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Counting with Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

 Posted by on February 21, 2013
Feb 212013

Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss inspired us to create our own turtles to count and stack. How high can you stack yours?

Counting Turtles with Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

I first saw this adorable egg carton turtle craft at Train up a Child. I knew we would have to make them one day. Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories gave us the perfect opportunity.

Yertle is a turtle king that rules over all he can see, and all he can see is a pond. One day he decides that he wants to rule over more. He calls for turtles to stack one on top of another to make his throne higher. He is pleased for awhile, but then notices other things are higher. He wants to go higher still. Eventually, a turtle named Mack gets tired of the whole thing and causes Yertle’s reign to end.

Making the Turtles

Here are our cute little turtles.

Egg Carton Turtles for Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

We created some of them like Train Up A Child did. Others we just glued pom poms on. It was easier to punch the pipe cleaners through the styrofoam egg cartons. I used a screw to punch a hole in the paper egg cartons.

Egg Carton Turtles for Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss


Counting and Stacking Turtles

After making our egg carton turtles, we reenacted the story. Aiden called for 10 turtles to be stacked for Yertle. He counted them one by one and stacked them up high.

 Counting Turtles with Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

The throne needed to be higher, so more turtles were stacked. Aiden continued counting. I helped him when he forgot what number was next. We only made it to 14 turtles. Then, that plain little turtle named Mack burped and sent the whole turtle stack tumbling.

The turtles were stacked and counted again and again. I think Aiden’s favorite part was calling for more turtles.

More Dr. Seuss Inspired Ideas

  • Green Eggs and Ham – Aiden served pretend green eggs and ham and I made a delicious dye free green eggs and ham omelette. This post also included our Virtual Book Club link party with lots and lots of Dr. Seuss ideas.
  • Go on an outdoor sound hunt inspired by Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
  • Use truffula trees from The Lorax to practice number recognition, counting, addition, and subtraction.


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  10 Responses to “Counting with Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss”

  1. I love this! We love to combine crafts and learning activities. This will be great to tie in not only to this story but also to some of our other themes that go with turtles.

    • We usually only make specific crafts if they have a learning purpose. Otherwise, we stick to the open-ended art/craft that’s more about the process. I’ve been wanting to make these little turtles for a while now and Yertle the Turtle gave me the excuse. :)

  2. So cute! Pinning it!

  3. Love this!!! We don’t own Yertle the Turtle and haven’t read it in awhile, I’ll have to put it on my library list! My 3 year old would adore this!

  4. Those turtles are absolutely fabulous!

  5. This is so incredibly adorable and just genius! I can’t tell you how much I love this!

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