Now that the majority of us have been practicing social distancing and we have not had a chance to meet with families and students in person, family events have drastically changed for most schools. Students are holding virtual concerts and programs, parents are making Zoom calls with teachers, friends and other school families. PTO’s have turned to Facebook to hold fundraisers and get information out about upcoming events. If you have missed having family night with your school family, how about a game night on Zoom? Hopping onto a video chat may be a great way to connect with families and plays some fun games
Here in Kentucky, Kentucky School for the Blind Outreach has decided to do just that. We are planning to celebrate "Read Across America" (which will be March 2nd this year) and Dr. Seuss’s Birthday by hosting an “Evening with Dr. Seuss” with games, activities, family-friendly gift cards and giving each student who participates a book in that child’s medium. For this family night we decided to focus on preschool to elementary-aged children.
Activity Ideas to Celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss' Birthday
Dr. Seuss Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt is organized around Dr. Seuss’ Books. The items listed are common household items with a few not so common to make it interesting and all link back to the book in some way. Participants and their family members are asked to find the items and show them to the host. Each item is assigned a point value.
Guess How Many Goldfish are in the Jar
Dr. Seuss "Never Have I Ever" or "Yes, I Have" Game
This is a great game for learning some interesting things about the families in the group. The "Never Have I Ever" questions are organized around Dr. Seuss books. Participating family members will make 2 signs: "I have never." and "Yes, I have!" (as in the picture below). The host will call out the question and the participants will hold up their sign. The host will then choose a few to tell about their experience or why they “would not or could not” to the action in the question.
To encourage more participation, the presenter can ask a few participants to explain their answer. Use
Real or Fake? Dr. Seuss Title Game
This game is based loosely on the Game show “Real or Fake?” which is a children’s game show where children are asked to separate fact from fiction. In this version the participants will listen to the presenter announce the title of a book. They will then hold up a homemade sign to indicate if the title is Real or a Fake! Families can work together to decide if the title is Real or Fake. I decided to use a few of the lesser known Dr. Seuss titles. To encourage more engagement, the presenter can ask a few participants to explain their answer.
Dr. Seuss Craft and Snack Ideas
What family night is complete without crafts and a snack? Because this Family Night is virtual, you will need to think about common items that families might already have at home to make the craft and snack. I was able to find a few examples online listed below, but you could find more.
Dr Seuss "Cat in the Hat" Paper Hat
Who doesn’t like a party hat? Use a paper plate to make a "Cat in the Hat" paper hat. All you will need is a plain paper plate, scissors, and markers or crayons. See the directions online.
Lots of kids like to get their hands in something messy! Using this recipe, you can make your own messy Oobleck. Maybe your participants can determine if it's a solid, a liquid, or both?
Dr Seussy Snack Mix
What’s a family event without party snacks? Use this recipe and a few Dr. Seuss Books to make a great snack mix. Remind parents if they don’t have these ingredients or they don’t like certain ingredients, they could use any dry ingredient to make this mix.
To keep up with registration and contact participants, set up a Google Document for registration. You will need information on where to send the virtual Meeting Link, a supply list, and event updates. If students receive prizes or rewards, you will also need a mailing address.
If you have funding you could offer rewards and prizes to encourage participation, but they are not required for a fun night. We decided to offer each participant a FREE book from a list of Dr. Seuss books in their primary medium. Seedlings is a great place to find braille books. Print books can be ordered from Amazon or any online bookstore.
Gift cards to chain stores like Walmart or local stores would also be a great way to pull families into the activities.