Dr. Seuss Crafts and Teacher Supplies at Lakeshore Learning

Monday, February 28, 2011

We stopped by Lakeshore Learning Store this past weekend for their Dr. Seuss Birthday celebration. This is my favorite store to grab teaching supplies.  They have a special “Teachers Club” card for discounts and the great thing is anyone who teaches children can get a card – even moms. 

I picked up a few more Dr. Seuss, ABC board books to give as baby shower gifts. I also grabbed some Dr. Seuss wall posters featuring phonics for our reading area at home. The store had Dr. Seuss bulletin board decorations, reward sticker charts, more posters, and more books.

  Dr. Seuss Crafts
They had several stations set up for the kids to rotate around. Our kids liked making bow ties out of a piece of felt. They scrunched it up, wrapped a pipe cleaner around the middle, then attached yarn to make it into a necklace.
 Two more craft stations included making whimsical hats and a small story book out of construction paper.

Dr. Seuss Games
Then they had a game station run by The Cat in the Hat. He played “Cat Says” (like Mother-May-I game) and a bean bag toss into Cat in the Hat buckets and a balancing ball game.
Story time with ‘Ten Apples Up on Top.’

This was a fun event to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday this week.
Try making your own Dr. Seuss crafts at home.
Check out the page tabs above for more ideas.

Justin Bieber Reads The Cat in the Hat

To celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday (March 2) check out this video at home with your kids or at school in the classroom. 'The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss. Reading by Justin Bieber for the BookIt Program.

I have young children so I am really not up on the Justin Bieber scene, but I do know he sings, has almost 8 Million followers on Twitter, has a trendy hair style and is supposedly THE thing right now.  He may appeal to tweens and teens but my kids really don't know or care who he is.  He could have used a little more coaching as far as using more voice inflection while reading. It might be best for him to stick to singing but he was kind to attach his name to the program and get a lot of viewers to help the BookIt Program raise funds for charity.

The moving illustrations helped make it tolerable to watch. I think I'll test screen it with my kids and see what they think but I'm not sure they'll last through 8.5 minutes of listening to Bieber's voice. I do have to say, as a parent and Dr. Seuss fan, I think I read this book aloud so much better.  Pull it out and read it with your kids this week, then have them watch the original movie by Dr. Seuss on DVD.

Stop by to check out the The BookIt National Reading Incentive Program. I remember the BookIt Program growing up. We would read books at school, track them on a form and redeem it for a personal pizza from Pizza Hut. They are still doing that today. Such a great program for schools if you have it in your area.

Dr. Seuss' Birthday and Read Across America Day Celebrations

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The celebrations start this week for Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss' Birthday. The official day is March 2 but many places celebrate anytime during that week. This holiday is a wonderful way to encourage reading for young children.

Our elementary school started a Readathon today with a Dr. Seuss theme. The PTA knew I was obSEUSSed so they asked if the Cat in the Hat could come visit during lunch to remind all the kids to be reading and tracking their minutes. My husband was so great to jump in our Cat in the Hat costume and walk around the lunchroom juggling balls and talking to the kids.  He was a great physical reminder for the kids to be reading this week.

To see how I made this Cat in the Hat costume click here.

The PTA did a great job decorating the doors and halls around school with hand-drawn Dr. Seuss graphics.

Here are some other places and ideas to celebrate Read Across America Day:

Read Across America to pledge to read with your child on March 2.

The National Education Association (NEA) has great resources and links for classrooms and libraries.

Seussville has great printable activities and online games. You can also make your own 'Who' character.

On Saturday, February 26

Target has Dr. Seuss story time and special Dr. Seuss books on sale for 2 for $10.

Lakeshore Learning will offer Dr. Seuss Craft time from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm at many locations on Saturday, February 26, 2011.

On Wednesday, March 2, PBS Kids is having a marathon showing 2 hours of "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!", including new episodes. Check your local stations for times. See the TV spot for this on PBS Kids.

My Dr. Seuss Link Collection: Stop by the page tabs at the top of this blog for more links of Dr. Seuss ideas.


Linking to:
Red Ted Art’s Blog, Kid’s Get Crafty
Tatertots and Jello, Weekend Wrap-up
Hookin’ Up with House of Hepworth’s, Thursdays
 Polly Want A Crafter, Monday Craft Linky
Fingerprints on the Fridge, Feature Yourself Friday
Funky Polkadot Giraffe's, Too Cute Tuesday
Somewhat Simple's, Strut Your Stuff Thursday
Katie's Nesting Spot

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Dr. Seuss Hop on Pop Activity Twin Sheet Tutorial

Friday, February 18, 2011

To prepare for Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss' Birthday) on March 2, we are reading Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.

I decided to bring Hop on Pop to life by drawing POP on a sheet so the kids can HOP on him.
They had a SEUSStastic time!

