Horton Hatches the Egg
by Dr. Seuss
*For a list of all the books we have explored in Pre-K Activities: Read and Play, visit our archives here.
This heartwarming tale of an elephant faithfully sitting on a lazy bird’s egg will captivate little ears. Prepare yourself for repeat readings of this one!
*Before reading the story, ask your child what kinds of animals lay eggs. Show him the front cover of the book with an elephant sitting on an egg in a nest. Ask, “Do elephants lay eggs? Why do you think this elephant is sitting on a nest with an egg in it?”
*After reading the story (giving each character his own distinct, memorable voice accompanied by facial expressions), try some of these fun activities with your child:
1) Discuss whether it would be hard to take care of an egg. (A reminder that there is a baby inside may be helpful! Why or why not? Give your child an egg to take care of for a day. The kind of egg you give them (real, plastic, etc.) will depend on your confidence in their ability to properly care for it, and this will vary greatly from child to child. (All children will probably need at least some loving guidance. )
2) Talk about whether it was right or not for Mayzie to leave her baby so she could have some fun on her own. Describe how Mayzie cared more about pleasing herself than taking care of her baby, whereas Horton chose to care for the baby even when it was uncomfortable (in the snow and the rain, when others were taunting him). What are some ways that we can put others before ourselves and demonstrate that we love them? Decide with your child on a specific act of loving service he/she could carry out—perhaps baking a batch of cookies for a neighbor, “reading” a favorite story to family members after serving them a special snack, painting and sending a picture to someone in need of a pick-me-up, etc. The options are truly endless.
3) “Elephant” and “egg” begin with the letter “E”! Make an eggshell “E.” Crush eggshell pieces, rinse, and pat them dry, and let your child glue the pieces (using a cotton swab) to a large letter “E” shape cut out of heavy paper. If eggshells are not handy, you can use egg stickers or small egg shapes cut out of wrapping paper.
4) Make eggs with your child! Kids love working and watching in the kitchen. It could be scrambled eggs, egg salad, hard-boiled eggs . . . whatever suits your fancy!
5) Inspire the inner elephant within your child! Visit this web site for instructions on how to craft an elephant nose and ears. Act out some scenes from the story (you will likely land the role of Mayzie! You could even use your imaginations to create a sequel to the story!
For a printable collection of this week’s activities, click here.