• Sarah

The Cat in the Hat- my kids know a lot about that

My saintly grandmother was the mother of nine. NINE! She is amazing and patient and kind. She also hates Dr. Seuss. This has always cracked me up. Apparently, her dislike is due to the fact that the characters in Dr. Seuss books are always making a mess, and she wasn't going to have that in her house. I think that's pretty fair. Luckily, my MIL is a fan and said my husband's favorite book growing up was The Cat in the Hat. This became our theme of the week.

As with any week, we began with reading the book, The Cat in the Hat. With my kindergartener starting to read, the rhyming was particularly timely. Rhyming is an exercise we do often that can sometimes stump him. So, Dr. Seuss books to the rescue! The rhymes and made-up words helped pump some humor and color into our week.

After the story was read, we used Q-tips to paint some themed printables. My MIL was kind enough to make some for our week's theme. You can check them out here. Gripping the thin cotton bud is a great way to have students work on strengthening their lumbrical muscles and fine motor skills. It also adds variety to their painting techniques.

My mother-in-law also made some great play-dough mats for the children to use. They were able to make stripes to lay on the cat's hat. The youngest covered the whole hat with playdough. The middle child made "snakes" to fill the hat. The oldest worked to spread the red dough to cover alternating stripes. Another method would be to let them roll the dough out and cut the shapes out like making cookies. Basically, with a simple mat, different methods can be experimented and patterns can be played with.

Since we were all getting over the flu, I needed our activities to be more simple than some we had done in the past. This is were red solo cups were my friend. I pointed out the similarity in it's shape with the cat's hat and let my children experiment with stacking the cups. If I had more energy, I would have put white tape on them for stripes. Cup stacking sounds like an overly simplistic activity, but my middle and youngest needed guidance with it.

I later used these same cups to reinforce sight words and letter recognition. Using a sharpie, I wrote some of the sight words my kindergartener knows. I stacked the cups and let him shoot the word I called out. I repeated this same game with my preschooler. I wrote letters on some of the cups and called them out at random. I let him shoot the letter I named. Finally, I stacked the cups into different arrangements and told him to shoot the stack that had four cups or six cups, etc.

Another activity my children enjoyed was using construction paper and paper plates, to make our own photo props. The older children cut out rectangles for the hat, circles for the bowtie, triangles for the ears and bowtie, and strips for the whiskers. Using glue sticks, they glued their masks onto a paper plate that had the center cut out by an adult. We used our reusable straws as the handle to the masks.

We topped off our day with strawberries and cream. I had seen a pinterest idea of layering the strawberries and whipped cream in clear punch cups to mimic the look of the cat's iconic hat. It worked great initially. I made our desert and set them in the fridge. Unfortunately, gravity did its thing and by lunch, our stripes had sunk and melted. Oh well, that's life. Considering the illness that loomed over our house for so long, I still felt pretty accomplished with another successful theme of the week.

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