Throw a Character Party
A creative way to get children excited about books is to throw a character party! Here are four fun character parties you can throw for your children and their friends.
Make pretend puppy ears. Start by cutting a strip of paper about 1 inch wide and 30 inches long. (You may have to tape several strips together to reach 30 inches.) Make the strip into a circle that fits around a child’s forehead. Tape the ends together. Then cut out two floppy ears. Tape the ears to the circle so they hang down like Biscuit’s ears.
Bake cookies shaped like dog biscuits. Shape cookie dough into a roll about 2 inches long and ½ inch wide. Place the roll onto a cookie sheet. Attach a 1-inch ball of cookie dough to each end. You’ve just made a dog biscuit! Repeat. Bake and serve.
Pretend you are all puppies. Bark. Wag your tails. Relax on the floor. Play puppy games like catch, shaking hands, or rolling over.
Decorate your home like a museum. Help your children make “exhibits” about dinosaur eggs and dinosaur habitats. Space the exhibits around your home.
Serve green, leafy snacks like lettuce and spinach. If your children won’t nibble on leafy greens, try mint ice cream or lime sherbet instead.
Play dinosaur games!
- Dino Says
Play this like “Simon Says,” but say “Dino Says” instead. Tell your children to move like the dinosaur in the book. “Make a bridge with your body.” “Walk like a dinosaur.” “Spin like a merry-go-round.”
- Dinosaur Hide-and-Seek
Have your children pretend to be dinosaurs and find places to hide either indoors or outdoors.
- Pin the Tail on the Dinosaur
Draw your own dinosaur picture. Use the drawings in the book as a guide. Use a dinosaur tail to attach to your dino.
Decorate party hats with buttons. You can use store-bought hats, or make your own hats out of newspaper or construction paper. Help your children decorate the hats with glued-on buttons. Remember to use lightweight buttons—heavier buttons are likely to fall off.
Make frog-and-toad snacks. Slice a Granny Smith apple in half. Carefully remove the core. Turn each half flat-side down on a plate. The apple halves will act as frog bodies. Add celery sticks for arms and legs.
Write letters. Have each child write a letter. They can write to a friend, a family member, a teacher, or anyone else they care about. Encourage them to decorate their letters with stickers, glitter, or drawings. Don’t worry too much about spelling—it’s the thought that counts! Put each letter in an envelope. Address the envelopes, stamp them, and put them in the mail.
Make sure you write a letter to your children so they will have the fun of getting something in the mail, too. When they receive the letters, have your children read them aloud.
Make “shower” invitations for the party. Find a nice area outside, and make sure all children bring a bathing suit and towel. Let children run through a garden sprinkler, as they do in Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower. After that, you can play games and pitch a tent in the backyard and read Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping!
Science Day. First read Amelia Bedelia, Rocket Scientist? Organize a science day, either in the kitchen or outside, and help children create a homemade volcano. Don’t forget the smocks!
Halloween all year long. Organize a Halloween party (any time of year) based on Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia. Make your own versions of worm casserole, vampire punch, kitty litter cake, and grape eyeballs. And just like Mrs. Rogers, you can have a costume contest!
Become an I Can Read! Member and get even more great ideas to help your children get excited about reading!
Biscuit art © Pat Schories
Danny and the Dinosaur art © Syd Hoff
Frog and Toad art © Arnold Lobel
Amelia Bedelia art © Lynn Sweat