Announcing the obSEUSSed Little Free Library Coming Soon

Thursday, March 2, 2017

In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2, I have a special announcement to make. I am building the Obseussed Little Free Library and plan to open it this spring in front of our house. I've been planning to build one for the past five years and finally have my plaque so I can get started.

This blog will start to shift focus a little as we will start to highlight our journey building a Little Free Library and becoming librarians in our neighborhood. Of course our library will be designed with a nod to Dr. Seuss. I'll be filling it with a variety of children's books.
Some of you may wonder what a Little Free Library is. It was started as a community book exchange and became a non-profit organization helping other communities organize and run book exchanges (libraries). The book exchange idea is to "Take a book, return a book." Individuals may decide to build a small library holding 20-100 books to place in their front yard, community park, garden or publicly accessed area with permission. The goal is to promote literacy and create places to connect communities of book lovers.
Little Free Libraries are spreading across the nation and the world. It looks like there are about 23 registered in Salt Lake City currently but I know more are operating and may not be registered. "By November, 2016 there were 50,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world. They are represented in 50 states and more than 70 countries." (from littlefreelibrary.org)


We have had several little free libraries popping up around the area.  One of my favorite libraries in our neighborhood that we frequent is the Vickmorr (Instagram @vickmorr). My kids love to stop by and trade books. They always have fun themed books for special holidays or author celebrations. 


They added a lot of new books, decor and more to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday today.






Another one that I love to follow on Instagram is Sir Owen, the little free library. (Instagram @sirowenlfl).
This is also in our town. Isn't it gorgeous! They have a little bench next to it and set up a Christmas tree for the holiday season. Their posts are very creative and the way they interact with their patrons is inspiring.



I will continue to blog about children's books, activities and crafts but I will also venture into young adult books as my oldest child just became a teenager recently.

We'll keep you posted on our progress for our obSEUSSed Little Free Library.

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.



Follow me on instagram where I post more frequently than I do on my blog. (Instagram @obSEUSSed_victoria)




Plus I’ve collected more than 1,500 ideas on several Pinterest boards.  Check out boards for Dr. Seuss parties, classrooms, crafts, Grinchmas, activities and more
.
obSEUSSedPinterestBoardVisit Victoria Saley @obSEUSSed's profile on Pinterest.

Read with your children today. That is the most important thing.

Best Dr. Seuss Games for Families Review

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Our family loves Dr. Seuss and we love board games (we own over 100) so I want to share a new Dr. Seuss game we tried this month and share our favorite Dr. Seuss games your family will love.
Wonder Forge, the company that creates a variety of Dr. Seuss and other children's games, sent us Thing Two and Thing One Whirly Fun! to review.

HOW TO PLAY:  

I let my 6 and 11 year old sons open the game and they figured out how to play it by themselves. Then they taught me.  You set up the house in the box with the furniture pieces in their appropriate places. The mom is on the sidewalk on her way home. You draw cards that tell you to spin Thing 1, a crazy spinning top that is a fun toy on its own. Thing 1 makes a mess in the house. Other cards tell you to pick up items of a certain color or in a certain room. Other cards tell you to move Mom closer to the house. The goal is to have the house picked up by the time Mom gets home.
Here is a video clip of my kids playing the game.


WHAT WE THOUGHT:

My kids loved making Thing One spin and watching it make a mess. In fact, if it didn't knock very much down they decided to double spin to try to get a few more pieces. The game was easy enough for them to set up all by themselves although the cardboard room divider was not very strong and ripped through the top corner the second time we played the game. A little tape can hold it for future use.
My favorite thing about this game is that it promotes cooperative team play. Everyone takes turns making messes and cleaning up trying to get clean before Mom gets home. There isn't just one winner. The game moves quickly so they can play several rounds in 15 minutes. If they didn't beat mom the first round, they can try playing again. Play until you win. 

I also love that the game is very affordable and makes a great gift for only $17. (On sale right now for only $10 with Amazon Prime). I've also seen it on the shelf at Walmart. I am an Amazon affiliate and appreciate you using these links if you decide to purchase. I was given this game free to review but will by buying one to give as a gift for a friend.  We really love the Dr. Seuss games by Wonderforge. 


We own a huge stack of Dr. Seuss games.  We have reviewed several in the past.  Check out the 

TOP 6 Dr. Seuss Games- 

These are the games my kids play the most. I asked them and they voted on their favorites.

