Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! In honor of Read Across America Week here are a few ways to celebrate reading with your family. And if you are wondering, yes, my boys will be doing all of these.
- Bake a cake. Reading should be celebrated! And nothing says party to a preschooler more than a cake decorated by them in honor of their favorite book or author. M-Man and I Seussified ours, but how about a spooky Harry Potter cake or a James and the Giant Peach cake? Grab some sprinkles, a favorite book and go to town. Just look out for sticky pages.
- Make a puppet show. Create some puppets based on the book. Sock puppets, paper bag puppets, and wooden spoons are all classics. Have your child design them in the likeness of the books’ characters. Another way to inspire literary play is to photocopy the characters, laminate them, and tape them to craft sticks.
- Dine like a literary. This is my favorite. Bring their favorite characters to the dinner table. Let the child pick a favorite book and give everyone a character to dress up as at dinner. To date Pete and I have been the Harry Potter gang, almost every super hero, and Dr. Dolittle’s practice. Another way is to pick a theme for the dinner and everyone bring a book to talk about within the theme. For example, if the theme is “Farm” each family member could bring The Big Red Barn, Charlotte’s Web, and Animal Farm. Spend the dinner sharing what each book is about and what you like about it.
- Find a new author. Visit and support your local bookstore. I have nothing against Barnes and Nobel; I love their train tables, but if you are lucky enough to have a good local bookstore near you, take the time to visit it this week. The staff will be knowledgeable, most likely friendly, and will be able to introduce you to a whole world of new and wonderful children books. If you are not able to get there, here is list that impressed me recently and I have earmarked for future birthday gifts http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-b-nielsen/20-new-classics-every-chi_b_6512072.html.
- Have a library party. Nothing beats the real deal. I am of course referring to the local library. Have you been to yours lately? Since the way we consume books is changing, libraries are changing too. From eBooks to free office space, libraries offer many more services than ever before. As for kids, there are obviously books, but also toys, music, movies… We will end our Read Across America Week by visiting our own library making an afternoon of it. We will make hats to wear because a party hat always means a good time. (I’m not sure yet if I am joking or not. I’ll let you know.)