Dr. Seuss Books and Games that Encourage Creativity
We are celebrating the wonderful stories of Dr. Seuss!
Explore some fun ways to turn these awesome books into hands-on activities. You can play Wacky Wednesday with the kids, create your own zoo and learn about idioms.
Plus, you'll find 165 more games & activities that match with Dr. Seuss books!
Earlier this month, we shared some fun facts and resources about Dr. Seuss. Being such a fan of Seuss books, I had a difficult time choosing only one. In fact, I found a newly published story that I never read as a child which was a treat!
There are 3 key skills that kids learn when reading Dr. Seuss books:
- Observation skills
- Enhancing imagination and creativity
- Learning about morals and values
So, we chose to feature a few book and activity ideas for each of these areas.
Observing the Out-of-the-Ordinary
We read Wacky Wednesday to highlight ways that kids can enhance their observation skills. This is such a funny book to read but also one of the originaly 'I Spy' types of stories.
First, we read the book and tried to find all of the crazy things that were happening throughout the story. (I'll be honest, there was one page that even I couldn't identify all of the wacky things!). And there are a few things in the book that will look out-of-the-ordinary to our kids (such as the telephones) that lend to a discussion about what objects are in fact regular items.
Play Wacky Wednesday
When we finished the story, my daughter and I each took turns setting up some 'wacky' things around the house for one another to find.
What! There's a shoe on the wall!
This one is a must since that's how the book begins. I just removed an item from our front wall and hung the shoe on a nail. If the item you remove is non-breakable, than put it with the other shoe :-)
Turn Things Upside Down
Another big theme when we 'wackied' a room -- upside down soap, unside down clocks on the bedstand, upside down decorations...
Go Against the Norm
When I went out to get the mail, I put on my flipflops and not my boots. If it's nice where you are, you might wear your boots on a sunny day (I know it's not wacky for kids to dress this way but it is for parents). Or consider putting your coat on inside out or upside down. Maybe wear a mitten on your head and a scarf around your leg.
My daughter loved this - think about things that you can change around. She came up with "comb your teeth and brush (with a toothbrush) your hair". You can also try "eat with a straw and drink with a fork".
Here's a few other wacky ideas (and of course, create your own!):
- Put the bed pillows at the bottom of the bed instead of at the top
- Serve dessert before dinner
- Turn the glasses and dishes upside down when you set the table
- Move socks to the shirt drawer and shirts to the sock drawer
Try to set up some very obvious things and have others be harder to find so the kids can really practice their skills.
Enhancing Creativity & Imagination
Dr. Seuss is the master of creating new words and encouraging readers to really stretch their imagination. I so love this about his books and illustrations! Our kids just don't get enough time and opportunities to use their creative thinking skills.
We chose 2 books that highlight creativity and imagination: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! and If I Ran the Zoo.
If I Ran the Zoo is a classic -- Gerald McGrew visits the zoo and dreams about what the zoo would be like if he were zookeeper. The story introduces so many imaginative animals (you just have to admire how Seuss came up with all these amazing names!)
And Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! gives the reader some insight into how you can use your imagination to be creative. One of the keys is the rhyming text found in so many of Dr. Seuss' stories.
Create Your Own Zoo
Using rhyming words and creative thinking, you can create your own zoo just like Gerald McGrew.
We listed 10 animals that can be found at the zoo in one column. In the next column, create rhyming words for each of the animals. Try to think of words that aren't real words. And then in the third column, list some of the prominent features of the animal.
Here's an example of one of our animals:
Animal Rhyming Words Animals Features
Lion Bion, Frion, Mion, Pion Lots of hair, mane, loud roar
So, in our zoo, we have "a Frion with hair that's as long as his tail". Or you can think about the opposite when creating your new animal -- "a Pion that's quiet as a mouse, with ears as big as a house".
Have some fun with the kids and see what types of animals they can think up!
Learning Morals & Values
As with so many children's books, Seuss stories can also convey morals and values to the reader. Books are a great way to begin some discussions about what's important to us and allow kids to learn more about how to interact with others.
One of the most famous of Seuss tales in this category is The Sneetches and Other Stories. Kids will learn that you shouldn't treat people differently just because of how they look.
Another newly released story that discusses values is The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories . This is a short story that was just recently published in book form so it may be new to you.
It's a wonderful tale about a duck who finds a magic seed and learns that his wishes will be granted. At first, he thinks he'll wish for enough food for a week. But then, he begins to expand on his wishes to include a whole host of unnecessary items.
I'll let you read the story to find out what happens but let's just say that it conveys the lesson of "don't count your chickens before they're hatched".
Discuss Values & Common Phrases
Matching an idiom to the story helps children to learn about some of the phrases and language that adults use that may seem a little odd to them. Kids usually don't understand some common phrases such as "knock on wood" or "It's all Greek to me".
You can visit the Idiom Site to learn the meanings of more than 100 commonly used phrases.
Remember that the Book Club is hosted on more than 30+ sites so there are tons of wonderful ideas for Dr. Seuss projects this month.
Browse the links below to find some amazing activities, crafts and ideas for many Dr. Seuss books - thanks for reading with us!
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