Easter Basket and Books

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We’ve pulled out our Easter books and display them in this basket for the weeks leading up to the holiday.
Here are a few of our favorite Easter books.

*As an Amazon Associate, if you make a purchase from using the links in this post, I receive a very small percentage of the sale.  I always recommend checking books out from your library first, then buying them if you want to add them to your collection.
Classic Easter Books
  • Easter by Gail Gibbons
  • The Country Bunny by Dubose Heyward
  • Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail by Steve Nelson
  • The Golden Egg by A. J. Wood
  • The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
  • The Easter Story by Patricia Pingry
Popular Character Easter Books
  • Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs by Karen Katz
  • Fancy Nancy’s Elegant Easter by Jane O’Connor
  • Honey Bunny by Mary Engelbreit
  • The Berenstain Bears’ Baby Easter Bunny by Jan Berenstain
  • Happy Easter Curious George by H.A. Rey
I made the basket to match my daughter’s Easter dress.  I just found some simple daisy flowers at the dollar store and hot glued them to her simple basket to dress it up. You could pick any flowers to match what you need. This was so quick and easy and we received so many compliments on it last year at our neighborhood egg hunt.
Below is a picture of my daughter in her matching dress and hair barette.
I don't put up very many fancy Easter decorations. I normally just leave out the baskets and books as our main decoration.
I hope you pick up some books to celebrate this holiday with your children. What are some of your favorite? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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Green Eggs and Ham Activities and Free Printable

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss, is a great book to explore for St. Patrick’s day. Here are a few ideas to help you explore this book.
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Here are some free printable worksheets you can use with kids to help them with rhyming, cutting and matching. I also made some blank eggs so you can make up your own activity. Remember to print it on green paper to make your Green Eggs.


egg game green eggs and ham words
Green Eggs and Ham Printable Games
Click on the title above this box. If you are unable to print it, try this link or please email me at obseussed (at) live (dot) com for the PDF to be emailed to you.

You can also try writing rhyming words from the story on Easter eggs. Split them apart and scatter them in a basket then have kids match the top and bottom of each egg together.
I also made an after school snack tray Green Eggs style. See it here.

Here are some great activities and treats to go along with the Green Eggs and Ham book. See more details by clicking on the picture.

Katherine Maries Blog has a great round up of Green Eggs activities and snacks I wasn’t able to add her pictures to this link list but there are several great ideas and pics there.

There are more Green Eggs and Ham activities you can find in the obSEUSSed Link Collection.

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Linked this project at Tatter Tots and Jello's Weekend Wrap-Up Party


Reading Backwards for World Read Aloud Day

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! by Dr. Seuss is one of our favorite books to read aloud. There are so many ways you can practice reading.

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Lately we’ve been reading many of our books backwards. Start with the last word in the book. My son is still learning his sight words and beginning blending sound words.  As we read his simple phonics books with a few words on the page I like to challenge him to read it backwards. This way, he can’t just guess what word is next based on pictures or context alone.
My son thinks it is so silly to read the words backwards.  It keeps things interesting and keeps the focus on learning the words.
Another tip I like for beginning readers is to just point under the word if your child pronounced it wrong. Let them know this is the sign you make when you want them to try it again.  I don’t like to interrupt my kids while they are reading. If they make a simple sound wrong I just tap under the word, wait for them to try it again and if they are still struggling I’ll remind them to sound it out. Sometimes it helps to use a pencil to point.
Make sure to read aloud to your children and have them read aloud to you. Once my daughter started reading chapter books quietly in her head I realized she was skipping over the challenging words or thinking of the pronunciation incorrectly for a character’s name throughout the entire book. When she would tell me about the book I realized this was a problem.  I told her if she finds a challenging word she can ask me about it or write it on her bookmark to ask me later.
Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate. Imagine a world where everyone can read... Find out more about the World Read Aloud Day challenge and share what you are doing at LitWorld.org.
Take this day to cherish the fact you can read and share that love of reading with your children.
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Rainbow Fish Printable Sharing Activity

Monday, March 5, 2012

This Rainbow Fish printable activity goes along with the book by Marcus Pfister. Copy of 110_1989-1
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You can print the pictures below to have children color and practice sharing.  My kids really liked the sticker version.  Passing out stickers to others made them happy. They learned the message of the book from when Rainbow Fish found joy in sharing his shiny scales with others.
I shared this activity over a year ago at the Mom It Forward website. You can see more details of how it works there
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I have recently been receiving numerous requests for help printing these.  I have still not found a perfect way to share PDFs on blogger. So I am reposting this here to help more of you be able to print these.
FREE PRINTABLE - RAINBOW FISH ACTIVITY (for personal/classroom, non-commercial use only)
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You can left click on the image above and it should take you to a new screen that makes it bigger. Then right click to save or copy then paste it into your document program and print it from there.

