Dr. Seuss Carnival Games and Party Activities

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Are you looking for a way to celebrate with Dr. Seuss style? Maybe a birthday party, graduation party or a school carnival?
I helped organize a Dr. Seuss Carnival at our elementary school to celebrate the kids completing their read-a-thon. I want to share these ideas to help inspire you to celebrate with Dr. Seuss. I had a fabulous time planning this party and may do it again next year.
Dr Seuss Carnival PTA 2 obSEUSSed

I’ve been gathering ideas on Pinterest and at my Dr. Seuss link collection for a few years now so it was hard to narrow down my favorite games, activities and treats to have at the party.

Here is a list you should think through if you plan a Dr. Seuss Carnival:
  • How many people do you expect? Is this a family party in a back yard or a huge party at school?
  • What types of booths/activities to have? Interactive Games, Traditional Games, Crafts (what supplies are needed, what can be re-used?) Think of ways to tie in book characters and themes.
  • Food: Kid friendly options, book themed food, healthy options
  • Prizes: Favor bags, functional items like themed pencils, erasers and stickers.
  • Entertainment: Juggler, local author
  • Signs, promotion or invitations (signs for each booth and for outside to remind everyone passing the school the day of)
  • Decorations (Table cloths, wall d├ęcor, bunting flags)
  • Set up/Clean up
I had a wonderful committee to help pull this carnival together. Different volunteers were in charge of each booth. Some booths had multiple volunteers. I had another volunteer help with signs.  I learned that I should assign a decorating and a clean-up committee as well but the PTA was so great to pitch in the day of and help me with that. I don’t know how I thought I could do that on my own.
All of the amazing signs (you’ll see in the collages below) were done by my neighbor, Sara Greenhalgh. Because she used Dr. Seuss graphics for personal (non-commercial) use, we can not share the files online but I hope they give you inspiration because they really helped set the tone for the party.

Dr. Seuss Style Photo Booth
We used fabric as a back drop with a bunting sign that said READ out of scrap book paper. We had a table set up with all the props spread out including: striped hats, Dr. Seuss books, turquoise feather boas, lorax mustaches (out of yellow feather boas I found at Joann’s), a painted empty frame, a chalk board word-bubble that said READ. I also had great luck at the dollar store finding silly sunglasses, plastic lollipops and giant pinwheels.
Dr Seuss Photo Booth Carnival obSEUSSed

One Fish Two Fish, Fish Pond
I borrowed another neighbor’s puppet theater and made a new striped curtain for it. We got fish at Michael’s crafts and taped them on for decoration. 
Seuss Carnival 1 Fish 2 Fish Fish Pond obSEUSSed
We had a basket of fun Dr. Seuss items as prizes. I wanted them to be useable, not something that would go in the garbage that night. Dr. Seuss pencils, erasers, pencil grippers, notebooks, bookmarks and spiral suckers. My favorite stores were Amazon, Oriental Trading and Really Good Stuff.

Dr. Seuss Bunting Banner
I can’t believe I cut up Dr. Seuss books but I love the look of book page buntings. I found two Cat in the Hat books that were pretty beat up at my local thrift shop. I cut the pages up into triangles. I found pom-pom yarn at Joann’s Fabric store then my husband helped staple all the pages on. We strung the bunting across the entire gym and across the closed curtains on the stage. Two books worth made a super long string. I kept the bunting to re-use.

Daisy Head Mayzie Crazy Hat Booth
The PTA volunteers did a great job gathering supplies for this booth.  They bought poster board and cut them into long strips allowing the kids to create whimsical hats. They had feathers, pom-poms, foam flowers, glue, staplers and tape. The hats were a huge hit.Seuss Carnival Crazy Hats obSEUSSed

