Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with Read Across America

The joy of watching your child getting lost in a book, whether it’s the two of you snuggled up together or watching her embark in this world of imagination on her own, instilling a love of reading is a vital gift we can and should bestow upon our children. Every year the NEA’s Read Across America day brings us a nationwide reading celebration on the “birthday of beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss.”

Dr. Seuss’s birthday is on March 2, though this year’s Read Across America celebrations will be held on March 1, 2013. And in Billings, we’re taking our Dr. Seuss birthday celebrations even further into March. I think we all know that having a birthday month or week is way better than just one little birthday. Below you’ll discover the Seussical events going on in Billings throughout March as well as some ideas on how you can celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America at home with your wee ones.

But first a little background on Read Across America and how it all began:

In May 1997, a small reading task force at NEA came up with a big idea. "Let's create a day to celebrate reading," the group decided. "We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don't we do something to get kids excited about reading? We'll call it 'NEA's Read Across America' and we'll celebrate it on Dr. Seuss's birthday." And so was born on March 2, 1998, the largest celebration of reading this country has ever seen. -NEA website

Celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday in Billings:

  • Barnes & Noble is taking the entire month of March and making it Dr. Seuss month, kicking things off with a The Cat in the Hat storytime on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 10 a.m.
  • Parmly Billings Library informed us that they’ll be sharing Dr. Seuss stories starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2013. They’ll also be featuring Dr. Seuss books throughout the week during the library’s regular storytimes. Go to the Library Story Time Calendar

If you haven’t already started getting the scoop, your kids will have their own Seuss celebrations going on in their schools next Friday (if not all week long). Have fun helping them have fun getting all kinds of weird and wacky for reading!

Celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday at home:

When reading with your children it doesn’t matter if they’re one, none, or ten because reading is not only good for their beautiful brains, but it’s an opportunity for some wonderful bonding time as well. Make reading together as much of a priority in your schedule as you do brushing teeth. Now, onto some activity ideas for you and yours:

  • Obviously your first step of wishing Dr. Seuss a happy birthday is making The Cat in the Hat hats. You’ll need red and white construction paper and I lean towards poster board for the hats’ band that you’ll fit around your kiddo’s head.
    • Step 1: Place your large sheet of white construction paper vertically on the table.
    • Step 2: Glue 3-4 strips of red construction paper spaced horizontally onto the white sheet.
    • Step 3: Glue 1 white strip to bottom of hat (last red strip) and staple your poster board strip to the base, fit to your child’s head and secure strip – after taking it off your kiddo’s head.

  • Check out www.seusville.com for all kinds of amazing printables, these are our top 3 faves:
    • Tic-Tac-Toe Green Eggs in a Row! – Color the game pieces and get on board for this adapted version of tic-tac-toe!
    •  Fox in Socks rhyming worksheet - Rhyming words can get your tongue in trouble!  Find out how smart your tongue is! Draw a line from the word on the left that rhymes with the word on the right.
    • Fun-In-A-Box – This one wants you to take a page out of The Cat in the Hat and have you draw what you would keep in your own big, red box…I say, why stop there? Dive into your imaginations and create rainy day boxes o’ fun to have on hand.

Finally, can you really call it a birthday celebration without a birthday card? Using your favorite Dr. Seuss characters and illustrations as inspiration, have your little artiste create one-of-a-kind birthday cards.

Oh the thinks you can think and the things you can do with just bit of imagination or two…Dr. Seuss I am not, but with the help of his wonderful books you can inspire a lifelong love of reading in your children. And that is an utterly priceless gift. Happy reading!

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