What does birthday cake, books and zany characters all have in common? They could be part of your child care’s Read Across America celebration. March 2nd is the thirteenth anniversary of the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America campaign which coincides with the birthday of children’s author, Theodor Geisel, better known as the beloved Dr. Seuss. At the time of his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss had written and illustrated 44 children’s books that have sparked generations of readers. He is the genius behind such loveable characters as the Cat in The Hat, the Grinch, Horton, and Yertle the Turtle.
As a child care provider, you want to engage the children in your care. Instilling a love of books and reading is a gift the children will carry with them throughout their lives. Read Across America is a great time to do exactly that. The NEA website and Seussville.com have a lot of printables and ideas to help make this a memorable day. The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), like other states, has information on statewide and local events you may want to participate in. Your local public library is another source for Read Across America events in your county.
There are many ways to incorporate Read Across America into your daycare on March 2nd. A birthday party for Dr. Seuss with cake and party games, like “Pin the Hat on the Cat”, is a perfect start. Simply print out a picture of The Cat in The Hat and place on the wall. Cut hats out of construction paper and put a small piece of tape on the back. Let the children play just like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”.
Of course reading a couple Dr. Seuss books is a must. It is a great opportunity to involve parents or grandparents by asking them to come to the party and serve as guest readers. For example, you could choose “Green Eggs and Ham” as one of the books to be read. Taking into consideration any food allergies the children in your care may have, you could serve green eggs and ham for breakfast or lunch. Simply add a couple drops of food coloring to scrambled eggs and watch the expression on the children’s faces when you serve them. Have a backup, because while some of the children will be brave and try the green eggs, you will undoubtedly have a “Sam I Am” in the bunch. As an alternative to the scrambled eggs, you could make green gelatin eggs to compliment the story. Either use the “Jell-O” egg molds or make the gelatin on a sheet pan with sides. Allow to gel and cut into egg shapes.
Regardless of what plans you make, including Read Across America into your child care’s day on March 2nd will be both memorable and fun for you and the children you care for. Make sharing the gifts Dr. Seuss gave to our generation a celebration to inspire our future readers.
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