Our Favorite Books, Part 3

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To honor Dr. Seuss in his birthday month, and all of the other fabulous authors out there for young children, we are starting a new series: "Our Favorite Books." In March, we’ll be posting three parts, each with 5 to 6 books, the first being a Dr. Seuss book. For each book, we’ll list some crafts, games, and/or other activities, plus a link to where you can get the books if you don’t have them at home or can’t find them at your local library. Don’t see your favorite book on our lists? Send an email to info@mycalendarmaker.com and we may add your favorite to our next list! If you like this craft, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Book #1: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

What You’ll Need:
*Paper Plate
*Red paint
*Clear tape
*Construction paper – 4 sheets white, 2 sheets red

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: Brainstorm things you can do on a rainy day. Talk about appropriate behavior when Mom & Dad aren’t home and there is a babysitter. If your babysitter brought in a big red box, what would you like to see in there?
*Craft: Make a Cat in the Hat hat:
*Cut out the center of the paper plate. You will only need the rim.

*Paint the rim of the paper plate red. Allow to dry thoroughly.

*Meanwhile use clear tape to tape all four pieces of white construction paper together to create a large rectangle, overlapping edges.

*Cutting both pieces at the same time, cut the red construction paper into 4 horizontal strips, so you’ll have 8 strips all together. Use clear tape to tape two strips together so you have 4 long red strips.
*Lay the 4 red strips over the white paper rectangle. Make sure you have at least a one inch margin on the bottom. Put even amounts of white spacing between the remaining red strips. Glue the red strips to the white paper. Allow to dry.

*Trim the sides and top of the white and red paper.

*Cut vertical tabs in the one inch white border on the bottom of the paper, about one inch apart.

*Once the rim is dry, place it on the floor or table. Roll up the white/red rectangle with red stripes facing out and place it in hole in the center of the rim, with the tabs you cut at the bottom of the hat.

*Allow the white/red rectangle to expand to fill out the entire hole. Slide the rim so that it touches the bottom of the bottom-most red strip. Your tabs should be under the rim, with the rest of the hat above. Staple the edges of the white/red rectangle together so it forms the round part of the hat.

*Flip the hat over and fold down the tabs and press against the underneath side of the rim. Tape down the tabs to keep in place.

Book #2: And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss

What You’ll Need:
*Costumes/Dress-up clothes

*Read the book together and pay attention to the rhythm of the book.
*Discuss: This book has a very particular rhythm to it – the story goes that that the lull of a ship’s engine on a transatlantic trip was the inspiration. What do you see on your way home from school? What are some everyday things that you see on your way home from school or outside your window that you could use your imagination to make more exciting?
*Activity: Have a parade down your street or driveway. Start with just yourself and a wagon. Now, one at a time, add in your favorite toys and make up a sensational story to go with it. Add silly hats, costumes, etc.

Book #3: Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle

What You’ll Need:
*Black paper
*Cotton balls
*Yellow paint
*White chalk

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: What amazing things has your dad done for you? What does the moon look like tonight? Talk about the phases of the moon. Check out KidsAstronomy.com for more information.
*Craft: Use a cottonball dipped in yellow paint to make the moon on your black paper in the same broad stroke brush style as Eric Carle in this book. Then glue the cottonballs to make a cloud. Add a ladder made of chalk.

Book #4: Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming

What You’ll Need:
*Construction paper
*Various materials

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: Talk about how each letter is made. Which is your favorite?
*Craft: Make your own alphabet out of various materials. We used popsicle sticks, wrapping paper, fabric scraps, and ribbon to make the name "Noah", but you can use just about anything – be creative! Some other suggestions: things found in nature (sticks, grass, leaves, rocks, flower petals), textiles (fabric, ribbons, lace, buttons), paper (wrapping paper, paper scraps, tissue paper, newspaper, wallpaper, stickers, magazines, old photos).

Book #5: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

What You’ll Need:
*Crayons, markers, etc.

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: Compare the city and the country. How do they look different? Sound different? Smell different? What things can you find in one but not the other? Do you have a house that you would love enough to move? How would your house change if your area became more country or more city?
*Activity: This is really the house’s story. What is your house’s story? Draw a picture of your house now and what you think your house might look like one day in the future? Write a story of how it got there.

Book #6: Surprise Party by Pat Hutchins

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: How does the message change from the start of the book to the end? Talk about the importance of listening and passing along correct information.
*Game: Play a game of “Telephone.” Sit in a line or circle. Have the first person whisper a word or phrase into the next person’s ear. This person has to pass along whatever he or she has heard onto the next person, etc. The last person says what he or she thinks is the word or phrase.
*Activity: Is someone in your family having a birthday or other special event coming up? Plan a surprise party! Hand out invitations, decorate with balloons and signs, and make a cake!

This activity can be found in the Book Club section of our site.