Here is the link to this printable on Google Docs.
Here is the link in Scribd (which you may have to login, then find the download/print button)
Rainbow Fish Color Number ObSEUSSed
Try clicking the Scribd logo in the lower left corner.  If you are still unable to print these, please e-mail me (obseussed (at) live (dot) com) and I will send you the original PDF file. I apologize for any inconvenience, but until I switch to a wordpress blog format, I believe I will continue having these issues.
I hope you enjoy this activity while you read along with the book.
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Celebrate Dr. Seuss by Creating a Library

Friday, March 2, 2012

I’m sure the greatest gift you can give Dr. Seuss for his birthday is to read to a child today and everyday. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! 

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday I am going to share my home library. I hope to inspire some of you to create your own classroom or home library so you can read to your child and instill in them a love of literacy.
ObSEUSSed_Home_library_cardKeep reading to see how to make your own library card.
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“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” – Dr. Seuss. ‘He knew the average child would pick up a book and pretty soon they’d be reading’ (pulled from the movie, in search of Dr. Seuss.)

Just right click to copy and save.
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This is the quote that inspired me to create this blog. My wish is for every home to have books available for kids to read everyday.  I often take it for granted that I am lucky to have so many books for my children to read. The truth is many homes do not have this luxury. “According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly two-thirds of low-income American families do not own any books for their children.” See additional statistics that will break your heart.
Jan Berenstain, co-creator of the Berenstain Bears book series, passed away last week.  Like Dr. Seuss, Jan was instrumental in helping millions of children gain a love of literacy. As a memorial, her family has requested donations be made to Reading Is Fundamental to help get books into the homes of low-income families. Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States providing new books to children in need. Find out how you can donate at RIF.
I think this is such an important cause to support. I’m making a donation and encourage you to consider donating if you have the ability to. Every little bit helps. $10 provides 4 books
First Book is another great organization that provides books to children in need. They also provide books from donations.

  • I know many local communities hold book drives throughout the year.  When you sort through your children’s books (or books you’re finished reading), consider donating to a local homeless shelter or reading program. Make sure books are still in nice condition.  In Utah, we have the Reading Tree that has donation bins in grocery store parking lots. They recycle books in poor condition but provide useful books to families in need.
  • You can also pass books down to other family, friends or neighbors with younger children.  We often do this in our family – trade books for kids at different reading levels.
  • Another option is to host a neighborhood book exchange. You could hold a party where everyone brings the books they have finished and trade with others. I’ve also been thinking about holding an exchange closet at our neighborhood church. There are a few empty closets that we could use one as the book exchange where people can ‘take a book – return a book.’ I’d love to have the exchange open all year long and see how it goes.
  • A great option I’m exploring is to create a mini library outside your house available to the public. I just found out about the Little Free Library. They have tips on how to build a weather proof little house to store a few books in (larger than a bird house) to post in your yard. You can post your library on their site so others know about it. It works a little like free cycle if you’re familiar with that. It would not be public knowledge. Just the few that learn about it online, (on the Little Free Library listing) or people in your neighborhood that you tell would know about it. It would also work on the ‘take a book- return a book’ method.
Click to see my tips for visiting your public library with children, including ideas on what age kids should get a library card.
When my kids are around age two I’ve made these printable play library cards for them so they can play library at home. They get a little library bag then fill it up with books from our shelves. They bring it to me and I use a spatula to scan their card. ‘BEEP.’  Then we go to our reading spot (our special couch inherited from Grandma Great) and we read the books together.  We often have storytime which includes special crafts or activities that go along with books. This is where I've become the obSEUSSed Home Librarian.

