Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Seussapalooza!! (Read Across America) Family Story/Craft Program

Saturday Morning Story/Craft Program  ages 3-10
Have a Seuss-arific good time as we celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday with stories, songs, activities and crafts!  Costumes are welcome - feel free to come as your favorite Dr. Seuss character.

(ideally done with 4-8 teen volunteers, but can be done with just kids & parents)

Music playing as children arrive: album “Seussical”
Greeted the children dressed in a Cat in the Hat Costume (Black pants & shirt, famous hat, white bib & bowtie, black fake-fur tail)
As kids arriving: had a table with nametags for them to fill out (helps with crowd control) and a table with Ellison die-cut “Cat in the Hat” hats (red hats, long white cardstock for headbands, white strips for gluing on hats, scissors & gluesticks) so each could make own hat for the program.

3/2016: Act out  “Green Eggs & Ham” – 2 volunteers play Sam & Fred, other volunteers hold cue cards, and young kids hold laminated “green eggs” and “hams” – everyone chiming in on the rhyming words & refrain. Script here: described here:

Song/Movement --  a rousing “Silly Hat” song (Source Unknown):
On my head I wear a hat,
It is such a silly hat,
That my head will wiggle,
Wiggle to and fro,
Where else should my silly hat go?
...continuing with audience suggestions...e.g. elbow, knee, foot, chin, tail, eyes, ear, hand, bottom,belly, nose (pinched nose to sound funny)...ending with
In my lap I have a hat,
It is such a quiet hat,
That my lap won't wiggle,
It just stays flat,
What do you all think of that! (everyone sits down, hat goes back on my head)

Asked kids what Dr. Seuss stories they know?
Played Name that Book: The Cat in the Hat Says “Who Said That?” -- Read out the clues and had the kids name the book. (clues, signs, and instructions for this program are here:

Mentioned Dr. Seuss known for his silly rhymes,
Read: There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.

Omitted 2016: play rhyming game -- kids shouted out silly words to practice rhyming with: e.g. hat, car, fan, etc. …if you end with “bad” –> “sad”)

Omitted 2016: Read: My Many Colored Days (a lesser-known Dr. Seuss about moods) fun to act out with kids naming the colors and participating in the actions described
Action Song: “If You’re Happy and You Know It” 

Explain stations, turn the music back on and let them go!

Activities, Crafts & Stations: (signs for all activities and additional instructions are here:

Activities: Choose from
· Pin the bowtie on Cat in the Hat (paper bowties, laminated Cat, blindfold)
· Cat in the Hat Relay– paper plate & cup relay (kids put these on their heads and try to cross the room without dropping them)
· Horton Hears a Who Relay-- shakey egg and spoon relay (see who can carry the egg on the spoon across the room without dropping it!)
· The Foot Book -- paint feet and toenails with washable markers, play “musical feet” (cut out feet instead of chairs) -- set up next to cd player with “Seussical” starting and stopping
· One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Silly Fishing -- Make a few “fishing poles” with dowels, string, and magnets on the end; place die cut fish, each with a silly instruction written on it and a paper clip attached. Children fish, then do the indicated activity.
· Cat in the Hat floor puzzle (commercial product we had)
· Go Fish Card Game (commercial product we had)
· Cat in the Hat Tic Tac Toe (
Paper & Pencil Table:
· Words & Rhymes – make your own rhymes/poems
· Word searches, matching, what’s in a box (pencils, markers, scissors, gluesticks, stamp pads), (lots more stuff here)
· Cat in the Hat paper bag puppet – handouts, paper bags, scissors, markers, gluesticks, staples
· Bartholomew Hat making – die cut, gluesticks, markers, feathers, pom poms, sequins, etc.
· Horton out of hearts – handout , scissors, gluesticks, markers, pompoms
· Create your own Seussical creature – toilet paper rolls, gluesticks, colored paper, markers, pipe cleaners, pompoms, markers, etc.
· Dr. Seuss Birthday Cards (cards, markers)
· And the above-mentioned Cat-in-the-Hat craft (for late arrivals)
· note: no oobleck -- I’ve made this in other programs but it is too messy to add to the Seussapolooza mix!
3/14, 3/16 BWL
Additional Possible Activities
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! Create the biggest birthday card ever!
Three Cats in a Row!
A Word (or Two!) About Seuss
A Hatful of Seuss!
Important Information About Dr. Seuss/About Me Fun Facts Sheet
Knock Around with Dr. Seuss Door Hanger
Party Suggestions
Hats off to Dr. Seuss Hat Toss
Cat, Cat, Hat!
Rhyming Fun Has Just Begun!

Horton Hears a Who Party
AfterSchool Program Ages 4+

I conducted a very successful Dr. Seuss program  thanks to Betsy Stroomer, who shared Lafayette Public Library's Reader's Theatre version of "Horton Hears a Who"with me.
Before the program, I hung a large Red & White Dr. Seuss Birthday Card made of Bulletin Board paper (& curling ribbon)  for the kids to decorate, set up a birthday cake, put out a CD player with the CD "Seussical", laid out audience sitting space with masking tape, handed out scripts and name boards (character name and picture laminated on a 8x10 board to hand around the actors' necks) and did a 20 minute run-through of "Horton Hears a Who" with my 4 teen volunteer actors (all I had available), who played Horton, the Narrator, Kangaroo (and Young Kangaroo too--high voice and fingers arranged bunny rabbit style), and the Mayor.  I played the Wickershams, and I used young audience members for Vlad and Jo-Jo.  The whole audience (4-8 year olds) were the Whos and the Mayor directed them at the appropriate time to call out "We are here!  We are here! We are here! We are here!"

I greeted the children dressed in a Cat in the Hat Costume, and after the children were seated, I led them in a rousing Silly Hat song (lyrics above):
Then I returned the hat to my nose, and asked what animal I looked like? (an elephant) as a bridge to the performance of Horton.

After the Reader's Theatre, I divided the children into four groups and gave each group a plastic teaspoon and a large pompom.  Then, I turned on the CD of "Seussical" and they did pompom-carrying "egg races" across the room.
Following that, we moved to the craft tables and made elephants out of hearts (since Horton is certainly an elephant with a big heart).  Craft directions are at:  (One tip I would recommend -- include the little finished elephant design on the craft template cutout page as the assembly is not obvious.)

When they finished, the kids signed and decorated our Dr. Seuss Birthday Card and then we sang "Happy Birthday" and served cake (an inexpensive Costco cake with a Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat birthday candle added).
Duration: 1 hour.
Another option -- Horton printable mask:        3/05



Some other clever ideas here:

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