Teaching young children can be an exciting adventure filled with many first experiences for them. As they expand their minds and begin to take in ideas and new knowledge, the progression can be remarkable. Some of the best ways to teach young children occur when adults bring them into a world of imagination through characters and stories that excite their minds.
There are a wide variety of delightful children’s authors with great stories to use for teaching. At the top of the list is Dr. Seuss and his lively characters he created in his series of children’s books. For generations, Dr. Seuss has given both parents and teachers the ability to bring children into a world of wonder.
Lessons From Dr. Seuss
When looking to create the best in themed playtime, using Dr. Seuss is perfect for interactive play as well as classroom lessons. While there are many great books that Dr. Seuss wrote, three of the favorites include: Horton Hears a Who, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Green Eggs and Ham. Each of these stories enlivens the imagination of children with their rhymes and playful anecdotes. These beautiful stories teach children life lessons and can be the perfect stories to play themed activities.
Horton Hears a Who
When it comes to Horton Hears a Who, the story lends itself well to teaching children how to be creative when they are trying to “be heard” and get their point of view across to adults. At the end of the story, all the townspeople in Whoville play and instrument or sing to make enough sound so others will hear them. It can be a great way to bring music into the classroom and encourage children to sing and play xylophones, kazoos, harmonicas, tambourines, shakers, and recorders. You can designate children in groups of instruments, and they can begin to learn about their ability to make beautiful sounds come alive.
Another significant part of Horton’s story that you can use for an activity occurs when the town of Whoville gets blown away in the wind, and Horton must find them. You can use this as a theme for a great treasure hunt game. Taking a wooden flower prop with a design such as dandelion and hiding it allows the storyline to come alive. Teachers can hide it so the children can seek to find the location of it and save Whoville. It can be great fun and can be a fantastic way to bring the story to life.
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
It is a classic at Christmas, and it can allow children the opportunity to understand the real meaning of Christmas. At the end of the story, everyone is standing around in a circle singing “Welcome Christmas.” The song is simple and is an easy one for kids to learn and is great for circle time.
Green Eggs and Ham
With Green Eggs and Ham, the children can have this as a game before snack time. They can learn the rhyming stanza at the end of the book, where Sam denounces green eggs and ham and states all the places he refuses to eat them, starting on a boat going down the list when he finally says that he will not eat them anywhere.
This activity is fun and teaches them the power of words. Because the stanza is long, teachers can start by doing two lines at a time just before snack and build up to the entire verse within a few weeks, all while reading the story during class time.