In the place where we put our childhood memories, a little parking space exists. The parking space reads, reserved for Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). The author and illustrator’s fantastical stories, forward-thinking illustrations, and zany characters make his books unforgettable – meritorious of a reserved space in our childhoods. Great reads for kids and fun escapes for adults, dig into lessons on creativity with these five Dr. Seuss books.
Curiosity: Oh the Thinks You Can Think
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss
In the form of “thinks” and questions, our curiosity sparks exploration and pulls at our imagination to get to work (and play!). This book is a whimsical list of interesting things to think about, discover, and question. It’s a perfect read for a discussion on the “thinks” and questions that pull at your kids’ curiosity.
Imagination: And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” – Dr. Seuss
One way to look at creativity is leveraging what our imaginations come up with to solve problems or innovate. We need the ability to imagine in order to let our creativity do its work. In this book, Dr. Seuss has a boy imagine the most remarkable combinations to make the story of seeing a horse and a wagon on Mulberry Street much more interesting. Stretching the veil of possibility is a great way to exercise your imagination. Take the boy’s lead and work with your kids to stretch the reality of something they see on the drive home from school.
Creative Problem-Solving: Green Eggs and Ham
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss
Creative professionals often find that abundant creativity comes from creating or enforcing restrictions. The added challenge puts their creativity into problem-solving mode and opens them up to ideas that may have seemed silly if they weren’t solving for a challenge. Dr. Seuss is no exception. On a bet from his editor, Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” with no more than 50 different words. Classic phrases like, “I do not like them, Sam-I-am,” are thanks to this 50-word hurdle Dr. Seuss jumped clear over by tapping into creative problem-solving. Tell your kids this story as you read the book and see if they can make up their own story with a fun little restriction all of their own.
Invention and Innovation: Oh Beyond Zebra!
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss
Why stop at Z? In this book, Dr. Seuss takes us into the mind of a boy who invented letters beyond Z. He encourages his young friend Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell to create his own letters so that he never needs to stop at Z again. Innovation begins by realizing that creation never ends. You never have to stop at the way things are. There is always a glimmer of ingenuity at an arm’s length if you choose to reach. Take a minute to chat with your kids about all the ways you could apply innovation to numbers, a paperclip, or even a shoe.
Confidence: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
“On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.” – Dr. Seuss
Confusion, wrong turns, waiting, frustration, and failure are all pit stops on the journey when you act on your creativity. Confidence gives us the oomph to stand back up and gives us the hope to try again. When we lean on our confidence we see problems as creative challenges and don’t let our pit stops define our journey. This book is often exchanged at college graduations and between close friends, this is a book that was written for all ages – even those older than ten. The story takes you through all those ups and downs, to follow a boy who decided to leave town.
We hope your families enjoy these classic Dr. Seuss books and the lessons on creativity each holds. If you can’t get enough Dr. Seuss, try these DIYs: Toppling Turtles (Ages 3-5), Monster Game (Ages 5-8), and Fluffy Tree Pencil Toppers. You can also read through our blog on our employees’ favorite Dr. Seuss quotes for Dr. Seuss’s birthday!