See below for how to do this.

Creating a Hop on Pop Twin Sheet

Check your local thrift store. I found a 'looks new' pastel yellow sheet set for $3.00.
Use the fitted sheet for this project.

If you don't want to attempt freehand sketching, you can always try getting an overhead projector and making a copy of the page on transparency paper then tape the sheet to a wall to trace the image. Way too hard for such a simple line drawing in this case. The kids won't pay that close of attention. It is the thought that counts.  Just try doing it with a pencil first if you are worried.

Visit the page tabs at the top of this blog for more Dr. Seuss activity ideas to get ready for Dr. Seuss' Birthday.

Read Along:  On March 2, Dr. Seuss' Birthday, I'm so excited to participate in the Read Along at Helping Little Hands. Polly is featuring a different book & activity each day from a variety of blogs. Click the button below to see more.

Linking to:
More great children's play activities at the Nurture Store blog.
Tatertots and Jello, Weekend Wrap-up
Get Your Craft On, with Today's Creative Blog
Skip to My Lou, Made By You Mondays
Tip Junkie's, Tip Me Tuesday
Fingerprints on the Fridge, Feature Yourself Friday
Red Ted Art’s Blog, Kid’s Get Crafty
Hookin’ Up with House of Hepworth’s, Thursdays
 Polly Want A Crafter, Monday Craft Linky
Somewhat Simple's, Strut Yourself Thursday
Funky Polka-dot Giraffe’s, Too Cute Tuesday

Katie's Nesting SpotTip Junkie handmade projects

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Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose Craft

Monday, February 14, 2011

For Valentine's Day we are reading 'Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose' by Dr. Seuss.  We made this moose craft to go along with the book.

Tissue box craft: Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose

We made antlers from tracing my son's hands on construction paper and taping them to a tissue box.  Then I drew the face on the box. You could also create animals to put on the antlers or put them inside the tissue box. You could add the animals as you read the story.

Thidwick the big-hearted moose has such a big heart that he allows a bingle bug to rest in his antlers.  He starts by being nice to one bug, then the bug invites another animal and another until Thidwick's antlers are so full he can hardly move.  ""A host has to put up with all kinds of pests. For a host- above all- must be kind to his guests."  Hunters come after him and he realizes he must get rid of his guests in order to save his life. (Spoiler Alert) Luckily, this is the day his antlers fall off and he is able to get away. The other animals are not as lucky and they end up stuffed on the hunter's wall. A little morbid for younger children but you can kind of gloss over the ending and not draw attention to this point. You could tie in a science lesson about the shedding and re-growth of antlers.

The Assertive Message:
I have to admit, I've had the book on my shelf in my collection but haven't read it since I was a child so I couldn't remember what it was about.  I couldn't believe how applicable the message was to my life as an adult.  It is nice to be kind to others but when they start to take advantage of you, there comes a point when you need to stand up for yourself, your sanity and your safety and stop being walked on (or nested on in Thidwick's case).  Read this book with your children, have a discussion about kindness and assertiveness and set an example for them so they don't end up being too kind (or stuffed on a wall.)

This post is Linked to:
Red Ted Art’s Blog, Kid’s Get Crafty
Hookin’ Up with House of Hepworth’s, Thursdays
 Polly Want A Crafter, Monday Craft Linky
Funky Polka-dot Giraffe’s, Too Cute Tuesday

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Oh The Places You’ll Go Incentive Jar

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Do you have kids that whine? Even when you take them on fun outings, they still find something to complain about?  I’ve had this challenge lately but I’ve started telling my kids “Happy People Go Happy Places.”  We read the Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Places You’ll Go! 

It is often read at high school graduations but I think it is very applicable to younger children too.  I explained that it is up to them to make wise choices and that by choosing good behavior it makes them happy, it makes Mom happy and we get to go fun places. I refuse to take them places if they are acting wild, rude or misbehaving, so they’ve got to earn it.

The Happy Jar:
I took an old mason jar, wrapped the top with whimsical yarn, printed a picture of the book cover, printed a strip of paper numbered 5-1 and a sign that says “Happy People Go Happy Places.”

You could use this at home or school in the classroom:
During the day, when I notice positive behavior from my children, I tell them what I notice and they earn a happy puffs (I keep the clear jar of them on my desk). A Happy puff is the item they fill the jar with (see below).

Earning Happy Puffs:
If they do a chore (unload dishes, clear the table, take out the trash, fold and put away laundry) or homework, those are expected so they earn 1 puff. If they have positive behavior during chores and homework, they get an extra puff (it pays to be happy :) If they do something kind, or extra chores they weren’t asked to do, they get another puff. I have also started taking away puffs for bad behavior (whining, sassing, defiance, tantrums). Since it is a collective jar, if one child acts up, the other tries to encourage them to act better so they won’t get puffs taken away (they know it will take longer to earn an outing).  Outings are a bigger motivator than money for our 5 and 7 year old.