1.  What's in the Cat's Hat - Fun to hide objects from around your house inside the hat and have children select question cards for clues. See my review here.
2. Super Stretchy ABC - Dr. Seuss style Twister with letters. Helps children with letter recognition and sounds.
3. Thing Two and Thing One Whirly Fun!
4. Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Search Game (currently unavailable on Amazon) See my review here.
5. Dr. Seuss Charades Game - Even kids can play charades with picture cards. See my review here.
6. Cat in the Hat I Can Do That! Game - A very active game. Fun for parents to try to play along. See my review here.
Not all are available on Amazon at regular prices anymore but you can check ebay or your local classifieds. I've also picked up an extra The Cat in the Cat I Can Do That! game at the thrift store to give to a friend so check there for games not in stores anymore. Again, these are my affiliate links.

Below my son is on the Super Stretchy ABC Game, a kid size twister where kids take turns recognizing letters and sounds.

Here are a few vintage games I have but they don't get played as often.  All the new games from Wonder Forge are much more kid friendly. I'd love to turn some of these vintage boards into wall displays or craft with them somehow but for now they sit in the game closet.


Click here to Visit Wonder Forge to see all of their Dr. Seuss games and puzzles. 

*Disclosure: I received a free copy of the 'Thing Two Thing One Whirly Fun’ game from Wonder Forge for review. We previously owned many of their games because we love them. All opinions and experiences are my own.
Wonder Forge games can be found online or at local stores like Toys 'R Us, Target and Wal-mart. They also offer many other pre-school and grade school appropriate games such as Richard Scarry's Busy Town, Curious George and Chugginton series. 

Thanks for stopping by. Take a look around for more Dr. Seuss book/craft/activity/celebration ideas.

Voting for the Cat in the Hat this Election

Saturday, October 29, 2016

(This is a children's book blog and is not affiliated with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, although I share a lot of activities and crafts featuring his books.)

Are you struggling with knowing who to vote for? Look no further. I've got the answer for you.  It is time we had a leader who can make a difference and who cares about our children's future.
I suggest to you, The Cat in the Hat for President in 2016.

Dr. Seuss Vote Election Cat in the Hat President
Yes, I really am undecided this year due to not having a strong lead candidate.  We won't be debating actual candidates here or in the comments, but I think the campaign Dr. Seuss Enterprises is running is brilliant.
Dr. Seuss Vote Election Cat in the Hat President Fundecided
Head over to the Cat in the Hat for President Campaign Headquarters and you can vote for your favorite cause to receive a $10,000 donation.  Isn't that a great idea?

You can choose to support Education, Ocean Conservation, Environment, Fighting Hunger and Kindness.  Easy as two clicks. Fighting hunger is leading as of when I voted.  Share the link with your friends and encourage them to vote too.

NEW BOOK:
I found this book at our school book fair a few weeks ago.  It is a great introduction to the election process put in Dr. Seuss style rhyme and easy for younger children to understand.  
Dr. Seuss Vote Election Cat in the Hat President book

Read and Discuss with Your child
This is a perfect book to read with your child then follow-up with a discussion on their age level about the current election and explain to them who you plan to vote for and why.  Doing that actually made me think harder about the current candidates and who I would feel good about telling my kids I'm supporting. It made me think about which candidate would make the best impact on our future for my children's lives. 

Teaching Children About the Election
My kids had some great comments and told me things they had heard at school too (some nice and some not so nice - other students are listening to their parents and learning a lot).  As we discuss politics we should be aware of listening ears and let it be a teaching moment for our children.  I used to take my children with me to the voting polls but now with mail-in ballots I showed them my ballot to let them see we are voting for more than just president this year.
We watched a little bit of a debate together but I decided it was not appropriate for my kids to continue watching.  I read through the transcripts the next day on my own then told them about certain topics.  My 5th grader is learning about the voting process, electoral college and branches of the government at school this year and will have a mock opportunity to vote.

Family Vote
It would be fun to have your own mock election at home and make slips of paper for each person with the names of the candidates and have them vote then tally the votes to see if there is a consensus or tie.


Dr. Seuss Enterprises held a press conference at Dr. Seuss' childhood home to release their new book.

Dr. Seuss Vote Election Cat in the Hat President WAMC

I really want one of these yard signs.
Dr. Seuss Vote Election Cat in the Hat President yard sign


Now click over Dr. Seuss to VOTE! for your favorite cause now.
Dr. Seuss Vote Election Cat in the Hat President sq

Leave a comment below with suggestions of how we can teach our children about the election or politics in general. (Please no debating the current candidates.)




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 books...in 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.
obSEUSSedPinterestBoard

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.

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