Dr. Seuss activities, games, crafts, lesson plans for preschool learning centers

The Cat in the Hat doffs his cap on March 2, to honor the 117th birthday of his creator Ted Geisel, better known as the beloved Dr. Seuss. To celebrate Seuss, the NEA (National Education Association) hosts "Read Across America." March is also National Reading Month and a perfect time to explore Dr. Seuss. Here are a hatful of literature-based activities to extend reading in preschool learning centers.

 Dr. Seuss is right at home in the book or library learning center. Fill your book corner with Seuss books. Emergent readers will love the pictures. Scatter some comfy pillows and any Seuss character toys. If you're like me and not into licensed characters, gather generic stuffed animals with Seussian theme: from Horton Hears a Who: elephants (Horton), birds (Daisy-headed Maisie), monkeys (Wickersham brothers), kangaroo and joey, turtles (Yertle), moose (Thidwick), cats (in silly hats), dogs (Max from the Grinch). From The Lorax; swans, bears, fish. Throw a Seuss story party (details to follow in my next post). 

For a Dr. Seuss art center, display his books: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Each day of Read Across America week, create Seuss-inspired artwork. Paint some of his crazy creatures at easels with brightly colored paints. Model creatures in clay or playdough. Create silly Seuss sculptures by poking recycled materials in Styrofoam blocks. But don't just model...create your own! 

To teach Dr. Seuss at the collage center, make Seuss toys from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Put out oddly shaped cardboard containers, egg cartons, aluminum foil and cans, plastic containers and colored fabric scraps. Students can design their own version of a Whoville Jing Tingler, Flu Flooper, Tar Tinkers, Who Hoover or Who Carnio Flunx. Make silly hats like Bartholomew Cubbins' 500! 

Bringing Dr. Seuss to music learning centers, is as easy as cut, glue, decorate! Using ideas from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", make homemade Seuss-ical instruments. Create noise-makers like the Grinch's hated Gar Ginkers Trum Tupers Slu Slumkers Blum Bloopers Who Wompers and Zu Zitter Carzays. Encourage students to give their musical instruments silly sounding names. 

Dr. Seuss fits perfectly in dramatic play or dress up learning centers. Have students design masks of Seuss characters: Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, Horton the elephant, Yertle the Turtle, Maisie the bird, the Wickersham monkeys, the Kangaroo and her joey.  Let children create their own Seuss creatures. Encourage kids to perform a Dr. Seuss parade like the one in his first book "And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street." Dress in homemade Seuss costumes, play musical instruments and show off homemade toys.

Dr. Seuss finds a play in science learning centers, using Lorax inspired life lessons. The Lorax deals with environmentalism and respect for biomes and animals on the planet. Set up an experiment on decomposition and pollution. Place different pieces of trash in zippered bags with a little water. Monitor them over time to show students how slowly trash decomposes. Students could also tend "truffula seeds" (use any flower seeds, sunflower, cosmos or daisy). Explore the food chain and animal species and habitats using these free printable habitat dioramas from First-Palette. Make Oobleck mixing liquid laundry starch and white school glue.

To teach a Dr. Seuss practical life area, use "The Cat in the Hat", "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Horton Hears a Who." These books deal with caring for others, preparing food and house cleaning. Do a Cat in the Hat tidy up relay race. Cook green eggs and ham. Care for an insect or goldfish.

Supplement with these free printable Dr. Seuss activities from Rock Your Homeschool. These are just a few of the Dr. Seuss activities to inspire a love of learning and reading in preschoolers. 

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