Happy Puffs=Outings:
We have a special outing for each number/line on the jar.  We use pom-poms or small pony beads (depending on how fast you want them to earn something).  I like to use the small beads so I can give them beads for every little thing they do, reinforcing their positive behavior. If you use big puffs, you could make them fill the whole jar to earn one outing. 

Here are the ‘Places’ our kids are working toward.
1. Thanksgiving Point’s Museum of Ancient Life – Dinosaurs & More near Lehi, UT
2. Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in Salt Lake City, UT
3. Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, UT
4. Ride light rail (Trax by UTA) to the Salt Lake City Downtown Library.
5. Swimming at our local recreation center.

So far they are doing great. We just went to the dinosaur museum last week.  They were so happy and never complained, they actually said thank you (gasp)! We hope this helps them learn that being happy will take you great places in life, no matter how old you are. My husband has recommended the kids make a happy jar for the parents that they can decide when to award happy puffs to us. I’m still thinking about that idea.

Linking to:
Today's Creative, Get Your Craft On
Fun to Craft, Look at Me I'm so Crafty
Findgerprints on the Fridge, Feature Yourself Friday

Red Ted Art’s Blog, Kid’s Get Crafty
Hookin’ Up with House of Hepworth’s, Thursdays
 Polly Want A Crafter, Monday Craft Linky
Funky Polka-dot Giraffe’s, Too Cute Tuesday

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Chinese New Year Books and Craft, Simple Chinese Drum Tutorial

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year celebration. The festivities last 15 days so you can pick a day in the next two weeks to try this craft and read some books with your little one.

I am the room mother for my daughter's first grade class this year and her teacher wanted to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a class party.  I wanted to bring my toy Chinese drum that I got in China Town in San Francisco but the strings broke off when the kids played with it this past year, so I came up with a way to craft some the kids can take home.

2011 is the year of the rabbit.

I found this beautiful image of a rabbit with a red Chinese design at the Indian Chinese Association.

Then I found some Chinese calligraphy cards at Activity Village. Let children look at the writing and try to copy it onto the back side of their drum. Depending on their age, help them a little and label it with the English word so others will know what it means. This is a great activity to show how beautiful and complicated Chinese writing is.

  • Pony beads (any color, mine are clear)
  • Thin ribbon (to fit through the pony beads), about 7 inches long
  • Popsicle sticks (or you could try hot gluing it to a pencil)
  • Card stock (one page printed, one page plain)
  • Stapler

  • Print the Circled Rabbit design on card stock (I copied and pasted it into Microsoft Word making it about 2.5 inches in diameter).
  • Print the calligraphy cards on normal paper so the kids can look at them as an example- or on card stock if you want to use these as the back of your drum.
  • Cut the Circled Rabbits and one blank circle the same size out of card stock.
  • Tie a pony bead in a double knot on the end of each ribbon.
  • Wrap the middle of the ribbon around the popsicle stick one time.
  • Put the ribbon and stick sandwiched between the front and back of drum.
  • Staple the outside of the blank side of the drum right on top of the stick and ribbon to help hold it.

Now your kids can twist it back and forth to make sound.
Have them try drawing the Chinese calligraphy on the blank side of drum before or after you assemble it.

Update Feb. 10: My friend Debbie made some drums using the calligraphy cards.  Visit her blog, Cranberry Fries, to see how cute they are.

One of my favorite books, that I remember my elementary school librarian reading to us, was Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel, illustrated by Blair Lent.  Is is about two little Chinese boys who fall down a well but one has a short name and one has a long name. It is so fun to read out loud to your kids. It has a great rhythm and is very repetitive so the kids enjoy chanting along.

I also checked two books out from our library to read to the class. My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz (see Amazon link below) is nice and quick with bright colors and a nice overview of Chinese New Year festivities the kids will enjoy hearing about.

Happy New Year! (Kun-Hsi Fa-Ts'Ai) by Demi, (Amazon link below)  has great illustrations and more details about the history of the holiday. This one would be good to sit down and have a discussion with your kids as you read.

And, last, but not least, is another classic Chinese story.  The Empty Pot, by Demi. This wonderful folk tale is about a little Chinese boy who was honest about trying to make his seed grow, but nothing happened because he was given a trick seed by the Emperor. He presented the empty pot to the Emperor and was rewarded for his honesty.

A great collection of books can be found at the blog American Born Chinese Children's Book Alley.
A few more blogs with great Chinese New Year books are: School Library Journal, Colorin Colorado, Pragmatic Mom.

Happy Chinese New Year!

This project is linked to:


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