5-Year-Olds ConceptPoetry/Songs

This Cat in the Hat book is all about staying healthy. It features nutritional information based on the latest USDA MyPlate recommendations and includes 16 bonus pages of simple, fun physical activities and kid-friendly, healthy recipes.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Read the title and look at the illustration on the cover. Encourage your child to talk about the things he sees that are healthy. Ask him if he can think of other things he can do to stay healthy.  

Beginning Writing

Have your child write or draw a list of all the healthy habits he names. Ask him to place a checkmark on the list each time one of the healthy habits shows up in the book. For example, he might say that washing hands is a way to stay healthy. When you get to the page in the book about hand washing, invite him to check it off the list!


Phonological Awareness

Read the story rhythmically, placing emphasis on the rhyming words. Encourage your child to repeat the rhyming pairs and to listen to the parts that sound the same.  Listening to rhyming stories is a great way to build phonological awareness in your child. 

Oral Language

This is a quite a long story, so you might want to take several breaks to practice some of the healthy habits as you read the book. For example:

  • You might have your child practice sneezing into his elbow or into a tissue. Ask him why he thinks this might be important.
  • Go into the bathroom and wash your hands, using the song by Zing-Singing Zanz.   
  • Let your child tell you about how he is feeling.
  • Practice brushing and flossing teeth.

Beginning Writing

The last part of the book describes simple, fun physical activities. Set some goals with your child around physical activities. Start a weekly calendar and encourage him to write down or draw a picture of the physical activities he will do daily. Each day, identify the day of the week and have him “read” the calendar entry.  He can place a star on the days when he completes the featured activity. Your calendar might look something like this: 


Try to run for five minutes, then run again, and soon the five minutes will turn into ten.


Jump rope like the Things! They do it like this – they count how many times they can jump . . . till they miss!


Like the Buggles, get up off the couch and start hopping! How many hops can YOU do without stopping?


Start some music and try the Things’ favorite trick. Take turns doing the limbo under a pole or a stick.


Be like the Garoo – jump on your bike and ride. You can get where you’re going AND spend time outside!


Freeze-dance with the Snuff-Gruffle (before he starts to sneeze)! Play a song, start to shimmy, jump, shake, twirl, then . . . freeze!


Swim like the Fish! He thinks that it’s cool to race against Dick in the town swimming pool.


Beginning Writing

Make some of the featured recipes with your child.  Working together, you might create a jumbo size recipe card. While you write the words, you can ask him to draw pictures of the ingredients. Here’s an example of a picture recipe card for “On the Go Rainbows.”   


Try reading the book Staying Healthy. Then, explore other recommended children's books and reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.