It's difficult to overestimate the impact Dr. Seuss has had on literacy for young children. By kindergarten, kids are often able to recognize the Cat in the Hat symbol on Seuss' books and recite lines from some of his most popular titles.
To celebrate his influence (and to get kids jazzed about books in general), many schools throw Dr. Seuss birthday parties on or around March 2, which was Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday. Kids also often choose to use a Seuss theme when their own birthdays roll around.
Either way, you'll find ideas here for bringing to life the Cat in the Hat, the Whos, Horton the Elephant and his other beloved characters.
Dr. Seuss Birthday Decorations
Dr. Seuss' illustrations are just as magical as the words he used to describe them. The pictures' bright colors are part of their charm.
When decorating for a Seuss party, I recommend sticking to red and aqua and incorporating stripes and polka dots. Here's an example of how a red and aqua color scheme can look, courtesy of the blog Frosted events.
Looking for an inexpensive decoration that makes a big impact? Make red and aqua tissue paper pompoms, following my tissue paper pompom tutorial.
You could also use red and aqua fabric to make custom party hats for the kids.
Other ideas for Dr. Seuss party decorations, red and aqua balloons, streamers, plates, napkins, cups and tablecloths. Also: clear jars of red and aqua candy, and bags of blue cotton candy.
The best source of inspiration for Dr. Seuss party decorations are his books. Flip through One Fish, Two Fish and you'll be inspired to dangle crepe-paper fish from your ceiling. Read Horton Hears a Who and you'll want to make bouquets of pink clovers using craft pompoms and pencils (those would make great party favors, too).
Dr. Seuss Cake and CupcakesCheck out these clever ideas for Dr. Seuss cakes and cupcakes:
- Thing 1 and 2 cupcakes from Kara's Party Ideas. She topped the cupcakes with a shock of blue cotton candy to resemble the Seuss characters.
- A multilayer cake that resembles The Cat in the Hat's hat from The Cake Gal.
- Another Cat in the Hat cake from Cake Student.
- A Horton Hears a Who cake from Cakes of Distinction.
- Cat in the Hat cake pops from Heavenly Cake Pops.
- Amazingly intricate Seuss character cupcakes from Beau Coup Cupcakes.
Don't trust your cake decorating skills? Follow my instructions for making easy, cheap paper cupcake toppers using images from Seuss' books.
Other Food to Serve at a Dr. Seuss Party
No party is complete without serving the kids some green eggs and ham. Stephanie Gallagher, About.com's Guide to Kids' Cooking, shares a green eggs and ham recipe on her site. You could also follow her recipe for deviled eggs and add green food coloring to the yolk mixture before inserting it back into the hard-boiled eggs.
Stephanie also has a recipe for a Pink Yink Ink drink (something the Yink drinks in One Fish, Two Fish) on her site.
Looking for more ideas? Check out the Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook, which has more recipes inspired by Seuss' stories.
Dr. Seuss Activities and Games
Here are some ideas for Dr. Seuss activities and games, whether your party is at home or in a classroom:
- Pin the bow tie on the Cat in the Hat: Draw or purchase a large poster of the Cat in the Hat, cut out one red bow tie for each guest or student, blindfold the children, spin them around and let them attempt to place the bow tie in the right spot.
- Hire an actor or ask a friend to come to the party dressed as a Seuss character. Have that person read one or two of his books in an animated way.
- Die some eggs, as you would at Easter time, but don't pre-boil the eggs and use only green coloring. Take the kids outside and hold an egg-toss competition. Have teams of two stand just a foot apart at first, and then tell them to gently toss one green egg to each other. The kids then take a step back each time they successfully catch the egg. Once a player drops the egg (and it cracks), that team is out. The last team with an unbroken egg wins.
- Check out the Seussville website's lesson plans for educators for more Dr. Seuss party activities.
Dr. Seuss parties are a wonderful way to celebrate the beloved author and to teach children that reading is fun.