 Any parent can try this at home. Now your young children can have their own library card too.  Have children write their own name on their card before laminating.
Free Printable created by me, obSEUSSed. For non-commercial use only (personal or classroom use permitted).
Save this image to your computer (right click). Put it into your word processor. Make multiple copies if needed. Here is a link to a PDF with 8 on a page. This takes you to Scribd, click the 'download or print' button.
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How to DIY Printable Library Card:
Print them out. I hate using up color ink so I made them black and white, you can add red marker to them if desired like I did. Cut around the edges with round corners. Lay them in the laminate sheet. Run them through the laminator then cut them out with rounded edges again leaving 1/4 inch laminate around the edge.

With smart phones there are now apps that let you scan all your books into your phone to track them.  This would be cool to do at home or in a classroom. My kids have tried it and love scanning a whole stack of books, just to hear it beep. I'm not worried about tracking all my books at this point.  See a review of how it works at JulieDuffy.com. The RedLaser – Barcode and QR Code Scan app is FREE, by Occipital

I made these Genre Book Signs out of red and white striped scrap book paper. I cut out the shape, added some red where I needed to for the brim, printed out separate text on white paper then glued the words on the white stripes. Then I outlined the hats with black marker, laminated them and placed them next to the books on the shelves or hung on baskets.
Home Library2
The kids each have bookshelves with bins for their more specific girl and boy books. Dinosaurs, Transportation, Super hero, Lego, animal boxes in my son’s room. Princess and now chapter book series in my daughter’s room.
Home Library3
We also have a return basket so the kids know where to put books when they are done. This way, I re-shelve them and they get put back in the right place.
At the top of our stairs we have a landing that is wider than a normal hallway. This has become our reading area and children's library. Here are a few things we've done to create a home library.
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I love displaying my favorite picture books in this plate holder. I rotate the books for different seasons or themes. I keep some books grouped in baskets and most shelved by genre.
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Some of the signs are posted on the inside of the bookshelf, some are on the shelf in front of the books. My daughter is old enough to read the signs and knows where to put books back.
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See the closet past the couch – yep – we use that as bookshelves too. Most of the time the doors are closed.
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The closet holds taller picture books, activity books (that make noise or have pieces) and baskets of themed books (farm animals, bible story books, shapes and color concepts).
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We also have a DIY bean bag I made that hold all our Dr. Seuss Stuffed animals. This acts as an extra chair the kids can sit on for reading time.
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We also love to set up McElligot's Pool for reading time. The kids love hopping in the pool. Click here for details and a printable McElligot's Pool sign.
I have a set of gallery info prints from The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss that I display across the top of the shelf.
Here are the bookshelves my husband built under our stairs. We have since moved from that house and I miss them so much. They were my favorite thing. Click here for more details on these under stairs bookshelves.
Bookshelf under stairs
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Now my favorite bookshelf is this tree bookshelf my husband built for my son’s owl nursery. It fits perfectly behind his door. See more details here.  We keep about 50 board books in our baby's room.
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We use an old pie cupboard (pie safe) to store cookbooks with a small file holder to hold printed recipes. See more about how we promote literacy in our home diner.
Home Library
Try to use the same bag each time you visit the public library so you always know where your books are.
This wonderful Dr. Seuss library book bag was created by Kari at U Create. Click the picture to see how she made it with a special Dr. Seuss font and her silhouette machine. If you'd like to pin this image, please pin it directly from the Ucreate site.
I love the idea of attaching your library card to the bag so you always have it with you.
Now, after all these ideas, make sure you pick up some Dr. Seuss books and read.
Stop by the National Education Association’s Read Across America to pledge to read to your child Today and Everyday! They have great activities and ideas to celebrate.
This year they are working with the new Lorax movie to promote reading. I’m headed to the movie today and will post a review next week.
Make sure to visit the official Seussville by Random House books for the ultimate Dr. Seuss games, activities, printables and literacy resources for parents and teachers. oseussville_logo
We will be reading Dr. Seuss books and e-books today (and celebrating with activities all month). Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

What are you doing to celebrate today?
If you have blogged about your celebrations, please add it to the Dr. Seuss Link Collection to share your ideas with everyone. There are over 200 fabulous ideas to choose from right now.
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