written by: Kara Bietz
• edited by: Donna Cosmato
• updated: 12/16/2014
March 2 is Dr. Seuss' birthday. Celebrate with your preschoolers by planning a Dr. Seuss themed week. Included are ideas for three of his classic books: The Foot Book, Green Eggs and Ham, and If I Ran the Zoo.
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Dr. Seuss, or Theodore Geisel, was born on March 2, 1904. Because of the impact his books have had on adults and children alike, a popular preschool theme for March is Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
He had a vast body of work and published 46 children's books in his lifetime. You should be able to create activities across the curriculum to tie-in with almost any of his books. Whether you decide to dedicate each day to a specific book or mix-up several books every day, celebrate March in silly, rhyming style with these simple Dr. Seuss birthday preschool ideas for circle time and art.
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Several of his more popular books, such as Yertle the Turtle and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, are quite long. If you choose to read these longer works to your preschool students, it is best to break them into sections, reading just a few pages each day until the book is finished. Many of his other books, such as The Foot Book, Green Eggs and Ham, and If I Ran The Zoo are an appropriate length for preschool circle time.
The Foot Book: Use the book to introduce the concept of right and left to your preschoolers. Have the children stand up and tap their feet while you recite the lines "left foot, left foot, right foot, right". Practice this concept several times. Placing a piece of masking tape on the children's right shoes can help the children easily distinguish the difference.
Green Eggs and Ham: While reading the story, encourage the children to join in for the repeating lines "I do not like them, Sam I am", and "I do not like green eggs and ham". Use the story as a jumping off point to discuss foods that the children like and dislike. Another point to discuss after reading the story would be animals that lay eggs. Can the children think of any other animals besides a chicken that lay eggs? Make a chart of egg-laying animals and non-egg laying animals.
If I Ran the Zoo: What are the children's ideas for running the zoo? Discuss ideas for creating a zoo with your class. Be sure to document each child's ideas for creating their own zoo.
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It is possible to create developmentally appropriate art activities for preschoolers using the three books highlighted in the circle time activity section.
The Foot Book: Make a classroom foot collage. Using a large piece of butcher paper, paint the bottom of your children's feet, and let them walk across the paper. If possible, this activity is best done outdoors or where there is lots of room. If you are able to be outdoors, ask the children to run across the paper. Do the running footprints look different from the walking footprints?
Green Eggs and Ham: Luckily, March is the time of the year when it is easy to find egg coloring kits. Boil and color a few dozen eggs with your preschool class. Encourage the children to peel the shells off the eggs, and serve the boiled eggs for a snack. Use the shells as collage material in your art center. Allow the children to create with the egg shells any way they would like.
If I Ran The Zoo: Using the ideas the children had for running their own zoo, encourage the children to illustrate their ideas. Ask each child to explain their picture to you, and document their explanation on their artwork. Take pictures of each child creating their zoo drawings, and attach it to the back of the artwork. Laminate each piece of art, and use it to create a class book.
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Given the vast amount of work Dr. Seuss created over his lifetime, it would be possible to plan an entire week of preschool activities based on his books and never repeat the same idea twice. Celebrate literacy and the contributions of this incredible author when you plan Dr. Seuss birthday preschool ideas. For more ideas, check out these lessons with Hop On Pop or The ABC Book.