute little counting book for toddlers. I gave it to my husband last year for his first father’s day and my son hated it. However in the year since it’s become a favorite and nothing beats a board book for when toddlers get to that destructo stage.

” Construction Countdown” by K.C Olson is a counting book that uses backhoes, dump trucks and cement mixers among other things to count. Before I even closed the book my son was signing for more. I read it 4 times since getting it out of the library today. A huge hit here!

Take Me Out To The Ball Game !

Bat and Ball
This was another request from my son, his favorite book right now is “No, David!” by David Shannon , in the book David gets in trouble for playing baseball in the house. Of course my son thinks the book is hilarious ( which it is) and wanted to make something at art time from it. I added in the lacing which is great fine motor and hand eye coordination practice.
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Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, a hole punch, some ribbon, tape, some cardboard, markers and scissors. Start by cutting out the middle of small paper plate, and punching 6 holes on each side of it. Older children can do this with little or no help.Next wrap a small amount of tape around the end of the ribbon to make it stiff and easier to thread through the holes.Next thread the ribbon through the holes, I secured the ribbon with tape so it wouldn’t slip through. Tape down the other end when you are done as well and put it aside for now. While your child is threading the ribbon, or after if they needed help ( my little guy needed some) draw a bat on the cardboard with a marker. Have your child color it to their hearts content. Cut out. Tape the baseball to the bat.
Book
I was going to suggest “No, David!” since it is the inspiration for the activity but when I came across the book below I knew I needed to devote a whole book section to it.

“Let Them Play” by Margot Theis Raven and Chris Ellison is an amazing book, it tells the true story of the 1955 State Champion Little League team from South Carolina. The story is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once as the authors tell the readers about the realities and injustice that this team of little boys faced. They were the first all black all star team who were disqualified from playing in the little league world series because they hadn’t played a single game to become state champs, because all the other teams forfitted. I dare you not to cry, I was a sobbing mess by the end. The book itself is too complex for really little guys, my son had no interest in the text, though he loved the pictures. All kids old enough though should take a look, and be prepared to answer some tough questions about why people were so mean. Wonderful wonderful, important book!