Easy Activities to Celebrate Read Across America Day with Toddlers and Preschoolers
Did you grow up reading Dr. Seuss books too? And, I’m sure you’ve seen a movie or two based on one of Dr. Seuss’s books. Did you know that Dr. Seuss wasn’t actually a doctor and that his birthday is March 2nd? That’s why we have “Read Across America” day at the beginning of March each year.
While many of Dr. Seuss’s books might make you wonder what state of mind he was in when he wrote them and make you feel like you’re getting a tongue workout trying to read them aloud to your little one, Dr. Seuss’s books are lots of fun for kids and are a good opportunity to practice reading, rhyming, talking about characters, reviewing colors, and so much more!
But, instead of just reading Dr. Seuss’s books, you can take it one step further and do activities with them. Here are a few fun Dr. Seuss activities to get you started:
Green Eggs and Ham
Put some food coloring in your scrambled eggs and make green eggs! Serving them with ham is optional but goes along with the book. This is a good chance to talk about how to make green, by mixing yellow and blue, so you don’t actually need green food coloring to make green eggs.
Green Egg Painting
Don’t worry- this isn’t as messy as it sounds. Use a gallon sized bag, and put a piece of paper flat in it. Put a dob of blue paint on one part of the paper and yellow on another part. Seal the bag. Grab an Easter egg (or use a hard-boiled egg, or even a ball) and have your child roll the egg or ball over the paint (sealed inside the bag) to mix the paint colors together. Notice the shades of green made as the blue and yellow blend together.
The Foot Book
Put a piece of paper on the floor and trace each other’s feet. Who has the biggest feet? Cut them out and mix up the feet. Match them up. Talk about left and right feet. Compare shoe sizes to the foot cutouts. You can even decorate the cut-out feet when you’re done.
Foot tracks/animal tracks
Is everyone’s footprint the same? If you have pets, look at the bottom of their feet. If they’ll let you, trace their paw (foot) and compare it to your child’s foot. Look at the paw prints of other animals (should be available with a quick online search). If you can, go for a walk and look for animal tracks. If it’s rainy or snowy, walk through the water/snow and make tracks. Talk about each family member’s tracks and how they’re similar, but a little different due to how tall people are, how fast they walked, the types of shoe worn, etc.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Do you have a fishing game, such as this one by Melissa and Doug* or this board game? This is a great chance to recapture your child’s attention in it. No fishing game? Use a net or a scoop and scoop small floating objects (ping pong balls, bath toys, etc… anything small that floats) out of a small bowl of water. Or, use the bath tub and put a fun twist on bath time by letting your little one “fish” in the bath tub. *affiliate links
Gold fish (the snack) are a fun snack and great for activities.
- How many gold fish fit in your child’s hand? Count them. How many fit in your hand? Count them. Whose hand holds more? Why?
- Spell your child’s name with gold fish. How many gold fish did you need?
- What shapes can your child make using gold fish?
- How many gold fish does it take to cover the plate? Different sized lids?
- What’s your child’s favorite color? Count how many objects around you are that color. Talk about what your favorite color is and find objects that match it.
- Make a book about colors. You could make a book that’s all about your child’s favorite color or do one color per page. To practice scissor skills, cut out items from grocery store advertisements and glue them in your child’s book.
Yes, this is a book by Dr. Seuss, one that isn’t as well known. But, a common theme in Dr. Seuss’s books is opposites, so what better time is there for talking about opposites than while exploring Dr. Seuss books?
Keep this one simple and use it as a springboard for talking about the opposites around you. For little ones, keep it simple with opposites they can see, like “big” vs. “small.” Take that up a notch and talk about feelings and things that aren’t as easy to see.
There you have it! A little information about why we have Read Across America Day and some simple activities you can do to celebrate it with your kids.