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4 Books to Celebrate Earth Day

Friday, April 22, 2016

We can celebrate our Earth all year by teaching our children to take care of it.
Grab a few of these books and try some activities to help your child love our earth.
Being obSEUSSed, I have to mention The Lorax story. A message about saving trees and standing up for our environment comes across to even toddler age listeners. There are newer Step Into Reading Lorax books with more current ways to help the earth.
Another new favorite is The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth. 

The illustrations in this book are so vibrant and captivating. I wouldn't mind having them framed and displayed on my walls at home. We went to a story scavenger hunt activity at the park for this book by Chris Burkard & David McClellan (Dreamling Books). 
My children loved the story of the boy who went in search of happiness. The boy searches each scene and asks to find happiness but the Earth reminded him he needs to "stand still for just a moment." I agree that sometimes we keep our children so busy playing and exploring outside but we may forget to take a moment to soak it all in and talk to our children about the beauty and importance of the earth. 
Dreamling Books, the publisher of The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth" took us on a story scavenger hunt. The kids ran to find clues around the park that led them to a prize. Parents can create their own Story Scavenger Hunt by creating small paper clues that lead to the next location then to a prize or destination (like a waterfall) at the end.
We are so lucky to live near these beautiful mountains. Our kids take it for granted sometimes. I always make a point to tak about them when we drive past them or look out the window at them. 
Our family enjoys the earth by geocaching. We go on hikes around our state or visit our local park to find little hidden treasure boxes. Anyone can join the fun using the Geocaching app. We also use a hiking GPS to find caches in remote areas without cell service. 
As we hike with a purpose, we also take time to notice the scenery, animals, bugs and other hikers. If we find trash along the trail we pick it up to dispose of properly. Our kids love these outdoor adventures. 
Old Turtle by Douglas Wood is another favorite of ours with detailed water color illustrations. The story is a fable of the way our earth was created. Animals play a big part of our earth. 
Look for animals at the park or an anima conservancy near you to learn more. Our children love our local Tracy Aviary. 

The fourth book I recommend is The Water Hole by Graeme Base. Hidden illustrations on pages get children interested in finding out why the water is disappearing on each page. The theme of this book will help you start a conversation with your child about water conservation. 
Talk about ways you can save water around home like taking shorter showers or smaller baths and turning water off while brushing teeth. 
We use leftover water in our dinner cups to water our plants.

What are some of your favorite books or activities to celebrate Earth Day? Leave a comment below.

*Disclosure, I received a free Boy Who Spoke to the Earth book in exchange for my honest review. 

20 Dr. Seuss Activities to Fill Your House with Stacks of Books

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 2, Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! His books are scattered all over our house.  We will be celebrating by reading several of his books, playing games and munching on Seuss style snacks. I'm excited to share several activities and snacks with my son's kindergarten class in the morning.

"Fill your house with stacks of all the crannies and all the nooks." This quote is from the movie, In Search of Dr. Seuss.  Dr. Seuss knew the average kid would pick up a book and be hooked. It has been the inspiration for my blog.  I really want children to be surrounded by books at home.   We have well over 1,000 books. I am constantly trying to sort through them and share with others. We donate many to the Burmese refugee children we work with in Salt Lake. We've held book drives to collect and donate more books for them. My children love helping pass out the books.

This is one reason I haven't been blogging as much in the last year.  I've been "in the trenches" trying to spread literacy instead of behind my computer blogging as much. I still share quick ideas and activities on Instagram but I don't have the time to share more details on my blog for now.

I'm also our school PTA president this year.  I'm currently helping with our readathon which has been a Dr. Seuss theme the past five years.  This year we have a new mascot so we are doing a fantasy reading theme. I'm helping plan a medieval festival to celebrate all the extra reading our students do.
Image by Kellie Ungritch for D. Elementary

I hope you all are reading more with your children or classroom. Share a Dr. Seuss book today to celebrate his birthday. 

If you're looking for some additional fun ways to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday, check out 20 of my favorite obSEUSSed with Dr. Seuss activities, crafts, snacks and party ideas here.
obSEUSSed Activities Dr Seuss

Plus I’ve collected more than 1,500 Dr. Seuss ideas on several Pinterest boards.  Follow these boards for Dr. Seuss parties, classrooms, crafts, Grinchmas, activities and more.

Start filling your house with stacks of books.
We buy books at yard sales, thrift shops, local books stores and online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. We love to give and receive books as gifts. We've also done a book exchange at church where we have a cupboard we bring a book to leave and take a book to keep. I'm also excited to start working on building my own Dr. Seuss Little Free Library house for my yard this summer.

If you don't like books taking up a lot of space at your home long term, make sure to rotate books from your local library.  Sometimes owning too many books can be overwhelming and my kids get used to seeing them and aren't as interested in reading them.  A new stack of books borrowed from the library gets them excited.  Whatever method you choose, just make sure to keep books accessible for children.  Help them find books they are interested in and get them excited about reading!  