Green Eggs and Ham Hunt
I wanted to do an egg hunt, but I didn’t want 200+ kids running all at once to fill a bag with eggs. My solution was to hide 500 Green Eggs in the library and the kids were told to find 2 rhyming eggs and they could keep the prizes inside (Dr. Seuss stickers or erasers).  PTA volunteers wrote these words on the eggs so there would be matches: Train/Rain, Fox/Box, Mouse/House, Sam/Ham. I bought sets of green eggs from Oriental Trading (see here).
This was a nice silent hunt because it was just down the hall from the big noisy carnival. Kids could search for eggs with their parents or friends.
Seuss Carnival Green Eggs and Ham Hunt obSEUSSed
Hop on Popcorn Bar
I’ve seen a few of these around and thought it would be a perfect way to serve treats at the carnival.  Click here for more details. I wrote an entire post about it.Seuss Carnival Hop on Popcorn Bar obSEUSSed
HOPscotch On POP
I used my silhouette cutting machine to cut out the words in black vinyl Dr. Seuss font. Click here for Dr. Seuss fonts.
I put the words on white card stock then we laminated them and taped them to the floor and added blue painters tape to create the hopscotch.  I hand drew the life-size Hop on Pop onto yellow butcher paper and laminated him. We had two pogo sticks the kids took turns hopping around Pop and jumping on the hopscotch reading the rhyming words as they played.Seuss Carnival Hopscotch Hop on Pop obSEUSSed
Oh the Places You’ll Go – Hula Hoop Station
This was the easiest booth. We grabbed ten hula hoops from the dollar store and set them by the sign. Kids stopped by to play for a few minutes then moved on. There was never really a line, it just stayed busy the whole time.Seuss Carnival Hula Hoops obSEUSSed
Trick-a-ma-stick {Stick Juggling} Booth
I wanted to have a juggler at the carnival to add to the atmosphere. I thought of just hiring one to come walk around but then I came across Nick Keil, from the Utah Stix Jugglers. He set up a booth to perform and show off his tricks, then he brought extra sticks and let the kids try juggling themselves. They loved it. It is pretty tricky to juggle sticks but they were all having fun and Nick watched each of them and gave them tips on how to make it work.  Nick suggested that it would be great for schools to buy sets of sticks to use during P.E. so they could work on balance and coordination.  I think the kids would love that.
Seuss Carnival Juggler obSEUSSed
Cotton Candy Hair
And last, but not least, is the Cotton Candy Station. You’ve got to have cotton candy to remind you of Thing One, Thing Two hair.  A tip I learned after 10 minutes that night: Get a stamp and stamp the kids hands when they go through so they each get only one.
Seuss Carnival Thing 1 Thing 2 Cotton Candy Hair obSEUSSed
I’d love to see Dr. Seuss parties you’ve done. Add them to my Dr. Seuss link collection here.
Remember to check out my Pinterest boards for more Dr. Seuss Party ideas.
I hope you enjoyed this Seuss-tastic party and find some inspiration for a party of your own! Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

Disclosure: I am a Google Affiliate and make a small percentage from clicks and sales of the items below. Thanks for looking!


Anonymous said...

I love your site and am also obseussed! :)

Nina Richard @PhD in Psychology said...

This is an absolute brilliant idea for any kid school fun day. The whole post is chalked full of good ideas and one of my favorites is the egg hunt. It was a good way to allow all of the kids to participate. It was a great idea.

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Ashley Simpson said...

Such a brilliant idea I would say. I really like whole decoration and theme of the birthday party. It is exciting and fun to arrange such interesting and exciting activities and games for kids. No kids party is complete without fun-loving games and activities as along with cake and cookies, children always wait for exciting activities which are performed in birthday parties. Next month, I am also planning to throw a kids birthday party at my home and I will definitively going to perform some of the activities mentioned above.

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Rosy peterson said...

Any kind of celebration looks incomplete without decorating the venue with balloons and flowers. These two are the main things which are the base for any decoration material. They come in varieties of shapes and sizes and you can choose any depending on your choice. Balloons and flowers suit all the type of decoration. I also like them for decoration and use them in all the celebrations which we organize. They come in amazing colors which look very attractive.

Skyline Exhibitor Source said...

Cool post. This looks like a really great celebration.

Matt Voges said...

Inflatable bounce house bring a lot of excitement to children and it is such a joy to watch them as they see the bounce house come to life as it gets inflated. By renting an inflatable bounce house you can earn your kid's satisfaction.

markson said...

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