Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, was a well-loved author of many books for children of all ages. His birthday, March 2, is a day when many libraries, schools and bookstores hold events commemorating this special day and celebrating the magic of his stories. Whether your kids are knee-high to a Who and sounding out Green Eggs and Ham, or old enough for you to be purchasing Oh, The Places You’ll Go for a high school graduation gift, you can take some time out to observe Dr. Seuss’s birthday and help instill a love of reading in your children. The big day falls on a Friday, but you could celebrate on the weekend when you have more time. March 2, 2015 is NEA’s Read Across America Day and this year, the book is the Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You’ll Go.
Gather up some books from the library if you don’t already have them, and try some of these ideas:
* Serve up Green Eggs and Ham for breakfast. Just a couple of drops of food coloring will dye scrambled eggs an appealing shade of green. Add some green fruit, such as grapes or kiwi, for a balanced breakfast. You could also serve toast as described in The Butter Battle Book, butter-side up or down, depending on what your army prefers!
* Read The Lorax. Over the weekend, start your garden! You may not be able to plant a truffula tree, but you can certainly start some tomatoes, zucchini, peppers or other healthy veggies. If you have the space in your yard, consider planting a tree to become a home to brown Barb-a-Loots and Swomee Swans (or squirrels and robins), and maybe to provide you with fruit in a few years!
* Have some serious discussions with your older kids. Read through books such as The Sneetches, and talk about prejudice and elitism, or Horton Hears a Who, and discuss the importance of standing up for those too small or weak to stand up for themselves.
* Encourage your kids to dress up! They could be Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat, poor single-tail-feathered Gertrude McFuzz, or The Grinch, with his heart two sizes too small. You could spend an entire day combing through old clothes and perhaps visiting a thrift shop to find clothes appropriate for costumes, and the kids could put on a Dr. Seuss parade modeling their unique creations.
* Take in some paper-free entertainment. Rent one of the movies based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Another option is to keep your eyes open for a high school or community theater putting on Seussical the Musical, which is a conglomeration of several Dr. Seuss stories. Our local high school performed it this year, and my daughter just loved it!
Dr. Seuss wrote fun, snappy and, in some cases, socially meaningful books for children. Most importantly, his appealing language has inspired many kids to want to learn to read! I remember that my own kids learned to read Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop and The Cat in the Hat very easily, due to the short words and rhymes. Take some time to celebrate this special birthday, as well as the gift of literacy.