How to re-create Dr. Seuss stories at home

Aug 2, 2012 at 5:53 a.m. ET

There are so many ways to bring Dr. Seuss to life. Enlist the help of the entire family to re-create your favorite stories at home.

Family planting tree

The Lorax and Mother Earth

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

The Lorax, written by Dr. Seuss, and first published in 1972, is the story of a little, orange fellow who warned a greedy entrepreneur, the Once-ler, about the dangers of cutting down the forest’s colorful Truffula Trees to make Thneeds.

Without the Truffula Trees, the forest became an ugly landscape whose once happy residents were forced to flee to find new homes. The story concludes with the Once-ler giving the last Truffula seed to a curious boy, entrusting him to plant it and restore the lively forest.

Join the Arbor Day Foundation® which pledges to “plant, nurture and celebrate trees.” Last year, Foundation members planted 8 million trees! When you join, you will get 10 free trees to grow, to send as a gift or to be planted — in your honor — in a national forest. Go here to join!

Teach kids the value of volunteering >>

Green Eggs and Ham and picky eaters

I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!

In Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, Sam-I-Am is a silly fellow who tries to encourage a friend to taste his beloved green eggs and ham. The friend isn't interested, but Sam-I-Am refuses to give up. In the end, Sam-I-Am's persistence pays off, and his friend not only tastes the green eggs and ham, but actually likes it!

Re-create this story at home without using eggs or ham! Put on your Sam-I-Am hat and up the foods your kids refuse to eat:

  • Cut foods into different shapes. Slivers of carrots or cheese go down more easily than big, chunky bites.
  • Change your preparation: If your kids dislike frozen or canned cooked peas, try some bagged sweat peas in pods.
  • Serve on funky, fun or formal plates that distract resistant kids from the despised food item.
  • Dress foods with the dressings or toppings your children love.
  • Offer it at a restaurant, a party or someone else's home where kids are less likely to refuse.
  • Remind your kids: They might actually like it!

Get the recipe for green eggs and ham recipe >>

Horton Hears a Who! and politics

Even though you can't see or hear them at all, a person's a person, no matter how small.

Dr. Seuss first published Horton Hears a Who! in 1954. The story tells of Horton the elephant who discovered — on a speck of dust — the microscopic community of Who-ville. Because of his large ears, Horton is able to hear the Whos while the other animals of the Nool Jungle can not.

At the request of Who-ville’s mayor, Horton agrees to protect the tiny planet, which infuriates his jungle-mates, who threaten to destroy the speck of dust. Horton convinces the Whos to come together and create enough noise for the other animals to hear. In the end, the little voice of JoJo is enough to make the community audible, demonstrating that "a person’s a person, no matter how small."

Horton Hears a Who! presents a wonderful opportunity for you to speak with your children about democracy, voting and being heard as individuals. In this election year, especially, you can help your kids understand the politcal party system, the Democratic and Republican platforms and the importance of exercising the right to vote. Follow the campaigns and election with your children, answer their questions and avoid the temptation to influence their political views.

Get your kids involved in politics >>

More family fun

Dr. Seuss-inspired family games
Recipes inspired by Dr. Seuss stories
Dr. Seuss activities for the entire family