I'd love to know how you're celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday. Leave a comment below or leave a link to your blog if you've shared ideas online.

Follow me on Instagram (@victoria_obSEUSSed) and Facebook: obSEUSSed.

Dr. Seuss Love

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A little Dr. Seuss valentine love.

I've seen several quotes about love by Dr. Seuss. 
This appeared in the New York Examiner.

Dr. Seuss once wrote: “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

This quote floats around the internet often attributed to Dr. Seuss. I found out there is not a lot of evidence he actually said this and that a close variation actually came from Robert Fulgham. See details at Quote Investigator.

This one appears to be by Dr. Seuss.

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." Dr. Seuss

Share the Dr. Seuss Love with others. You can share these images on social media. 
Remember you can make a simple Cat in the Hat Valentine letter box out of an oatmeal container.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day! 

12 Days of Christmas Books Advent Using Fabric Gift Bags

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

 I tried wrapping Christmas books for each day in December leading up to Christmas as a book advent.  Sure, kids love to pull off the paper, but I didn't like wasting all that paper and how much time it took to wrap the books.  I decided to create my own fabric gift bags to re-use each year. These are 'Sew' simple! I have very basic sewing skills. I'll try it if it has straight lines, no patterns and no pinning. These bags are pretty much like a little pillow case with a ribbon sewn onto the outside for tying.
The thing I love best about these books is that you can put 1 or more books inside for a surprise each day. Leave them under the tree for your children to open counting down the 12 days before Christmas (you could make 24 if you are really ambitious).

To see my instructions for the The 12 Days of Christmas Fabric Gift Bags, I shared them here:  Skip to My Lou. (originally posted Dec. 2014).

The bags can be used for a book advent (from books you already own or borrowed from the library or new gifts) or any other special gifts to count down to Christmas. Perfect for holiday gift giving to your children, family, friends or teachers.


This Truffula Tree elastic bookmark would be an excellent gift. It was quick and simple enough for kids to make too.  They could make one as a gift for a teacher, librarian or a grandparent.

See how to make the bookmark here.

Don't forget to visit my 12 Days of Christmas gift bags over at Skip to My Lou.

Thanks for stopping by.  Take a look around obSEUSSed for more kid and DIY crafts.

New Dr. Seuss Book App Review

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Cat in the the Hat is back! A new and improved version of this Dr. Seuss book is available as an iOS app July 16, 2015. This is not just an update on the original book app, it is entire separate app for those who want a little more interaction. Cat_in_the_Hat_book_app_obSEUSSed_review2

The Cat in the Hat - Read and Learn digital book has interactive activities in each scene compared to the previous version where you just read the book and tap on objects to hear the words.catReadLearn_Ad_500x500

Ocean House Media let me preview the app for review.  My 4 year old son and 6 year old niece took turns holding the iPad for each page. They did it all on their own without help from me. I just watched as they played.


It was a little tricky for them to learn when activities/games were available to play. After hearing the words on the page, children can tap the objects to hear the word. The objects move and make sounds. Children keep tapping until they find a hidden star in each scene that will open the activity.  The trick here is “scene” not page.  Many times the narrator reads a paragraph but clicking the arrow just brings more words for that scene.  The kids thought there would be a new game each time the narrator paused so they kept tapping items expecting to find the star and game.  We quickly learned that the game star will stay in the lower right corner if you have already played it for that scene. Once you turn the page to a new scene, the star goes away and you need to find a new one. Just explain that to your kids and they’ll get the hang of it.catReadLearn_Screenshot9

The interactive activities/games were simple enough for my 4-6 year olds.  Recognizing letters and sounds is helpful. The games encourage letter recognition and rhyming. This book is quiet long so I did notice they used the same game style several times throughout the book. There are 30 + short games/activities.  At first I was disappointed because I expected a new game style on every scene. Then I realized it was helpful to have the same styles because kids learn from repetition.

I also loved that it has a parent section that shows you the reading stats of how many minutes and pages your child has read.


My kids made it through the entire book and had fun working together to solve the games.


SIDE NOTE:  I have to tell you I used to have the old CD roms of the Dr. Seuss books. We loved the Dr. Seuss’ ABCs book. Every page had several interactive objects and sounds.  When the original Dr. Seuss book app came out we were a little sad that it only reads to you and tells you the words when you tap on objects. I was hopping for more interaction, and now we have it with this new, improved app.  You’ll find a lot more sounds, moving objects and interactive activities throughout the book.

You can download it from the app store here.  It is worth the $4.99 for the hours of fun and learning your little one will have.

See the Dr. Seuss Read and Learn app in action here:


Disclaimer: I was able to preview this app for free for review purposes and was not compensated to write this post. All opinions are my own.


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