Dr. Seuss books have been around for a very long time—since the late 1930’s! If you have a child in the age range of two to eight, no doubt you’ve read at least one Dr. Seuss book to them or they’ve read one in school. Most kids like his books and have a few in their book collection. But if your child has an approaching birthday and is a huge fan of Dr. Seuss, well, that opens the door to all kinds of possibilities for a Dr. Seuss children’s party theme!
Bold Decorations You just can’t have a Dr. Seuss themed party without representing all the bold colors that are in Seuss’ books. To do that you could hang streamers and balloons in a color scheme such as aqua and red. Maybe you could decorate the food table with an aqua tablecloth and red paper plates, cups and napkins. Oh, and don’t forget to include polka dots and stripes into your color combo—perhaps the party hats could contain aqua or red polka dots. If the local party store doesn’t carry the party hats you want for your Dr. Seuss theme, you can always make your own with some fabric. In keeping with the aqua and red colors, tissue paper flowers or pompoms are always cute decorations for the party hats and presents or you can string them together and hang them above the gift or food table. They’re really simple to make. First, buy some aqua and red tissue paper in the gift wrap section of a store. Fold it up like an accordion and tie the middle of it with a piece of ribbon of the opposite color as your flower—for example, if you have a red flower, use an aqua-colored ribbon. Next, you’ll need to fluff the flower by carefully pulling up each tissue layer. That’s it. If you decide to string them together, once the party’s done, you can give them to your little girl to hang in her bedroom for the remainder of the year. If you’d rather go with a bright array of colors rather than sticking to just two colors, browse through a few Dr. Seuss books to get some ideas. For instance, if you look at “One Fish, Two Fish” you just might be motivated to create some crepe-paper fish to sway from the ceiling. Or “The Sneetches” could give you the inspiration to cut out colorful jumbo-sized stars. After reading “Horton Hears a Who” you may be encouraged to gather some pencils and craft pompoms to make pink clovers. You could simply dangle kites in striking colors with wild patterns on them from your ceiling to depict the book “It’s a Great Day for Up”.
Fun Games and Activities There are many games and activities to do at birthday parties and if you use your imagination, you could come up with some great games to convert to a Dr. Seuss theme. Here are just a few. When your guests first enter, why not let them decorate their own Dr. Seuss party hat? Provide a table complete with vivid party hats and things like feathers, sequins and stickers. While the children are busy designing their own unique hat, you could read “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins”. Play a game of “Stick the Tie on the Cat in the Hat”. Buy a huge poster of the Cat in the Hat. Then, before the party guests arrive, cut out red bow ties and place a piece of double-sided tape on the back of each tie. When it’s time to play the game, have the children line up and, as each child steps forward one at a time, blindfold them and spin them around a few times. Direct them toward the picture of the Cat in the Hat and instruct them to put the bow tie on the Cat. Whichever child gets the tie closest to the correct spot, wins a prize. A relay race is always lots of fun! Pour water into two plastic fish bowls and put a toy fish in each bowl. Split the children into two groups and line them up within their teams. The first child from each team has to race while carrying the fish bowl to the assigned finish line at the other end of the room or yard, then has to turn around and race back to the starting line. If it’s a group of toddlers playing this game, you can make the distance shorter from start to finish. When the children get back to the starting line, they hand the fish bowl off to their teammate and they proceed to race up and back. This continues until all the children from both teams have raced; the team that has the most water remaining in their fish bowl receives a prize for winning the game. For the next game, you’ll need some green food coloring and eggs. You’re going to dye the eggs just as you would for Easter except that you don’t want to pre-boil them. During the party, take the kids outdoors and allow them to form pairs; give each pair of children a green egg. The game will start by each child in their team standing a foot apart and carefully tossing the egg to their partner. Every time a child triumphantly catches their egg, the children in that team take one step back. When a child drops their green egg, and the egg breaks or just cracks, that pairing is out of the game. The team that still has an unbroken green egg at the end of the game wins a prize. A marching band is always popular with the younger children. You can allow them to use temporary instruments like spoons, pots and pans, plastic bowls and other non-breakable items in your home. While they’re making beautiful music with their “instruments”, like the Whos do in “The Grinch That Stole Christmas”, the kids can follow you around in a game of Follow the Leader. Ask a good friend to help with the party by putting on a costume of one of the famous Dr. Seuss characters. Your friend could read one of two stories to the children and act them out in a humorous way. If your friend is unavailable and you have the money you could employ an actor to perform this for you.
Creative Party Food We all know that the obvious choice for food at a Dr. Seuss themed birthday party is green eggs and ham. This can be accomplished by making deviled eggs and putting one drop of green food coloring in the filling before adding it back into the white egg shells. The deviled eggs can be served with ham sandwiches. To represent the “Hop on Pop” book, have some caramel popcorn for the kids. You could purchase a container of it at the store or make your own. For “The Cat in the Hat” grab some skewers, bananas and strawberries. Slice the fruits and, on each skewer, put a piece of strawberry then banana and repeat the layer once again. Voilà—the Cat’s Hat! From the “Fox in Socks” book, you could create a cheese tree. Cut bite-sized cheddar cheese cubes and stick them onto toothpicks. Then insert the toothpicks in a Styrofoam cone. Kids can pull the cheese cubes off the tree whenever they wish. Of course, the kids will need something to drink, right? So make a drink that the Yink likes from “One Fish, Two Fish” called Pink Yink Ink drink. It requires 2 cups of frozen sliced strawberries, ½ cup of vanilla non-fat yogurt, 1 cup of vanilla flavored soy milk, and 2 teaspoons of honey. Put the strawberries into a blender or food processor and pour the soy milk onto the fruit. Add in the yogurt and honey and purée until the mixture is smooth. You may have to keep turning off the blender and pushing the strawberries down into the bottom with a spoon and purée until they’re all crushed. Once the Pink Yink Ink drink is a creamy consistency, it can be poured into glasses for the children to enjoy.
Birthday Cake and Cupcakes Making a Dr. Seuss birthday cake doesn’t have to be difficult. You could make a simple round, two-layer cake in your child’s favorite flavor with brightly colored frosting, add some polka dots and buy a Dr. Seuss cake topper. But if you want to get creative, you could try your hand at making the Cat’s Hat cake. It’s simply a five-layer chocolate cake with two layers covered in white frosting and the other three layers covered in red frosting. Stack the cakes one on top of the other starting with the red frosted cake, then a white, repeat that layer and the top layer ends in red. If you’re really talented you could try making a birthday cake out of one of the characters from “The Sneetches” and frost the cake with bright yellow—don’t forget the blue star that goes on their belly! Would you rather have cupcakes? Okay, bake up some green cupcakes, frost them with white frosting and top with a green candy. Everyone will know that’s from “Green Eggs and Ham”. Or you could make cupcakes that resemble “One Fish, Two Fish”. Before baking, put blue food coloring into the cupcake batter and then cover them with a different color blue frosting. Put a Swedish Fish, or other gummy fish candy, on top of each cupcake. Try rotating the decorations and placing one fish, then two fish, then a red fish and then a blue fish on each cupcake.
A Dr. Seuss themed birthday party is great for any time of the year and a fantastic party favor to send home with the kids would be a Dr. Seuss book. Not only will it say “Thanks for coming to the party,” but it will also encourage each child to read. What could be better than that?