From its wondrous story, to its brilliant rhyme scheme, to its colorful illustrations, this is by far my favorite Dr. Seuss book. Watch your child light up as he/she reads about three foes competing to see who can stack the most apples “on top” of their heads. A great pick for preschoolers who are beginning to count, define the concepts of more/less, rhyme, and categorize. Seeking to build upon the “book before bedtime” experience? Try incorporating the following expansion techniques.
- Try holding the book upside-down and begin introducing the story. Play coy when your child says, “no! no!” and wait for him/her to use language to comment (e.g., “not like that!” or “it’s upside-down!”). Try turning the book in different directions playfully until your child identifies the correct way to present the book.
- Ask your child to identify the title of the book and the illustration on the cover. Can your child tell you what’s “so silly” about this illustration? Ask your child what these animals are supposed to be doing. Follow up by asking where these animals live. Can your child provide other animals that live in the same place?
- Is your child able to identify specific words in the book’s title by recognizing and connecting the beginning sounds/letters?
- Encourage your child to complete the following sentence as you point to each animal on the cover of the book- “________ has _____ apples up on top.”
- Introduce the book’s title page to your child. Ask your child which page the story begins on.
- As the characters emerge, introduce the words more and less accompanied with gestures. Is your child able to identify which animal has more apples and which has less?
- Encourage your child to complete rhyming pairs throughout the book (e.g., “Seven apples up on top. I am so good they will not ______.”).
- After the story is complete, can your child identify what the book is about? If assistance is required, turn to a salient illustration.
- Play time! Give your child pictures of jungle animals and fruit mixed together. Can your child categorize the two groups correctly? While cleaning up the pictures, describe a given animal/fruit and have your child identify and put away the target picture.
- More play! Use beanbags to reenact part of the story. See how many beanbags you and your child can balance on top of your heads. Can you walk with the beanbags? run? skate?
- Nutrition! Have your child pick out an apple from the refrigerator and ask your child whether apples come from refrigerators? When your child laughs hysterically, prompt him/her to tell you how the apple ended up in your refrigerator. Explain the difference between healthy/unhealthy snacks. Can your child identify other healthy options? Sit, eat, and discuss!