Thursday, March 13, 2014

Circus McGurkus

In our homeschooling co-op, each of us moms is responsible to host one or two events throughout the school year so the burden doesn't fall on a select few.  It was my turn again, and because I was hosting in March, I wanted to honor Dr. Seuss.  (His birthday is March 2nd.)  I picked one of my favorite books of his, If I Ran the Circus, thinking the circus theme would be fun for the kids. 
Setup for this event was easy, with a small purchase from Oriental Trading Company.  This picture shows my table at the Rec Center where our co-op meets.
 We focused on nouns and adjectives today, with adjectives used to describe each of the critters we'd be reading about and making!
 I also handed out tickets to each child, three apiece, two for snacks and one for the big show!
For snack, I served popcorn and pink lemonade, just like Mr. Sneelock did in the book. 
One box of popcorn cost one ticket ...
... (the popcorn boxes were also from Oriental Trading) ...
... and one pink lemonade cost the same.
(I found these cute straw masks at Hobby Lobby.)
 The kids were excited!
I also put together some goodies for the kids to take home ...
... stickers, an animal print pencil, a red foam clown nose, lollipops, and circus coins.
(I loved these little coins!)
Here's Mags, tickets in hand, ready for the show!  (I assigned the task of handing out popcorn to one child, and lemonade to another.  After they collected tickets and handed out snacks, I awarded them with a clown nose and told them, "You've earned your nose!")
Two drinks never hurt!
Then, it was time for the story!  For the same, I created these "story paddles," with a photocopy and description of each crazy circus animal in Dr. Seuss's book.  For example, one said, "I’m a Spotted Atrocious, a beast most ferocious!"  Another said, "I’m a Grizzly-Ghastly who slams down men fastly!"  Each child and parent got a paddle.  (This really helped everyone to listen closely, as well!)
While I read the book, when that character was announced, the person who had that paddle would come up ...
... and pick three pieces out of my hat, a red clown nose, a piece of popcorn, and a little black top hat.  (I modeled the activity for this event after the activity we did in our Book Club when we read Scrambled Eggs Super! (, also by Dr. Seuss, when we pulled out pieces from the large egg to make birds.) 
Together, the pieces would make a new circus animal!  Here, we have the rough-horned elk, single-tufted flamingo, and double-crested flea!
The children would then be required to take their pieces, glue them onto paper, and create their animals!  As an example for the kids, I had done one early.  I give you the fuzzy-rumped camel!
The kids loved picking from the hat and were really excited to start their creations!
 (Maggie's critter, in the works!)
Then, it was time for the show (but not before I recruited another child to go around and collect the last of everyone's tickets)!  Another nose earned!  I announced each child and his/her animal, then that child came up to the front and showed the new creation to the rest of the audience.  "Introducing, Maggie's single-nozzled penguin!"  It was a lot of fun!  After all of the animals had been featured, we had a circus parade around the room before departing with treats!  Everyone earned their noses!
 My little clown! 
 Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

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