Friday, September 16, 2016

25 Ways to Play With Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Bad days happen to everyone - even kids! Published in 1972, this favorite picture book based on the author's own family is a great way to come to terms with those terrible, horrible days that make us want to move to Australia - and it's also a fun book to use for learning through play. Here are 25 ways to play with the content and themes of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

  1. Create a homemade toy from a cereal box.  
  2. Draw what might be seen from the window of Alexander's carpool. 
  3. Practice singing loudly and softly. 
  4. Count to sixteen without leaving out any numbers. For an added challenge for older readers, count by sixteens! 
  5. Draw invisible pictures, like Alexander's invisible castle, using ink made of water and lemon juice.
  6. Use play food to pack a pretend lunch with all your favorite foods. 
  7. Spend some time in the kitchen making a dessert for your own lunch box - and don't forget to put it in before you leave for school! 
  8. Set up a make-believe dental practice. 
  9.  Pretend to be a shoe salesperson. 
  10. Color a pair of sneakers to suit your style. 
  11. Set up a pretend office like the one Alexander's dad works in. Act out the scene where Alexander visits the office.
  12. Find Australia on a map.
  13. Create an itinerary for traveling to Australia from your house.
  14. Sing Cuddly Koalas, about Australian animals.
  15. Plant a lima bean.
  16. Design a pair of ugly pajamas like the railroad train ones Alexander hates to wear.
  17. Write a sequel where Alexander has a good day. 
  18. Write a story about your own real or imagined bad day. 
  19. Hear Judith Viorst read the book in this video from Barnes and Noble's online story time feature. 
  20. Read Judith Viorst's other books about Alexander: Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday (1978), Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move (1995), and Alexander, Who's Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever (2014).
  21. Discover some of Judith Viorst's other books
  22. Watch the 2014 film adaptation of the book starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner.
  23. Watch the 1990 cartoon musical based on the book on YouTube. (Alexander is played by Danny Tamberelli!)
  24. Act out a skit based on the book using this script
  25. Retell the story using a flannel board set like this one
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